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What are the best teeth whitening options?

Published on 01/03/2021

The impact of having darkly stained teeth can be very far-reaching. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental treatment that can have a big impact. 

When we talk to anyone we focus on their face, having teeth that look healthy and white is going to create a different impression to those that are heavily stained.

If such a small change can have the potential for such big results, it should be an easy decision to make, but with such a wide range of teeth whitening options to choose from this is not always an easy one.

Let’s have a look at what to consider, and what to avoid – with advice straight from our team at Leigh Dental Centre.

The first key point to make is that there is no singular approach that will work for every person. Every mouth and set of teeth are different, so too is the lifestyle of the person seeking whiter teeth.

Anyone seeking to have their teeth whitened should always consult a dentist first, even if that is simply raising it during your regular dental check-up.

Legally, only a dentist can prescribe teeth whitening, as this is a form of dentistry.

Whiter Teeth Treatment 1 – See a hygienist

It may be that all that is required is the lifting of surface stains to create a brighter, whiter smile. A quick 30-minute hygienist treatment session could have the result you are looking for. In fact, we recommend seeing a hygienist before starting teeth whitening treatment. This helps to remove surface stains and plaque so that you have an even whitening result.

Whiter Teeth Treatment 2 – Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening does exactly what you would expect – someone with skill and experience treats your teeth in a way that leaves them whiter but causes no damage to your enamel and gums. 

Even with professional teeth whitening, you will notice that there are various options to choose from, and not all are created equal. Here at Leigh Dental Centre, we are pleased to be able to offer both in surgery and at-home teeth whitening. 

Whiter Teeth Treatment 3 – Internal Bleaching

This is only an option for non-vital teeth and those that have been discoloured over time. These teeth would have had root canal treatment following trauma. Bleach is placed inside the tooth for a while and then removed or replaced until the desired change in colour has been achieved.

Whiter Teeth Treatment 4 – Veneers

Teeth whitening will only change the colour of your teeth, if you are interested in changing the shape and position of your teeth (without opting for teeth straightening), as well as the shade, then veneers may be an option.

Veneers are a lifetime commitment, typically once a patient has veneers they will need future dentistry to maintain them (as they can fade and chip over time). The dentist will discuss whether you are suitable for this type of treatment and talk you through all the necessary considerations. 

Avoid – Over the counter whitening toothpaste and teeth whitening strips.

Whitening” toothpaste contains no active ingredient in enough dosage to have any whitening effect, similarly, whitening strips do nothing to change the internal pigment of teeth. Charcoal toothpaste is no better, despite them being the latest craze. At best these options may remove surface stains, but at worst they can damage your teeth and gums.

Avoid – Online whitening kits!

A common misconception is that the whitening kits you can buy online are essentially the same as a professional treatment. You get the tray to go on your teeth, you get some gel – how different can it be? The answer is very different.

The amount of active bleaching agents can vary from being negligible to being far higher than it should be, even to dangerous levels. Over-the-counter products are only permitted to contain 0.1%. Be very careful of products that contain more than 0.1% peroxide, that is not prescribed by a dentist – not only are these illegal, but they can seriously damage your teeth and gums.

At best, the online kits are ineffective and a waste of money, at worst they are actively dangerous.

Professional advice

To get the best option for your teeth and your smile, it is essential to visit a well-regarded dental surgery with expertise in cosmetic dentistry.

If you would like further advice on the best teeth straightening methods to meet your needs do not hesitate to ask at your next appointment. Contact us today, on 01702 472929, to get booked in.

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