People notice your smile. It’s a fact. Human beings have evolved to spot problems with each other’s teeth and mouth. It’s a self-protective device to stop us getting too close to other people who might be carrying disease.
And, although that’s unlikely to be the case these days, we still can’t but help notice each other’s dental imperfections and react accordingly. So, if your teeth are discoloured, then it will be very hard to hide.
With that in mind, it can be very tempting to whiten your teeth with a kit from a pharmacy or off the internet, but no dentist is going to tell you that this is a good idea. Whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient. While this is a tried and tested product that has been in use as a whitener for centuries, if it is too strong, it can strip the enamel and cause damage that will need expensive restorative treatments.
Buy a take-home kit from us
When you buy a take-home kit from us at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, you will be using a product that has been tried and tested and is safe. The kit also includes whitening trays that have been made by us specifically for you. This means that there will be maximum contact between the gel and your teeth. It also reduces the chances of gel spilling out into your mouth.
You wear the gel trays every day for a short period, and it will take roughly 2 weeks to whiten your teeth.
We need to check you before treatment
It’s always a good idea to let us take at look at your teeth before whitening. Firstly, it may be that your discolourations are not on the surface of your teeth, but are intrinsic to their structure. If this is the case, then whitening will not make any difference and you will need to have another treatment, such as veneers, to cover over the discolouration. Also, we need to make sure that you don’t have anything that could create problems, such as decay, worn teeth or leaky fillings.
There’s nothing that lifts the spirits quite like a beautiful, warm smile showing healthy, white teeth. So, it’s no surprise really that teeth whitening is the world’s most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. In Essex, teeth whitening is the go-to pick-me-up treatment among our patients at Crofts Dental Practice.
As we’ve booked patients in for treatment, we’ve asked ourselves what makes teeth whitening so popular. We have concluded that it is because whitening is so quick and easy, and also because doesn’t require any alteration to the structure of the teeth. Even wonky teeth can be dramatically improved in looks if they are a great healthy white colour. We think this is a first step treatment when people are testing the waters of cosmetic dentistry. If they get good results and feedback from having their teeth whitened, they will probably go on to have other, more permanent, treatments afterwards.
Teeth whitening is also used as a finishing treatment for people after a lot of restorative work or another cosmetic treatment such as teeth straightening with braces. If someone has been wearing fixed braces for several months, when it comes time for them to be removed at long last, the patient often chooses this time to have their beautiful and newly straightened teeth whitened. It really makes a big difference after all that hard work and removes any residual traces of staining from the brackets and cement. It’s great to see them leave our dental practice with huge grins on their faces.
And, really, being able to crack a big, wide smile whenever the urge comes upon you is what it’s all about. It feels wonderful, and does beneficial things to the body, releasing serotonin to lift the spirits.
Teeth whitening options
At Crofts Dental Practice, we offer two ways to whiten teeth. You can come into the practice for power whitening. This takes about an hour and you just lie back and relax, while a more concentrated whitening gel on your teeth does its work. Or you can whiten your teeth at home with a less concentrated gel, wearing custom-made mouth trays for several hours, or overnight, each day. This takes about two weeks to get results. You can also have a combination of both.
Teeth whitening is the most frequently requested treatment in the world of cosmetic dentistry. When it’s provided by a qualified dental professional, it’s a safe, effective, and quick way to brighten up your smile without the need for invasive procedures.
Crofts Dental Practice in Essex offer three options for teeth whitening treatment, all of which begin with a cosmetic dentistry consultation.
A dentist is the most important person in any teeth whitening procedure. The General Dental Council classes whitening treatment as dentistry, and as such it can only be legally prescribed by a dentist. Another suitably trained and qualified dental professional – a hygienist, or a hygiene therapist, for example – can carry out the physical procedure of teeth whitening, but only on a dentist’s prescription.
At our Essex dental practice we are aware that there are numerous products that claim to whiten teeth available on the open market. We also hear of beauty salons offering this treatment. All of these options should be avoided to ensure treatment that is safe, effective, and legal.
Whilst whitening products bought from a supermarket or high street chemist are unlikely to damage your teeth, they are also unlikely to live up to their promises, failing to deliver the results that you want. If you have an underlying problem such as enamel erosion or tooth decay, some products can also cause sensitivity.
Products bought from the internet may be of dubious origin, which means you can’t know for sure that they contain what they say they do, or that levels of the bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide are legal. Beauticians offering the treatment do so illegally; the GDC has carried out many successful prosecutions for illegal dentistry, but all too often someone has to suffer painful damage to their mouth in order for illegal providers to come to light.
Think about it; you wouldn’t accept any other form of cosmetic dentistry from anyone other than a dentist. Teeth whitening must be considered in the same way.
The three options for whitening at our Essex clinic are:
- Home whitening, supervised by your dentist
- Power whitening, carried out by your dentist
- Combination whitening – both of the above combined.