36 Haden Hill Road HalesowenB63 3NQ

The Ultimate Guide to Tooth Whitening


Help me to


The Ultimate FAQ Guide to Tooth Whitening

Thinking about whitening your teeth? It’s a great way to refresh your smile, and it is a relatively quick and simple treatment to carry out. But if you have some questions, then let’s go!


What is the best whitener for your teeth?

As long as it is prescribed by a dentist, then most whitening treatments will do the same job. It is super important though, to only go to a GDC (General Dental Council) registered dentist to have whitening carried out. We are legally the only people who can prescribe a whitening treatment. Going to an unregsitered persons for whitening could severely damage your teeth.

Tooth Whitening trays
Trays that are specifically made for your mouth, used with bleach provided by a dentist will give you the best results.
How much does it cost to get your teeth whitened by a dentist?

The price will vary from dentist to dentist, and from treatment to treatment. Usually, a treatment at the dentist would be upwards of around £500. As before, please do not be tempted by salons and beauticians selling whitening for £50/£100. It’s likely that whatever they are using will just dry out your teeth and make them appear whiter for a short period, and as they won’t have had proper training (no matter what certificate they may show you!), could badly damage your teeth and gums.


Is teeth whitening bad for your teeth?

If carried out correctly, then no. It’s a great way to refresh your smile. It’s only bad for your teeth when you go to an unregistered persons, who may not know how to use the gels properly, or may even be using the wrong type of gel.


How does tooth whitening work?

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Our whitening systems (Enlighten and Boutique) contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches penetrate the enamel on your teeth, and break down stains, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter. For more information on the finer points of whitening, please visit https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening


How can I whiten my teeth quickly?

The average whitening treatment only takes about 2 weeks, so plan ahead and have your teeth beautifully white in time for that special occasion!


Does whitening help yellow teeth?

Yes! This is exactly what whitening is there to combat. Your teeth are living things, and therefore absorb any colour that may be in your food and drink. The worst culprits are tea and coffee, red wine, curry, and being a smoker. Basically, anything with food colouring in it, over time, will yellow your teeth. Whitening will help restore, and possibly even improve, the natural shade of your teeth.


How can I make my teeth whiter overnight?

There is no safe way to do this overnight. Any product that claims to do this, just won’t work. Whitening can take as little as 2 weeks though to show some improvement, and many patients see a difference after just a few nights of treatment.


How do people get their teeth so white?

9 times out of 10, celebrities who have super white, straight teeth, most likely have veneers or crowns. Although whitening can make a massive difference, the perfection of a celebrity smile, is usually down to prosthetics.

Usually celebs, like Katie Price, have had veneers or crowns to achieve the ultimate white smile. As you can see from the picture on the left, her natural teeth have been filed down into small spikes, indicating that she has a full set of dental crowns. This is to allow rooom for the full crowns to fit over her natural teeth. If your natural teeth are healthy, we do not recommend covering them with crowns.
Does banana peel whiten teeth?

I’ve got a feeling this is one of those dental myths, such as the use of bicarb. It most likely doesn’t work. But please don’t use bicarb on your teeth. They will only thank you for it with severe sensitivity.


How can you whiten your teeth at home?

Most whitening treatments can be carried out in your own home. Both of our treatments entail you coming in for a consultation, we will then take impressions of your teeth to make some bespoke whitening trays. We will then send these impressions to a lab, who will send us back the trays. Once the trays are back, we will show you how to use them, at which point you can go and use the kit at home, and whiten your teeth to a shade you are happy with.
Otherwise, home remedies will not work. They will likely damage the enamel on your teeth, so please be wary of internet at home hacks.


Does whitening work on all teeth?

If they’re natural, yes! If you have any teeth that are restored, such as with a filling, a crown, or a veneer, then these teeth will not change shade, seen as they are man made. In cases like these, we would usually recommend having the whitening treatment carried out, and then changing any restorations afterwards to match your newly whitened teeth. This is because it can be quite difficult to stop whitening at the absolute match for a restoration, whereas it’s easy to match a restoration to your existing teeth.


Why are my teeth so yellow even though I brush them?

Unlike discolouration caused by staining, yellowing of the teeth is caused deep within the tooth itself, and has happened over many years. Staining is usually caused by plaque retention, and the colours from food, smoking, and drinking clinging onto this plaque, making it appear dark. Stains like this can be removed with a scale. Yellowing of the teeth requires something that will penetrate the tooth surface itself, which is why whitening exists!


How do celebrities get their teeth so white?

I’ll let you in on a secret. Most of the time, celebs with super, duper pearly whites have fake teeth! It’s usually easy to spot, as the teeth are very white, very symetrical and perfect looking, and they look completely different to when they were younger. Of course, this is always an option, but if you are happy with the look at the feel of your teeth, just not the shade, then whitening is the best option. The other problem you have with celeb veneers or crowns, is that healthy tooth has to be filed away to make space for them, which we really don’t like doing! You also have to look at replacing veneers and crowns every 10 to 15 years, due to various factors, so they’re a life long commitment. So if you can, stick with your own, beautiful, natural teeth for as long as you can!

We use the Vita Shade guide (pictured) to see how white your teeth are, and what bleaching will achieve.


How can I whiten my teeth in 3 minutes?

You can’t. Please don’t try! Whitening is a process that can take several sittings and several hours. To whiten your teeth quickly will most likely be causing a lot of damage.


Is it true banana peels whiten teeth?

No, it’s not. You’re welcome to try it, but you’re just going to make a mess and look a bit silly.


Does charcoal actually whiten teeth?

Charcoal toothpaste is a really clever marketing trick. Because you are brushing your teeth with black toothpaste, it gives the illusion that your teeth are whiter, obvioulsy because of the darkness of the paste against the whiteness of your teeth. It actually does nothing, but it does trick your brain into thinking it does. And most of the time, charcoal toothpaste does not contain any fluoride, which is essential for healthy teeth. So please avoid charcoal toothpaste.


Is baking soda bad for your teeth?

To use it as a toothpaste will just rub away at your enamel, the hard outer coating of your tooth. Without that, your teeth will become very sensitive and possibly brittle and therefore more prone to fractures and breakages. Please leave the baking soda and bicarb for your food!


Is baking soda good for teeth?

As above, it’s not. Please don’t use it.


Can toothpaste whiten teeth?

Some toothpastes claim to be able to, but don’t waste your money. They may remove some light staining, but they will not change the shade of your teeth. The only thing that can do that is the bleach and whitening treatments that you can get from your dentist.


Does Colgate really whiten teeth?

Any toothpaste that claims to whiten teeth, will not do so. None of them contain anything that will change the shade of your tooth. They may be able to remove some staining, but they certainly won’t whiten your teeth, so don’t waste your money!


Do whitening strips work?

Because they contain only minuscule amounts of whitening agents such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide the results are barely noticeable, although they are good at removing any surface stains. On the other hand, bleaching trays and whitening strips can produce quite noticeable results in as little as a couple of weeks.


Which toothpaste actually whitens teeth?

None. I’m serious. Save your money and buy some fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth happy.


How can I whiten old yellow teeth?

With whitening from your dentist!


tooth whitening
Celebs like Cheryl Cole have had a mixture of whitening and prosthetics to change their teeth. You can see that Cheryl’s smile is much wider than it used to be, suggesting that she may have also had orthodontics, as well as veneers or crowns, and tooth whitening.
Is Colgate Whitening toothpaste safe?

It’s safe, but it won’t whiten your teeth.


What teeth whitening is best?

At Halesowen Dental. we offer two types of whitening; Boutique and Enlighten. Both give amazing results! Enlighten guarantees that you will reach the lightest shade on our shade guide, which is B1. Boutique will deliver a lovely, natural, brighter shade. If you are unsure as to which to go for, please ask your dentist who will advise you further.


Does blue light whiten teeth?

No it doesn’t. There are many salons and boutiques out there that offer this treatment, complete with trays and ‘gel’. However, eventhough some dentists also offer a similar product, we have found through experience that those treatments that use a blue light actually dry your teeth out, rather than whiten them, which gives them the appearance of being whiter. We have found that in most cases, once the teeth have remineralised (become wet again), they have returned almost to the same shade as they were before. We’ve also found that blue light whitening will cause severe sensivity and pain, due to the fact that the teeth become so dry.


What is the best at home teeth whitening?

We offer Boutique and Enlighten Whitening, both of which can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.


How much does is cost to whiten your teeth?

For a great, safe result, you can expect to pay around the £500 mark, but cost will vary between practices.


Does insurance pay for teeth whitening?

As it is a cosmetic procedure and not clinically necessary, then most insurances will not pay for teeth whitening.


Can the dentist whiten your teeth for free?

You can get free teeth whitening from us at Halesowen Dental, at the end of a course of Invisalign treatment!


How long does teeth whitening last?

On average, after 3 years, you will still have 80% of the results from your initial whitening treatment. But the great thing about whitening is once you’ve done it, you only need top it up every so often. So, if you feel like you need a boost for a special occasion, or you feel the shade has darkened slighly, then you can just purchase a top up syringe of bleach, and top up your smile!
Obviously, if you’re a heavy smoker, red wine drinker, curry eater, coffee and tea drinker, then you may notice the shade of your teeth change a bit quicker than those who don’t do the above as often, but the same rule applies: just top it up!


How often do you need to do tooth whitening?

As above, you should still be able to tell after 3 years that you had your teeth whitened, but you can always top up when you feel you need to.

Is it bad to whiten your teeth everyday?

You definitely don’t need to do it every day. For your initial treatment, you may need to do it for up to 2 weeks, nightly, but you can do whitening for up to 3 weeks if you feel you have not reached the desired shade. But doing it every day would be a waste of money and time, and may damage your teeth.


Can you paint your teeth white?

No. Tip-ex is not a good look on anyone.


Does LED light really help whiten teeth?

As above, the blue light whitening simply dries out your teeth, which can be very painful, and the results can be poor. It’s best to use an at home gel whitening system, such as Boutique or Enlighten, that is provided by your dentist for best results.


How often should I whiten my teeth with LED light?

If you’ve had it done once, you’ll know you won’t ever want it again!


For more information on tooth whitening, please contact us today, or visit our Tooth Whitening page: https://www.halesowendental.co.uk/treatment/teeth-whitening/


A note from all dentists:

Please, please, PLEASE! I can’t stress this enough… Please go to a registered dental professional for your whitening. Salons, boutiques and Lesley from down the road who is offering tooth whitening for £20 from her living room are NOT trained professionals. They do not know what they are doing and you could potentially be left in a lot of pain, discomfort and out of pocket more than just £20. Serious cases can even lead to tooth loss! Please visit your dentist for tooth whitening. It’s just completely not worth risking your smile on a cowboy.

In the UK, it is illegal for ANYONE to carry out tooth whitening who is not a dentist. If you see anyone online, on Facebook, Instagram, Shpock, or your local shopping centre offering tooth whitening, report them to the GDC.
There is a reason why any dental treatment can be expensive: you are paying for a trained professional to perform actions on your teeth, for which they have trained 5+ years for at university, who have to keep their knowledge up to date in 5 year cycles, who are always going on new courses to be able to offer you the best possible care. It’s not just the product you are paying for. It’s the time of the trained professional who has spent many years learning. Please bear that in mind the next time Lesley from next door offers you cheap whitening.

Back to Blog