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!
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.
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.
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.
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
The average whitening treatment only takes about 2 weeks, so plan ahead and have your teeth beautifully white in time for that special occasion!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
No, it’s not. You’re welcome to try it, but you’re just going to make a mess and look a bit silly.
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.
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!
As above, it’s not. Please don’t use it.
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.
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!
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.
None. I’m serious. Save your money and buy some fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth happy.
With whitening from your dentist!
It’s safe, but it won’t whiten your teeth.
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.
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.
We offer Boutique and Enlighten Whitening, both of which can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
For a great, safe result, you can expect to pay around the £500 mark, but cost will vary between practices.
As it is a cosmetic procedure and not clinically necessary, then most insurances will not pay for teeth whitening.
You can get free teeth whitening from us at Halesowen Dental, at the end of a course of Invisalign treatment!
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!
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.
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.
No. Tip-ex is not a good look on anyone.
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.
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/
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.