DIY Vs Professional Teeth Whitening
One of the things a lot of people crave is a brighter, whiter smile. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the oral hygiene aisle of your local supermarket and count how many toothpastes and mouthwashes have the word ‘whitening’ splashed across the front of the packaging. This is mainly because a lot of our more modern vices (like coffee, cigarettes, tea and wine) can discolour our teeth, in some cases leaving us with a nasty yellow sheen, or, leaving us with a slightly duller white than we would like. And whitening toothpaste can only go so far to correct that!
The solution? Teeth whitening!
Teeth whitening involves the use of certain chemicals (known as whitening agents) sometimes with specific light frequencies to break down the bonds holding the discoloured molecules in your teeth together, washing them away and leaving you with whiter teeth. You can go to a cosmetic dentist in Milton Keynes for this treatment, or you could try an at-home whitening kit. But there are a few things you should know before you make this very important choice.
Some people even use their local beautician for whitening treatments, but there are some very specific reasons you shouldn’t do that.
What Are At-Home Whitening Kits?
At-home whitening kits come in all shapes and sizes. From strips you just apply to your teeth and use every day, to more industrial solutions for shorter-term use. These will usually come with a ‘tray’ that looks a bit like a retainer to go over your teeth, a small UV light and a set of syringes filled with whitening gel. To apply these you empty the syringe into the tray, put the tray into your mouth and over your teeth, and then in some kits, put the light into your mouth and bite down on it. Turn the light on and leave it on for the time mentioned in the instructions, and then wash it all off.
At-home whitening kits can be bought online, or from pharmacies an even some supermarkets, and come in different strengths depending on the price. Strips might need to be used consistently for a long time to see any improvement, while whitening trays may work a bit quicker. The downside is that the trays aren’t custom made, so you might find they irritate your teeth and gums. You might also find that your teeth aren’t suitable for whitening, and you could end up with incredibly sensitive teeth afterwards! This is because many at home whitening kits bought online may contain dangerous substances that can not only can damage your teeth and gums permanently, but can also have some nasty effects on your long term health. Overall, it’s not a pleasant experience, and there are a lot of risks involved in whitening your teeth at home.
Any at home whitening kit bought legally in the UK will not be terribly effective as they are only allowed to use 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. Some kits get around this by using other whitening products such as chorine dioxide, which strips the enamel from your teeth or sodium perborate which is damaging to the reproductive system. Quite a high price to pay in the long term for whiter teeth.
How Does Dentist Teeth Whitening Work?
When it comes to whitening, a dentist is always your best bet. Dentists are professional cosmetic dentists who know all about teeth, whitening and the risks around it. They will also know about you and your oral health history, so will be able to recommend a solution that will work for you.
In most cases, you would need to have a hygienist treatment first to remove tartar and heavy stains from the teeth, as any whitening treatment will not remove these.
Whitening in a dentist’s office will be similar to the trays you can buy yourself – with a few key differences. For one, the trays are made to fit your teeth exactly, which means you won’t get any irritation and you will get better coverage from the product. Second, because dentists are professionals and they can supervise the procedure, they can use a stronger whitening solution to whiten your teeth, which will be much more effective and last longer. They can also use a variety of lights and heat sources to speed up the process, getting you the results you want quickly and safely. Alternatively, you can opt to have them make your custom-tray, and then give you a specialised whitening gel to apply at home over a period of 2-4 weeks.
Which Is Right For You?
At the end of the day, it depends on you, your budget and the condition of your teeth. If your teeth and gums are in excellent condition, then you may want to try an at-home whitener first. If you find these don’t work, then you can always move onto a dentist. But if you have had dental issues in the past, have sensitive teeth, or just want the security of having a professional do it for you, then we would recommend having a dentist-based whitening.
It’s important to remember that if you want to have your teeth whitened by a professional, you will need to go to your dentist. While some beauty salons will offer teeth whitening services, it’s actually illegal for them to do so if there is no professional dentist present. Not only that, but beauty therapists usually don’t have the same understanding of the materials they are using, and what effects they could have on clients. For example, common teeth whitening materials used by beauty therapists are sodium perborate and chlorine dioxide. A professional dentist would tell you never to use these ingredients, as sodium perborate has been known to damage the reproductive system, and chlorine dioxide will strip the enamel off your teeth as it works. In short, having teeth whitening in a beauty salon could put your oral health at risk, and that risk is never worth it. If you want whiter teeth, go the safe route and talk to your dentist.
At Appledore, we offer a range of teeth whitening services from our clinic in Milton Keynes. We are your local leader in smile technology, and specialise in providing stress-free, high-quality cosmetic dentistry to all ages. If you have any questions, or would like to book your smile consultation, just get in touch with the Appledore team today.
Did you know that Appledore recently won an award?
Dental Clinic of the Year Milton Keynes