More people than ever are paying to have their teeth whitened, but does it hurt and is it safe? We asked the team at Confidental Clinic to provide answers to some of the most common questions that patients are asking about teeth whitening; but first of all let’s take a quick look at what the process entails and why it’s so popular.
Teeth whitening involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth in order to remove stains and lighten them by several shades. Nowadays people associate a gleaming white smile with happiness, health, attractiveness, and even success, which is why so many people choose to have their teeth professionally whitened.
1. Does the teeth whitening procedure hurt?
In some cases patients may feel slight teeth sensitivity during and after the bleaching process. If this does occur, then in most cases any pain felt will normally disappear within a few days. The gums can also become irritated should any gel come into contact with them, so it’s important that any excess gel is wiped off during the whitening process. Any prolonged symptoms should be reported to the dentist.
Safe and non invasive, it allows them to take control of lightening their teeth in the comfort of their own homes, at a time that is convenient for them.
Following a dental examination impressions will be taken of the patient’s teeth so that our dental laboratory can create custom teeth whitening trays. Once the trays are received back, the patient will be asked to make an appointment to check the fitting of their trays. We’ll then provide them with the gel, and show them how to apply and use it. They’ll be required to wear the gel filled trays for several hours a day, or overnight. Another appointment will be made in one or two week’s time so that we can check progress and monitor the level of whiteness achieved.
Treatment continues until the required level of whiteness is reached. Typically the process lasts on average 6-12 months and after this point, patients can purchase more whitening gel from us when they feel their smile needs a “top up”.
2. I see teeth whitening advertised at my local beauty salon. Is this safe?
Teeth whitening is considered a form of dentistry and according to the Dentist’s Act 1984, it is illegal for anyone other than a registered dentist, dental hygienist, or dental therapist, to perform any type of dentistry. Therefore, any beauty salon offering a teeth whitening service is acting illegally unless there is a registered dental professional present. Hydrogen peroxide is the key ingredient of most teeth whitening products and careful monitoring of its levels needs to be maintained to avoid chemical burns to the mouth and gums. In essence a beauty therapist may not have the knowledge or training to assess a patient’s medical history to see if they are suitable for teeth whitening.
3. What food and drinks should I avoid after teeth whitening?
As a rule of thumb, if it’s capable of staining your clothes then it will stain your teeth too. We generally recommend that patients steer clear of foods and drinks such as red wine, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, dark teas, and coffee, as well as avoiding tobacco products. Also acidic foods such as lemons, tomatoes, and cola can cause sensitivity to the teeth and erode the tooth enamel. If you can’t resist temptation, then a good tip would be to drink a glass of water after and be sure to brush and floss thoroughly.
There’s no better way to whiten your teeth than at your dentist. If you’re interested in teeth whitening and want to find out more, then why not book a free consultation and come and have a chat with us. You can contact us on:
Confidental Clapham 020 7801 9060
Confidental Greenwich 020 8858 1422
Confidental Surbiton 020 8399 1291
Confidental Purley 020 8660 8923