Having stained or yellow teeth is inevitable. After all, it is not easy to maintain pearly white teeth, and most people have a lot of more important things to do than brushing their teeth. That’s entirely the reason why teeth whitening products are all over the market.
These days, you can walk into almost any drugstore or beauty retailer, and you’ll notice dozens of oral hygiene products all geared toward teeth whitening. From gel-laden pens, expensive toothbrushes, or actual whitening systems, it seems that there has been an oversupply of products that are made to help recreate a picture-perfect smile.
But the real question is: do these at-home products and whitening treatments work? Are they truly worth the money spent? Are they even comparable to professional in-office dental whitening services? If you’re interested to know the answers to these questions, then keep scrolling.
What Is a Teeth Whitening Treatment?
According to a recent study conducted by Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, forty per cent of the UK population is unhappy with their teeth. And nearly a quarter of them are looking to brighten their teeth, making teeth whitening the most popular procedure.
While the procedure is not foreign for most of us, it is essential to discuss its implications. This pain-free procedure can improve your smile in a snap. It can also effectively lighten the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of your tooth’s surface. While it may not completely change the teeth’s colour, it can significantly lighten the existing shade.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
Unlike at-home tooth whitening products, professional treatments guarantee a lot of benefits that you can enjoy. It’s no secret why more people love getting the procedure because of all the advantages it offers, including:
You can see more significant results at a relatively shorter time frame.
Do you want to whiten your teeth before attending a big event? Whether you want to look your best for a wedding or an important client presentation, professional tooth whitening is the way to go. You can instantly see the results after your appointment. The best thing is that most patients only require a single session, and voila, perfectly white and beautiful teeth!
Professional treatments address your needs and concerns.
Every smile is unique, which means that each patient’s teeth should receive treatments catered to his/her needs. Unlike at-home kits, in-office treatments address these differences better. That’s why dentists can provide more personalised care than generic over-the-counter whitening products. With professional treatments, you can rest easy knowing you are well taken care of.
You get to enjoy a brighter and whiter smile for long.
At-home whitening kits typically don’t contain the same professional-grade whitening agents. This leads to results lasting only for a couple of days. With professional treatments, your bright white smile can last for at least six months to several years – that’s a huge leap from the 3 to 4 weeks at-home kits advertisement. In the long run, you might be saving more money when you choose to have your teeth whitened and maintained professionally.
It’s always a safer option.
Dentists in a dental clinic have access to safer and more sanitised equipment than you. These dental professionals are highly trained to deliver the services you need with the proper tools and techniques. What’s more? They can eliminate the risks involved in overusing at-home whitening kits, such as damaging your gums or hypersensitivity.
You get what you pay for and more.
At-home whitening kits tend to be a lot cheaper than professional whitening services. Even so, the results matter more. An in-office procedure can help whiten your teeth up to eight shades. This means that professional treatments are so much better than repeated at-home whitening kit.
Debunking the Myths of Teeth Whitening Treatments
Your teeth are your asset. They are what people will immediately notice when you speak. They help you break down foods for better digestion. So, when it comes to cleaning and maintaining them, you only want the best. That’s why you’re probably curious about teeth whitening.
Many are sceptical about the process because it may seem too good to be true. However, it’s completely natural to have a lot of questions about the treatment, especially if you’re unfamiliar with it.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve listed some of the most common misconceptions about the whole teeth whitening process.
Misconception #1: It isn’t safe for your gum health.
You’ve probably read reviews on some at-home whitening products you can purchase online. Some users may complain about severe pain or sensitivity, while others may see no results. All these negative comments may cause unnecessary fear and panic.
Well, dentists can attest how whitening procedures bear zero risks to your health and your oral hygiene. Of course, if you overdo them, you may experience sensitivity, pain, or even potential root canals. But let’s be clear: that’s unlikely to happen when you let professionals perform safe whitening methods.
Misconception #2: The results are temporary, lasting only for a couple of days.
This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about dental whitening. Many people assume that the results are fleeting. However, it’s not really the case.
Improper maintenance or the lack of it is usually the leading cause why results won’t last longer than you expected. Remember that teeth whitening produces permanent changes in the colour of your teeth, and proper maintenance is essential to not only keep this colour but to also counteract staining.
Misconception #3: Your teeth’s colour will not change no matter what you do.
A dental whitening procedure removes not only your teeth’s stain but brightens their colour. As you begin the procedure, you can see how the surface stains are removed, gradually changing the colour of your teeth to become lighter and lighter over time.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Methods
Some dental clinics offer different kinds of whitening products, but there are only three at-home whitening methods that work and are considered safe and effective. Unfortunately, charcoal toothpaste didn’t make the cut. Are you wondering what these products are? Stick around to find out.
Teeth Whitening Strips
The most effective dental whitening agent is hydrogen peroxide. This chemical is the main ingredient of whitening strips causing them to yield excellent results. Whitening strips are an affordable solution compared to other ineffective treatments. However, the only problem you may encounter with strips is that they tend to brighten the spots in between your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Mouth Rinses
Just like whitening strips, a mouth rinse with whitening ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide, can help with dull and yellow teeth. Whitening mouth rinses are usually recommended for those individuals who consistently drink stain-inducing beverages, including tea or coffee.
The good thing about mouth rinses is they can easily get into the nooks and crannies of the teeth, which makes them a superior option than strips. But there’s one caveat: long-term and excessive exposure to whitening mouthwashes can cause gum and tongue sensitivity.
Custom Whitening Trays
Your dentist has probably suggested this to you, but you’re quite uncomfortable making the decision right away. Well, custom whitening trays are among the best dental whitening products out there. Having your own customised whitening tray makes the whole process simpler and more efficient; you can wear them effortlessly at home or anywhere you want and wait for the results to kick in.
Among all other at-home whitening methods, this is the best so far. The trays help keep the gel on your teeth for a longer period without straying as much to the softer, more delicate tissues.
In-Office Treatment: What’s the Difference?
Most at-home whitening treatments are made to address the needs of a larger market, which means that they offer a universal solution to help in brightening the teeth. With an in-office treatment, you can expect that the concentration of whitening products greatly varies, depending on your need. This concentration can whiten your teeth, but too much of it may lead to discomfort and pain.
Compared to the over-the-counter whitening method, in-office treatments use a variety of techniques to help activate the whitening gel. You will also need multiple sessions to see noticeable results. This can be between three to five sessions within six months. As for the cost, it can be around $300 to $1000, depending on your chosen clinic.
On the other hand, the cost of custom trays is similar and can be used repeatedly from the comforts of your home. Plus, whitening gel refills cost significantly cheaper at around $50 to $100.
At-Home and In-Office Treatments: How Long Do They Take?
Of course, you’re excited to see the results of your treatment. After all, you took the time to have your teeth whitened. Whether you have at-home or in-office treatments, noticeable changes can be seen two to four weeks after.
To get started with your teeth whitening procedure, the first thing you must do is consult your dentist. Your dental team will assess your teeth’s condition and advise the best whitening method for you. If you want custom whitening trays, they will make a bespoke mouthguard and take impressions of your teeth at the appointment.
Once the dental team has proposed a treatment plan for you, you need to continue the treatment for a duration of two to four weeks – whether it’s an at-home or in-office whitening procedure. The results may vary significantly depending on the concentration of the treatment you have chosen.
Dental Whitening Maintenance: Products & Lifestyle Practices to Avoid
Keeping your teeth sparkling and bright requires more than just using a tooth whitening product. It entails discipline and understanding of how your diet and lifestyle influence your pearly whites. Here are some of the things you need to avoid to help maintain a bright smile:
#1: Charcoal Products
Recently, charcoal has gained momentum and has entered the mainstream market. Everywhere you go, you can see charcoal products left and right in all sorts of categories, especially in dental care. However, they actually do not help your oral hygiene routine at all. According to many experts, products that boast about having charcoal are usually overhyped or gimmicky whitening products.
Charcoal products usually say that they can whiten your teeth, but in reality, they pose no beneficial whitening effects. These products, however, are somewhat helpful in your oral hygiene in terms of removing surface stains. Yet when it comes to whitening, they do not actually contribute to changing the colour of your teeth. A lot of these products are also not regulated.
In addition, charcoal has properties that can significantly corrode or roughen up your teeth enamel. Many who have used charcoal products agree that there have been no major changes in their teeth’s colour. While these products remove surface stains on your teeth, they do not whiten them. You would need chemicals such as bleach or methods like oxidizing the teeth colour to do so.
#2: Beverages Like Soda, Coffee, and Tea
Interestingly, many beverages can stain your teeth such as soda, coffee, and tea. The dye present in the soda can stain your teeth, causing them to yellow or brown, while coffee and tea contain tannin which can build up on your enamel and cause stains. It is best to avoid these beverages if you want to whiten your teeth or at least stave off yellowing.
If avoiding them is not possible or is very hard to do, then it is best to use straws when you are drinking them. This ensures that the beverages do not come into contact with the teeth and avoid staining. If not, you should rinse your mouth after drinking so that it can cleanse off the residue of the drinks.
Smoking, in general, causes problems to the human body, and one of those problems include your teeth. Cigarettes do harm one’s oral hygiene according to many studies. A study that spanned 23 years noted that cigar and cigarette smokers experience tooth loss and bone loss within the jaw. Smokers are also at risk in terms of throat cancers, bad breath, stained teeth, and gum diseases.
Get Your Teeth Whitened Today with the Help of the Experts at Byways Dental Practice
If you want your teeth whitened or if you are worried about your teeth, then do not hesitate to contact us. Call 0149 1680 412 or visit our office in Checkendon, Berkshire today.