White teeth don't just look great, they can signify wealth, health and success. All good reasons which explain why sales of home-whitening kits are on the rise and why more of us are spending our hard-earned cash on getting our teeth professionally whitened. If you're thinking of investing in your smile, read on for everything you need to know about teeth whitening before you take the plunge...What causes teeth to discolour? Staining drinks (tea/ coffee/ red wine) and foods such as curries, cigarettes/ cigars etc, poor cleaning technique, infrequent hygiene appointments.What is the exact process for teeth whitening? There are two methods. Take home whitening is where moulds are taken of your teeth and bespoke trays are made for you. You will go home with a mild peroxide based gel, which you will be shown how to apply to your trays by your dentist. This procedure lasts two weeks, depending on how quickly your teeth respond to the gel and how bright you would like your teeth to become. The other method is laser whitening where the dentist applies a stronger solution to your teeth over a two-hour period. A bright light is then used to activate the gel.
Is it safe? Yes, as long as you are being treated and supervised by a professional dentist. How long does it last? I normally say on average 18 months, but this also depends on your habits such as how much tea, coffee and red wine you drink, and whether you smoke. What's the aftercare? Regular hygiene visits, top-up after 18 months, or sooner if required. The gel can be kept in the fridge for up to 18 months. When topping up, only a night or two is required to achieve the desired effect. The whitening will last longer if you avoid drinks that stain. What about sensitive teeth? If you have sensitivity, I will advise you to address the sensitivity prior to commencing the tooth whitening. This may involve an intensive desensitising treatment for a period of a week prior to starting the tooth whitening. If this helps reduce the sensitivity and my patient is keen to give the tooth whitening a go, then it is advisable to start, but with caution. A day on, day off may help reduce sensitivity, but I would be available to constantly give the patient advice on how to proceed at any given time during the treatment. If the teeth are too sensitive, I will advise my patients to not proceed with the whitening treatment.
What's the difference between teeth whitening and caps? Teeth whitening involves applying a gel to the teeth, so is non-invasive. Having caps or crowns involves shaving tooth structure and replacing it with porcelain. Other plus points A nice healthy looking smile can increase one's confidence, and wellbeing. Do not underestimate the importance of a beautiful smile! Where to go Visit a dental practice where a qualified professional will assess your teeth and gums, advise and guide you through the treatment options.
Should I be using an electronic toothbrush? I prefer my patients to use an electric toothbrush. I have found that those who do will have better oral hygiene and less staining than those still using a manual brushing. What's the best mouth wash on to use? To help prevent gingivitis and bleeding - Peroxyl by Colgate. If you have decay or sensitivity and need a fluoride-based mouthrinse, Fluorigard by Colgate is the best. How often do I need a hygiene clean? I always recommend once every six months. Once in a while, if a patient's oral hygiene needs a little more attention, I will recommend once every three months. For more information on Covent Garden Dental Spa visit coventgardendentalspa.co.uk ...or check out these top teeth whitening clinicsDr Uchenna Okoye, Clinical Director, London Smiling londonsmiling.com
BriteSmile from Skin Health Spa's; teeth whitening is £495.00 but you can save £100 until the end of August and pay £395. 0207 318 1360 or visit skinhealthspa.com
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