A pearly white smile is very important to a lot of people. Although it is sad to say, a brilliant white smile can completely change a person’s first impression of you. It can make the difference between getting a job and being rejected, or the difference between securing a second date and never getting a call back. However, discoloured teeth are not just a sign of poor dental hygiene.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can discolour your teeth, from smoking to drinking coffee. Whatever the reason that your teeth are no longer their natural shade of white, you may be interested in teeth whitening for cosmetic reasons. If you want to find out more about teeth whitening and the options that are available to you, then you should read on to find out more.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is the name which is given to any technique that is used to restore whiteness to the teeth. There are currently a range of different techniques in use, and a number of different products promise that they offer whitening capabilities.
The success of teeth whitening can depend on the level of discolouration and the method which is used to treat the teeth. Some teeth whitening requires a gel, liquid or powder to be rubbed onto the teeth, left for a period of time and then removed. In most cases, you will be provided with a special mouthguard to put over your teeth to help to keep the rest of your mouth safe from the chemicals which are used. Alternatively, some cosmetic dentists offer power whitening treatments which utilise laser technology. The laser activates a whitening product which has been put onto the teeth. Whitening may not be suitable for some people, due to other oral health issues.
Home whitening kits
Home whitening kits are available from many pharmacies in the United Kingdom, as well as being available from some of the high street stores that sell health and beauty products. Home kits are one of the least expensive ways to chemically whiten teeth. There are a lot of different brands available, so it is hard to say how expensive or effective these kits are overall. However, in general, these kits tend to have less of an effect than professional whitening does, because the active ingredients that they rely on are normally less concentrated. Because of health and safety regulations, untrained people are not allowed to buy strong whitening products to use themselves at home, because these products could have serious health consequences if they were misused.
With home whitening kits, you will also have less control over the final shade that your teeth end up being following the procedure. One of the most common complaints about these kits is that poor quality kits will leave your teeth as a shade of white or cream which does not look natural in your mouth. Another complaint is that because the mouthgaurd which has been supplied with the kit has not been personally fitted to the user, it is very easy for the bleaching solution to spill out and burn the lips or gums.
Professional whitening at a cosmetic dentist is normally one of the most expensive options; however it is also the safest and most effective option if you visit a competent provider. A skilled professional will be able to show you a range of different shades, so that you can find a colour that looks perfectly natural. Dentists are also often able to remove harder to shift stains, because they are able to use stronger chemicals and different whitening techniques.
Because of their training, it is safe for them to use stronger active ingredients. In some cases, they will take a special mold of your teeth so that they can use this to create a mouthgaurd which fits perfectly into your mouth and protects you from the harmful chemicals which are being used. To achieve a proper whitening effect, you may be required to visit the dentist multiple times over the course of a couple of months. In some cases, it is possible to get teeth whitening done on the NHS, however this is very rare, and you will need to have a medical reason to have it done, rather than a cosmetic one. People are unlikely to be eligible to get their teeth whitened on the NHS if the problem was caused by lifestyle choices.
Some salons offer teeth whitening in the United Kingdom, however the law states that people who offer whitening must have had adequate dental training. This means that many of the salons who offer this service might be doing so illegally. This can put your health at serious risk and you may not end up seeing the results that you were hoping for.