Does Teeth Whitening Actually Work? | The Fads And The Facts!
Posted by: Jodie Blades Diploma Level 3 in Dental Nursing
Medically reviewed by: Dr Shan Lam BDS (Bris)
Does Teeth Whitening Actually Work? And Is It Safe?
The short answer is yes! However, as with many treatments that cross over, between the dental and beauty industries; The question of safety is something we feel very passionately about! From toothpastes to over-the-counter whitening gels and questionable beauty salon treatments. Let’s explore which ones work best and what treatments we consider to be the safest.
A popular choice for at home teeth whitening is ‘whitening toothpaste’. These products will go some way to removing the surface stains you get from everyday consumptions of tea, coffee and red wine etc. But, a study by the British Dental Journal found that most failed to live up to the claims that they make your teeth lighter! Removing surface stains from your teeth will undoubtedly leave your teeth looking cleaner, brighter and healthier; This is not technically a teeth whitening treatment. And, a comprehensive scale & polish with a Dental Hygienist will provide better stain removal results.
There is some suggestion that natural techniques can result in a number of health benefits, as well as whiten your teeth. Oil pulling claims to reduce tooth decay and gingivitis while also having a whitening effect. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims! Activated Charcoal is surrounded by Instagram hype too, but it does give us some cause for concern. When we brush our teeth we increase our saliva flow; This is important for the natural remineralising process (protection from tooth decay!). But, if you brush with activated charcoal on a daily basis, the charcoal’s binding ability will tie up the minerals necessary and may stop this important remineralising action of saliva.
Before You Consider Teeth Whitening.
Have a teeth whitening consultation first! It’s important that you fully understand the procedure, the potential result, what it will involve and what it will require from you before you consider whitening of your dentine and enamel.
A teeth whitening consulation should involve a transparent discussion about your hopes and expectations. Your practioner should be honest and realistic about the results they believe you can achieve. Discuss the potential number of shades lighter than your teeth could hope to achieve. You should also be made aware of complications; Tetracycline staining and fluorosis will pose more of a challenge and reaction to treatment will vary from person to person. Therefore, no guarantees should ever be given. A specialist, experienced prediction should consider not only your starting shade but, the health of your teeth!
Teeth Whitening At The Dentists.
You can guarantee a qualified dental practitioner will use legal, controlled chemicals that have been deemed safe by all regulatory bodies with no risk of irreparable damage to your enamel. No burnt and blistered gums. And most importantly, you get support and guidance. Not only when choosing the best treatment option for you, but throughout the process and with an appropriate maintenance regime too.
Teeth Whitening Treatments.
There are two common whitening gel ingredients;
- Carbamide Peroxide– this includes added stabilisers, which allows for a longer contact time, making it ideal for night-time wear.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – which has a starting wear time of just 30mins; meaning it’s perfect for day-time whitening and accelerated laser teeth whitening.
Each treatment carries its own benefits and which treatment will work best for you is something you should discuss at your Teeth Whitening Consultation!
Enhanced ‘In Surgery’ Teeth Whitening
Philips ZOOM is our number 1 patient requested teeth whitening treatment and if speed is your driving force should you consider this laser whitening treatment. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and the colour change can be achieved more quickly. We offer Philips ZOOM professional to make teeth up to five or six shades lighter in just 45minutes – you could even fit it into your lunch break!
What You SHOULDN’T Do!
- Buy unregulated gels or strips online.
- Use bicarbonate of soda & lemon juice! Acid + Abrasion = Bad News! You really will scrub your enamel away and it will not return.
- Have teeth whitening treatments at the beauty salons, not only does this pose a huge risk to the health of your enamel and gums, it’s also illegal.
Now you know the Facts from the Fads! If you want to find out more about the treatments we offer or want to book your FREE Teeth Whitening Consultation contact us today!