The holiday season is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to look your best and spread some cheer. One easy way to look and feel great is to brighten up your smile. Fortunately, at-home professional teeth whitening can help you do just that and it’s a popular and accessible option for many.
Let’s explore how it works and why it’s a fantastic choice for a dazzling smile just in time for Christmas!
What you need to know about teeth whitening
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment in the UK with around 42% of the nation opting for it each year. Even with excellent oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, teeth tend to discolour over time.
A professional teeth whitening kit that you can use at home is a convenient way to eradicate unsightly discolouration and restore a white, bright smile but first, let’s look at why teeth become discoloured.
Why do teeth change colour?
Throughout our lives, external and internal factors cause teeth to change colour, making them appear darker or yellow. Some of these changes can be prevented, while others can’t.
Surface (extrinsic) staining from certain foods and beverages is known to discolour teeth while thinning enamel caused by acid erosion makes the underlayer (dentin) visible, giving off a darker appearance.
Internal factors like tooth trauma can also cause the tooth to change colour while the ageing process can result in thinning enamel and a yellowing smile.
So, now you know why teeth change colour and the factors that influence them, let’s get back to the intricacies of teeth whitening.
How does teeth whitening work?
If you’ve researched teeth whitening, you’ve no doubt uncovered an abundance of teeth whitening products promising whiter, brighter teeth. These items range from whitening toothpaste, pens and strips to over-the-counter whitening kits.
The trouble with store-bought whiteners is that legally in the UK, they’re only allowed to contain 0.1% hydrogen peroxide which is way too little to provide noticeable results and can leave you feeling disappointed.
UK dentists, on the other hand, are legally allowed to supply whitening products containing between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide. These professional products will produce a safe, effective and long-lasting tooth-lightening result.
What is professional teeth whitening and how does it work?
Essentially, professional teeth whitening involves a dentist-led product containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These are the active ingredients that bleach (whiten) teeth.
The peroxide element in the form of a gel functions as an oxidising agent. When it’s activated and applied to the teeth, it breaks down and generates what are known as unstable free radicals.
These radicals attach themselves to the organic pigment molecules (the molecules that signify staining) and start to break them down. This results in simpler, smaller molecules that are less able to absorb light.
Because these new molecules are much paler in colour, they are what give the teeth a whiter, brighter appearance.
The extent of teeth whitening is determined by both the concentration of the bleaching compound and the duration it remains on the teeth.
Professional teeth whitening at home
Here at Foxbury Dental, we provide Zoom teeth whitening kits for patients looking for a professional whitening experience they can achieve in their own homes. This highly effective whitening system is tailored to your teeth and is overseen by our highly trained dentists.
Although all the action occurs at home we will ask you to attend a consultation to assess your suitability for treatment and to take impressions to create the custom-fitted trays.
Whitening your teeth is as easy as 1,2,3
The process really is that simple:
- Once you’ve received your kit, start by giving your teeth a good brush and floss. Take the syringe and squirt the bleaching gel into the custom trays and place the custom trays over your teeth. If there’s any gel leaking out, wipe it away with a cotton swab.
- Wear the trays for the recommended time (depending on your prescription). When you’re done, rinse the trays out thoroughly with cold water. Give your mouth a quick swish and cap it off by brushing your teeth with some warm water.
- After 10-14 days, say hello to a whiter brighter smile.
How long does professional teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening lasts anywhere between several months and several years depending on the patient’s lifestyle habits and/or dietary choices.
If you want your rejuvenated smile to last as long as possible, then limit your intake of stain-inducing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and tomato sauce and adopt more of a ‘white diet’.
Alternatively, if you’re a smoker, nicotine can speed up the teeth-staining process so you may want to consider cutting down or quitting altogether.
The good news is the whitening trays are yours to keep so every time you need a whitening boost, simply pop into our clinic and ask to buy more whitening gel.
Are you wishing for a ‘white’ Christmas?
While we can’t promise you snow over the festive period, we can help you achieve a whiter, healthier smile. Why not schedule a free teeth whitening consultation to find out more about professional teeth whitening at home? Call Foxbury Dental on 01858 455 100 or use our online booking system.