Tea, coffee, red wine and smoking can all hasten yellowing and discolouration of the teeth. Tooth colour, like hair colour is also genetically determined. Some medications can also affect the colour of your teeth. As well at these factors, your teeth will tend to yellow naturally over time. Tooth Whitening, which you carry out yourself at home, will gently remove the stains, leaving your teeth brighter and cleaner. A fresher, whiter smile can make you look years younger as well as increasing your confidence.
Tooth whiteners can lighten teeth and improve your appearance without causing damage to tooth tissue and without the need for veneers or other treatments.
How effective is whitening?
People may respond differently to whitening. Some have dramatically whiter teeth, but for others the effect is much less. Please talk to your dentist who will be able to advise you on what you can expect from the procedure.
An impression of your lower and upper teeth are taken at our surgery. A laboratory technician will use these casts to make special trays to fit over your teeth.
On your next visit, you will be given the trays and the whitening gel and the procedure will be explained to you (1 hour session with one of our trained Nurses).
Teeth can be whitened using a NightGuard© system. This works by wearing the custom made trays, containing a slow-release whitening formula, for a period of 4-5 hours a day, or preferably overnight for a period of 10 days.
What are the ingredients in the whitening formula?
There are two main types of effective formulas available; carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.
Carbamide Peroxide 16% is widely used for the ‘nightguard’ system, as its lower concentration allows you to safely whiten your smile in the comfort of your own home. Hydrogen Peroxide 6% is also used with the tray system but for a shorter period, in some cases results can be seen within 45 minutes.
Are there any risks I should be aware of?
While hydrogen peroxide is effective, it can penetrate teeth and cause sensitivity. In addition, you must have sufficient tooth enamel in order to whiten you teeth. Some people wear down tooth enamel by brushing to hard, using toothpaste that is too abrasive and/or consuming foods with a high acid content.
Before taking any measurements to whiten your teeth, talk to your dentist to see what’s best for you.
About 14% of patients experience sensitivity whilst whitening. If this happens, you should stop for a day or two and be re-started on an every other night basis. Fluoride gel or sensitive toothpaste (preferably containing potassium nitrate) can be placed in the trays and this can be worn at night in replacement to the whitening formula. Very rarely, temporary discomfort of the gums, lips and tongue can occur. This usually reduces dramatically once the whitening formula is rinsed away.