While it’s true that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, unfortunately the same cannot be said for teeth.
Nowadays there are so many treatments available to attain a perfect stunning smile. From whitening treatments to invisible orthodontics and bonding to fix small imperfections. It has now become harder and harder to tell smiles apart, due to the demand for cosmetic dentistry from celebrities, including same looking veneers from the same cosmetic dentists.
Stores are selling more and more home whitening kits, the best option is always to go pro – this includes an in clinic laser whitening treatment and follow up dental grade gel for home use.
It’s important to realise that there is a massive difference between pro and home whitening treatments and products, and the best results actually include both.
Laser whitening treatments in the dental clinic will treat the surface of the tooth – results will be immediate and look great, but won’t last long. Therefore treatment is combined with whitening gel to bleach the inside of the tooth, and not the surface. This combination of treatments with home whitening trays means you can whiten the inside and outside of the tooth for great long lasting results across your upper and lower teeth.
People should bear in mind that home whitening kits from stores and online are not as effective, and some products like whitening strips can damage teeth and risk absorbing and ingesting peroxides and other toxic chemicals.
Results will vary – so how many shades whiter you can go will vary according to various factors. This includes how thick your enamel is. If you have worn enamel, whitening will take longer.
The look you want, and what is achievable needs to be considered. Laser whitening can be done in one hour with three days or more with whitening trays – 30 minutes each time, not overnight. Trays can be used for 1 – 2 weeks if you want teeth to be really white, but sensitivity will increase.
When you are whitening, and for a period after, you will need to eat white foods only! This is vital. No curries, red wine or coffee. The reason is that bleaching actually dehydrates your teeth, making them more absorbent to anything in your mouth. Stick to foods like chicken, rice, fish, soft cheese, milk. Avoid any food colorings and smoking or vaping.
Any sensitivity you experience will be temporary. You can use Sensodyne toothpaste to help reduce this. Gum sensitivity and whitening can also happen.
When using your whitening trays at home, don’t put too much gel in, and make sure it does not spill over onto your gums.
The good news is that results can last for 4 – 5 years, if you stick to a whiter diet and avoid dark staining drinks and foods. You can drink staining drinks with a straw as this will avoid the teeth altogether. See your dentist and hygienist for regular appointments. Top up trays can be used as advised for the best results.
If your teeth are very dark, veneers may be more suitable, and will serve as a permanent solution.