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In simple terms, teeth whitening is the procedure of lightening the colour of your teeth for cosmetic reasons after they have become stained or discoloured over the years.
More often than not, this involves the use of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide bleach based treatments. (Read more on the difference between bleaching and whitening).
These chemicals are special tooth bleaches which break down and remove stains and discolouration, making teeth whiter in appearance as a result.
Let’s ask together what is teeth whitening?
The practice of teeth whitening has been around since the days of the ancient Romans, and to this day is one of the most well-known and sought-after aspects of cosmetic treatments.
Having white teeth is seen as aesthetically desirable and can help improve self-esteem and confidence; we’re all familiar with the image of the Hollywood actor, or actress with a dazzling white smile.
There are a number of methods available for anyone seeking to whiten their teeth, from professional dental procedures to at-home products such as;
The level of discolouration will help deem which method is necessary; whilst mild discolouration can be treated at home with whitening toothpaste, more significant staining and discolouration may require professional treatment, and the most effective option would be Laser Treatment.
Simply, complete our quick booking enquiry form to check availability
Watch this video to see how professional teeth whitening operates and its benefits.
One of the most common means of teeth whitening is to use peroxide-based strips and gels which can be used as home kits. We discuss more on professional teeth whitening vs home kits here.
Home kits can save the expense of professional treatment, but it may not give the desired results as intensive professional based methods.
Teeth whitening at home can also carry some risks; it’s therefore recommended that you seek the advice of a fully qualified teeth whitening technician before proceeding.
Products such as at-home teeth whitening strips will contain less hydrogen peroxide than professional bleaching and whitening procedures will involve, and will therefore not be as effective as a result.
To give you an idea, a typical at-home teeth whitening treatment method may utilise anywhere from 3% to 20% peroxide bleach, whilst a professional whitening treatment with a dentistry practice can involve anywhere from 15% to 43% peroxide.
There are two types of teeth discolouration; extrinsic and intrinsic.
The former is the most commonly known and involves factors such as dietary and lifestyle choices. Intrinsic discolouration is generally medical in nature and may be due to infection or ageing.
Whilst lighter levels of extrinsic discolouration is more easily dealt with by changing dietary habits and may be treated using products such as whitening toothpaste, intrinsic discolouration will usually necessitate a qualified technician to administer professional treatment.
Natural methods of tooth whitening at home have also gained prominence, especially those espoused by celebrities and the like.
These include everything from brushing teeth with baking soda once a week to eating more foods such as carrots, strawberries and pineapples which generate saliva to wash away debris.
Those seeking to maintain white teeth may also consider preventative measures to avoid tooth discolouration in the first place; as well as getting plenty of the right fruit and vegetables, you should also try to avoid certain beverages such as tea, coffee or red wine.
Tobacco is also a major contributing factor when it comes to tooth discolouration and should be minimised or cut out altogether to keep teeth pearly white.
Practising good dental hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent teeth discolouration in the first place, and keep it at bay after seeking teeth whitening treatment.
Brushing, flossing, avoiding certain drinks and cutting back or giving up smoking are all vitally important when it comes to keeping teeth white.
The risks and side effects of teeth whitening should be considered before undertaking any whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening can lead to sensitive teeth which may require treatment using potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride gel.
Tooth sensitivity after whitening treatment can be a result of leaving whitening gel on for too long, particularly if it has a high level of peroxide.
This leads to dehydration of the tooth, and sensitive teeth as a consequence.
Gum irritation is another possible hazard to bear in mind; this can occur when contact between the gums and the whitening product occurs. Irritation should go away in time after the treatment.
Star Whitening ensure that the treatment provided is CE approved and 100% safe with using our laser dental technology to achieve the great results.
If you decide to try and at-home whitening treatment, it’s recommended that you research the products and check out the reviews first. It’s important to remember that teeth whitening doesn’t work on dentures, crowns, fillings or veneers.
A fully qualified professional can help you get an even level of whiteness in this case.
If you are considering tooth whitening, it’s important that you maintain realistic expectations.
An ultra-bright white ‘Hollywood’ smile can be difficult to achieve, maintain and may take a few treatment sessions to increase the shade of the teeth.
There is even a reported medical condition known as bleachorexia, where the patient becomes obsessed with seeking out more and more teeth bleaching treatments, beyond the point where it is possible to even get the teeth any whiter.
Teeth whitening can last from anywhere to a few months to a few years.
Coming back to dietary factors again, avoiding coffee, red wine and tobacco as much as you can will help extend the lifespan of any teeth whitening treatment and will also serve as preventative measures to having to seek teeth whitening treatment in the first place.
Other foods which can lead to staining of the teeth include curries, balsamic vinegar, and dark berries. Build-up of tartar can cause a yellowish hue.
Professional laser teeth whitening
It’s important to remember to brush and floss every day if you want your smile to retain its sparkle, even when you have undergone your teeth whitening treatment.
If you decide you want to whiten your teeth but are unsure which method to pursue, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with us.
We will be able to talk you through your different teeth whitening options and advise which is the best one for you.
Booking our teeth whitening treatment will certainly give you a boost in the right direction to whitening your teeth.
Find out more about teeth whitening
Types of teeth whitening and tricks to know
We love to hear your comments, so please feel free to leave them below.
We provide accredited and approved blogs and news about the UK Teeth Whitening Industry. Star Whitening are UK leaders in the Best Teeth Whitening Treatment, helping people start their own teeth whitening business and helping our clients achieve dazzling white smiles.
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Thanks this is a really good article on Teeth Whitening, I enjoyed reading it.
Thanks Geri for your feedback we’re glad you enjoyed reading it:)
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Hi Noreen, sure we use 1st Choice Marketing they’re really friendly, very professional and will help your site get found as well.
Thank you for a really informative post about teeth whitening. This has been really helpful info thank you. I needed to understand the different types of teeth whitening and you’ve explained things well, cheers.
Thanks Athena for your comments, if you do have any questions about teeth whitening please let us know we would love to help answer them. You can also visit our FAQ’s page for more helpful information.
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