Teeth are an integral part of our body. They have a significant impact on our personality. People usually don’t take much care of their teeth. They don’t realize how important it is in terms of health too. Because of poor hygiene habits and excessive daily intake of caffeine, teeth turn yellow, which may ruin our impression in front of someone. Teeth’s whitening is lightening the natural colour of your teeth. People may want to whiten their teeth if they have lost their whiteness over time.
Brits are obsessed with a minty-fresh, shiny white smile. Research says one out of two people get teeth whitening treatment for cosmetic reasons. The sale of whitening products in the UK has increased tremendously. Whitening toothpaste, home kits, charcoal powder, and electric toothbrush are in huge demand. To take good care of your teeth, you must avoid having these:
a) Avoid dark stained drinks:
Drinks such as tea, coffee, and red wine leaves stain on your teeth, which makes it appear yellow. Better to have fewer intakes if you can’t leave them entirely.
b) Avoid doing any home remedy:
You must have heard of rubbing lemon on your teeth to get teeth whitening. Don’t do such things at home. They can damage your precious enamel.
c) Brush properly:
Many people don’t know how to brush correctly. Do it daily twice a day: morning and before the bedtime.
d) Avoid fizzy drinks:
Fizzy drinks are not only harmful to our teeth, but they affect our overall health too.
e) Avoid a higher amount of hydrogen peroxide:
Hydrogen peroxide is used to whiten the teeth. Higher the amount, whiter the teeth. But it has many side effects. It causes dehydration in the teeth, which results in extreme sensitivity. If you use more than 30% of hydrogen peroxide, your teeth will be ten times brighter than before, which appear fake quickly. It is better to use less than 0.1% concentration to get results with no harmful effects.
Methods of teeth whitening
Teeth whitening should be done by the dentist to avoid any mishap. It can be dangerous if proper precautions not taken. Professional tooth whitening is beneficial: safe but very costly. Nowadays, you can do it at home too. There are several kits and tools available in the market which let you do teeth whitening at home. They are a one-time investment to get longer results. In the UK, teeth whitening costs from £50 to £150 whereas, teeth whitening in London is super expensive and it can cost you £550 for ten syringes.
There are a lot of methods for teeth whitening
1. In-Salon Bleaching
Some salons in the UK offer teeth whitening, which is considered illegal. A dentist should only do teeth whitening. You should not risk your oral health for the sake of a few bucks. The salons who offer teeth whitening are using the same equipment which you can buy and do it yourself at home. Salons usually charge £50 for a one-hour session.
A type of bleaching in which dentists apply a gel directly to your teeth, then shine a light onto it under the process. The light speeds up the whitening process by reacting with the gel. This process is faster than any other bleaching process, but whitening light has some downsides. Its direct contact with enamel can weaken them.
2. Trays and Gels
It is one of the simplest methods for teeth whitening. The effects vary from person to person, but it can last up to three years. You must consult your dentist before treatment. The dentist will take moulds and make you a custom tray. The reason is to give patients more access to the procedure. The custom trays made of carbamide peroxide. The trays can be used at home to apply the whitening gel. Apply the gel daily on your teeth for 20 minutes, preferably before bedtime. Repeat the procedure for up to two weeks for maximum results. It sounds appealing, but it has many cons that’s why many dentists recommend trays.
With custom trays, the treatment requires two to three visits, and then whitening happens at home:
1st visit: On you’re the first visit; the dentist will take impressions of your teeth and sent to a lab to make custom moulded trays.
2nd Visit: The dentist checks the trays to fit your teeth accordingly. If they are too loose or too tight, he will adjust right there and give instructions on how to use it at home. Once it perfectly fits, you can take it home.
3rd Visit: Some dentists arrange a third visit to check the progress if everything went as planned and results are showing or not.
3. Whitening Toothpaste
The cheapest way to get teeth whitening is by using whitening toothpaste. It does not give you 100% results but may remove the caffeine stains. Some toothpaste has abrasive agents that remove the stubborn stains like smoker’s stains. Use of abrasive toothpaste for a more extended period can damage the enamel of the teeth. The teeth whitening agents in the toothpaste can change the baseline colour. Ordinary toothpaste cannot do the job.
One more effective way to remove stains is using fluoride toothpaste. Using it twice a day helps to keep your teeth clean and healthy. An electronic toothbrush is also a handy gadget. The powered movement of the brush helps to remove plaque.
When you buy whitening toothpaste, always look up for these ingredients. All of them are very effective in teeth whitening and helps in stronger teeth.
- Bicarbonate soda
Some good choices for teeth whitening toothpaste in the UK are
- Oral B Pro Expert
- Arm & Hammer Total Pro
- Sensodyne Pronamel for whitening
- Crosodyle Daily Whitening
- Colgate Max White
Another easy way to get teeth whitening is by using whitening strips. In the UK, strips with a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide (less than 0.1%) are legal. These strips will only remove stains; they will not bleach them. Some recommended best teeth whitening strips in the UK are:
- Swift white teeth whitening strips
- Pro Teeth Whitening Co teeth whitening strips
- Mr. Blanc teeth whitening strips
The strips are not customized; it comes in only one size. The risk in using these strips increases with the amount of hydrogen peroxide. As they have very less amount of hydrogen peroxide, it will not damage the teeth, but the results might not be satisfactory.
One of the major cons of using strips is uneven results. The strips are flat whereas our teeth are curved. It creates patchy results; some teeth look whiter than those are in edges.
5. Other Teeth Whitening Methods
Here are some more methods of teeth whitening:
The whitening pen is quite similar to whitening strips. The direct use of hydrogen peroxide to teeth is risky; that is why they are not recommended. They are mostly used if any tooth has discoloration compared to others. The whitening pen will give you an immediate result, but it will fade away in hours. Better to use other methods to get long term results.
Teeth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder
Activated Charcoal is a natural product that is 100% safe for enamel and contains no nastiest. The method to use is straightforward. Clean your teeth with a brush as usual. After ten minutes take a pinch of charcoal powder on your palm, dip the wet brush in the powder and then brush for one to two minutes before rinsing. Brush again with water to remove any residue.
Teeth Whitening Polish
Another simple and cheap product for teeth whitening is teeth whitening polish. It contains charcoal extracts which act as a purifying agent. The polish not only makes your teeth whiter, but it also prevents the tartar builder and makes your enamel stronger. Before brushing your teeth, apply it on your teeth and leave it for five to ten minutes for special effects. It is not toothpaste, so you have to brush your teeth with a toothpaste afterward too.
Teeth Whitening kits
You can buy teeth whitening kits online and do it at home. These whitening kits contain a one size mould, whitening gel, and whitening light. The mould is not custom made, thus does not fit properly to everyone. It increases the chance of whitening gel to get into direct contact with gums. It will damage the gums. The whitening light is also harmful to teeth too. It may provide desirable results, but it is not good for our teeth if used daily.
Teeth Whitening aftercare
After getting the teeth whitening treatment, you must avoid having these food items
- Avoid any dark colored drink like tea, coffee, alcohol, etc.
- Avoid any dark colour food item like soy sauce, red meat chocolate, and all fruits.
- Avoid smoking for 24 hours; it will leave a stain on your teeth.
- Avoid colored toothpaste like red or blue color or any mouthwash for the next 24 hours.
- All clear and white fruits or vegetables can be consumed like cabbage, banana, potato, white sauces, chicken, and milk.
Possible Side Effects
The most common side effect which happens from teeth whitening is the teeth sensitivity. It is usually caused by the dehydration of enamel by whitening agents. The sensitivity is temporary and will go in a couple of days. To avoid sensitivity, you should use fluoride toothpaste twice a day before and after the treatment. Another side effect is irritation of gums which occur in case of improper fitting of whitening molds or trays.
Teeth whitening is not the right choice for you if:
- You have decayed teeth in your mouth. Those decayed teeth need to be treated before getting teeth whitening.
- You have gingivitis or any other gum disease.
- You cannot get teeth whitened if you are pregnant.
- Your teeth enamel has defected as a result of aggressive brushing, teeth grinding or inappropriate diet with more use of citrus fruits.
- You drink too much-carbonated drinks.
Note: Please consider that National Health Service (NHS) UK not indorsed any kind of homemade whitening kits and strongly recommend that teeth whitening should be done only by dentist or other regulated dental professional such as dental therapist or dental hygienist. DIY teeth whitening kits are suggested to avoid because of the possible risks.