When considering teeth whitening, research the product that will be used and the place that is providing it. Never trust promotions in newspapers and magazines that offer a ‘hollywood smile’ at a fraction of the price. If the treatment sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
There are loads of different products available on the market that all aim for a whiter smile. Some are misleading as they only make teeth whiter in the short term. Examples are:
Teeth whitening toothpaste – there isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in them to make your teeth whiter in the short term but many have been clinically proven to remove stains like tea and coffee. Teeth whitening toothpaste cannot make your teeth whiter than the natural colour of your teeth.
Teeth whitening pens – they are good for special occasions and will brighten teeth for a few hours. These are for people who are pressed for time, so you only apply for 30 seconds a day for two weeks to give a brighter, whiter smile.
Teeth whitening strips – they are little strips that you place over your teeth, leave for 20 minutes and remove. Teeth whitening strips will last about 6 months.
Teeth whitening kits for use at home – they are not strong enough to give you a dazzling white smile and it has been reported that because the gel is applied directly to teeth, important areas may be missed compared to using custom made trays, teeth colour may not be even. There have been numerous reports that teeth may be more sensitive than usual and teeth enamel is weaker than before.
Be careful when buying products over the counter and the Internet because in most cases you can do more harm to your teeth than good. Unintentionally you can weaken teeth, cause more sensitivity and cause blisters on the tongue and gums because some products are too abrasive.
Laser teeth whitening
Many places use a dental professional and not a dentist so be sure who is going to perform your laser teeth whitening before you go as you only need basic training to be able to perform laser teeth whitening.
When you have found a place that you are happy with, go for a consultation to see if the results you expect after laser teeth whitening is possible. Everyone’s expectations are different, your dentist will be able to tell you what to expect after treatment.
On the day of the procedure, your teeth and gums will be covered to reduce blistering, burning of the gums and soft tissue that can occur during the process. A cheek retractor is used and protective eyewear is given and in some places it is possible to have DVD glasses so patients can watch a movie while they wait.
The peroxide gel will be applied to each tooth individually and in some cases a custom made tray will be made so you can continue treatment at home. A laser or light may be used to speed up the whitening process.
The bleach used contains a high concentration of peroxide usually between 15-50% but the home kits contain less than 10%. Many patients will experience sensitivity during and after the procedure but this is normal and will usually go after a few days. It is also advisable to avoid very hot and very cold food for the following few days.
Be sure you understand the risks and are happy with the expected results before you go to avoid disappointment. You can now get a lot of reviews for laser teeth whitening on the Internet and join forums to see which places have been recommended.