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Teeth whitening – your questions answered

Bright White Teeth in Sutton
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How light will my teeth get if I have them whitened?

This really depends on what you have to start with. Most people come to see our dental clinic with shade A3. You can normally expect to get to B1 – which means you get around eight shades lighter.

How white will my teeth get?

Our patients often tell us “I don’t want my teeth to look too white”.  Tooth whitening is a gradual process which you mostly do with overnight treatments. Your teeth will get progressively brighter, the longer you do it. I normally tell patient to stop once they are happy with the colour.  You will not suddenly wake up in the morning looking like Simon Cowell!  If this is the look you want, simply carry on bleaching your teeth for longer.

How long do teeth whitening results last?

The results generally do last a long time, but tooth whitening is a continuous process.  I recommended that you need to top it up every few months, for three to four nights of the year. The actual bleach is inexpensive, with the average patient spending no more than £35 to top up the whitening every year. You can buy dental bleach from your dentist and the most common one is 16% Hydrogen Peroxide.

What is laser tooth whitening?

There are no lasers involved in this process and it is considered a bit of a gimmick.  A bright blue light is directed onto the bleach (whist in your mouth).  This heats the bleach up, increasing the speed of the reaction which makes your teeth whiten a little faster. The long-term effectiveness is not as good as the nighttime version and generally sensitivity is increased.

Will teeth whitening damage my teeth or enamel?

No – the entire whitening process is incredibly safe and poses no risk of damage to your teeth at all. This only applies to bleach given by a dentist. There are some nasty chemicals being used by others and these can cause significant damage to your teeth.

Do teeth whitening toothpastes work?

Teeth whitening toothpastes generally do not work very well.  They can sometimes remove superficial surface stains from your teeth but, will not improve the underlying tooth colour.  Even for surface stain, its best to see the hygienist as they can remove this quickly and safely.

What are the possible side effects of teeth whitening?

Some patients experience sensitivity after whitening.  It is typically mild, easily managed with ibuprofen, and diminishes within a few days after treatment stops.  If performed by a dental professional, there are no other major issues associated with whitening.

How long does teeth whitening take?

On average, it takes 10-14 days to whiten your teeth so if you do it on consecutive days then you will have white teeth within 2 weeks. If you experience sensitivity whilst whitening your teeth its best to stop for one of two days and this will obviously increase the time it takes to finish the process.

If you are considering having your teeth whitened, our expert team would love to chat with you.

 

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