The Cost of Teeth Whitening- You Get What You Pay For
We all smile. The whiter the smile, the better you look and the best first impression you’ll make.
But as we age, our teeth naturally become much duller. Stains from red wine, tea, coffee, food colourings and smoking can take their toll.
This, alongside the increase of perfect smiles we see on our tv screens and popular social media, makes the search for that perfect smile increasingly mainstream.
So, for a bride about to celebrate the biggest day of her life, the aspiring career person wanting to make a great first impression, or the ex- smoker wishing for whiter teeth- what is the best option?
Dr Edward Young, Cosmetic Dentistry expert at Zenith Dental explains which methods of teeth whitening are available, how to receive optimum results for perfect pearly whites.
So why do we want white teeth?
In a recent survey, the Oral Health Foundation found that nearly half the population in the UK are unhappy with their teeth. 48% suffer with discoloured teeth, and of those surveyed 64% listed this problem as the main reason for their unhappiness.
The way we look clearly affects how we feel. Photos and selfies are shared every minute on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook- available for all to see.
For many of us, the thought of being tagged in an unflattering photo is never a nice feeling as we all want to look our best. So much so, there are now filters hiding our imperfections.
We are now more image conscious than ever, always looking to put our best of our best foot (and smile) forward.
What’s the problem with the high street?
Heading to our local high-street pharmacy or supermarket, we’re bombarded by a sea of whitening kits, toothpastes, mouthwashes. These are very tempting to try in an effort to save a bit of money.
If you have already given them a go, it’s more than likely you’ve have been disappointed with the results. A lot of these products won’t necessarily whiten your teeth, but are often better at maintaining whiteness.
If you use them over a period, they might be a stain preventative when compared to normal toothpastes. But these product, especially those targeted at smoker’s teeth, can be especially abrasive to tooth enamel.
When trying out the increasingly popular over- the counter kits, they tend not to work is primarily due to the weakness of the active ingredient in them. These kits only release up to 0.1% peroxide, and can contain damaging acids like chlorine dioxide.
What’s the alternative?
Having your teeth whitened professionally at a dental clinic is the best way to ensure the safety and effectiveness of getting your teeth whitened.
Dental clinics will use products up to 6% peroxide – a much stronger, more concentrated strength than anything you can buy over the counter.
Legally, only dental practitioners can sell and perform with such high strength whitening products. The General Dental Council takes the view that applying materials and carrying out such procedures to improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth amounts ‘the practice of dentistry,’ and therefore should not be undertaken at home without supervision.
There are methods that dental specialists can use to ensure that the appropriate strengths are used for each individual to ensure whitening goals are reached safely, effectively, and in a clean environment.
When dealing with a clinic, it is possible to get a whiter and brighter smile using safe hands and reliable methods – without breaking the bank. The process is especially simple if a patient already has healthy teeth and gums. It can be as simple as a Scale & Polish or professional Airflow stain removal.
If some professional teeth whitening process is decided upon, then accurate moulds are taken of your teeth and your own personalised trays are made.
Your cosmetic dentist should also teach you how to apply the special whitening gel, using the tray system each night before the process begins.
Results happen very quickly. Patients usually have an option of completing the process with lower concentrations, or may choose to have even better results combined with higher strength products that are applied under clinical supervision. In this scenario, more active peroxide gel is used and the process is sped up using an LED or laser light for a greater effect.
Do I need to keep revisiting the Clinic?
You can top up with one application every couple of months, which means that results can last indefinitely. Patients will also have access to the gels with very little extra cost for maintenance.
How long does it take to get whiter teeth?
The time taken to whiten will vary from person to person, depending on the original condition of the teeth, the level of staining, and the type of whitening system that they choose to use.
Most patients will see an improvement in the shade of their teeth within 3 days of their treatment.
There is no one size fits all approach to teeth whitening, which is why to ensure optimal results, make sure you research the best dental clinics available, and have a fully accredited dental expert help you achieve your dream of beautifully white teeth.