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I want them white! – teeth whitening options explained

October 23, 2017 by Fairlight Dental

These days, everyone wants whiter teeth, but what is the best way to get them white without? Searching on the internet can be confusing, max white, rapid white, pearly white and all those percentages. What is safe to use?

Whitening toothpastes

These products DO NOT affect the colour of your teeth. They can be effective at removing staining or maintaining the colour of your recently bleached teeth, but they won’t change the natural colour of your teeth. (Be wary of the smokers toothpaste, and newer charcoal toothpastes, as they can be abrasive and not good to use over long term.)
Tooth Whitening Products

A recently passed European directive made it law that only qualified dental professions can legally whiten your teeth (Jon and I fall in this category!!!) People offering tooth whitening illegally won’t be insured and they will not have the same vigorous standards of hygiene that your dental practice has. Any peroxide products over 6% are banned in the EU as they are more likely to cause teeth to become sensitive and can also cause chemical burns to your gums and cheeks. The kits you buy over the counter that contain or release up to 0.1% peroxide do nothing. Some other kits contain abrasives or acids which may look like they whiten your teeth but they do so by dissolving the top layer of your enamel!

Tooth whitening using EU approved products are the only safe and effective way of bleaching your teeth without removing any of your tooth surface. There are two options:

a)At home whitening systems (my personal favourite)

We will make you custom made trays that you fill with a gel and wear. You can select 30mins-1hr a day, or an overnight solution. You wear the trays daily for 7-10 days until your teeth are the desired shade white. We use Boutique Whitening and it costs £250.

b)In-surgery whitening.

This uses a stronger, more active peroxide gel which is then accelerated using a LED or laser light. It takes around an hour and you get the same result as wearing 14 days of trays. You will get trays at the end to top-up. We use Pola Office,, and it costs £500.

Both methods need regular top-ups to maintain the colour. I advise top ups with trays at least once every 6 months to keep your teeth shiny white!
Your whiter smile should last up to 3 years depending on your diet and whether your smoke.

Dr Sian Jones