I love tooth whitening as you can give someone a brighter smile in a safe, noninvasive, nondestructive way without the need for complicated procedures. However, there are a lot of myths about tooth whitening out there and I urge anyone thinking of whitening their teeth to come and see a dental professional first to get the very best advice. Why? Well here’s my top tips to get the very best out of tooth whitening.
- First come and have a check up. Make sure you have no tooth decay or active gum disease as both of these can lead to sensitivity and problems when you’re whitening giving a poor experience and a worse result. Make sure everything you have in your mouth will whiten; if your front teeth have any crowns, veneers or fillings these usually will need to be changed to match your new colour after you’ve been whitened.
- See the hygienist one week before your whitening treatment. Remove any tartar or hardened plaque and get any surface stain off your teeth as this allows the whitening agents to work better and they aren’t removing the stains first but rather just doing what you want them to do – whiten your teeth!!
- Discuss with your dentist or hygienist which whitening method may be best for you. All professional whitening systems (we use home kits with trays, laser whitening and Zoom whitening) can get the same results but you may prefer or your mouth may be better suited to one of them. Let us know what results you are looking for and how quickly you would like to achieve them. As dental professionals we know the dentistry but you know what is right for you!
- Once you have your new bright smile, discuss how you will keep it looking good for a long time. After care is so important. Think about a regular trip to the hygienist to keep on top of stains and ask about how and when you may need to top up the whitening as colours will start to fade a little with time, depending on factors such as diet and lifestyle. This is something often forgotten but like servicing your car, maintenance is so important.
- Avoid using “home remedies” and things you may see posted on social media. There is no quick fix. Cheaper doesn’t mean better. Some of the things I have seen are frankly dangerous and many will ultimately damage your teeth. On more than one occasion I have had to repair damage done to teeth by home whitening remedies. Tooth whitening should always be done by trained dental professionals with recognized, proven, safe products. If an Insta post said they had found a really good way to do laser eye surgery at home and gave you the instructions would you try it? Then why risk it with your teeth? It is just not worth it in the long run