How Effective are Teeth Whitening Products?

Taking a closer look at your whitening options….

It’s a fact of life that as we get older, our bodies start to show signs of ageing, our skin starts to become less smooth, our joints begin to ache when we least expect it and our teeth start to loose some of their whiteness.

We can of course, use moisturisers and eat healthily to keep our skin looking good, exercise and supplements can help with aching joints, but what about our teeth? What are the best options for having great looking teeth?

Because the discolouration of our teeth as we get older is caused by the darkening of the molecules within our teeth, brushing them will have little or no effect as far as whitening them is concerned, although for health reasons of course, you should continue to do this.

Methods of Teeth Whitening

Essentially there are three ways to whiten our teeth and all of these work to varying degrees and we will take a look at those here:

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

There are many brands of teeth whitening toothpastes now available and all claim to be able to whiten your teeth. Strictly speaking, they are telling the truth. What they rarely mention however is by how much. The reality is that because of health and safety issues (children eat toothpaste!), manufacturers are restricted as to how much of the whitening ingredient they are allowed to put in toothpaste. Whilst this makes the toothpaste safe, it also means that unless you are looking for a very small difference, toothpaste alone simply isn’t sufficient.

DIY Tooth Whitening Kits

These are available from pharmacies and are certainly more effective than toothpastes. As these are not designed for general use, the contents are not likely to be consumed accidentally and therefore the bleaching agent used is present in a larger quantity. This does mean that better results can be had using these kits. So, what is the catch? Simply that these kits can be quite difficult to use on ourselves and there have been several cases where users have burnt their lips and gums with the bleaching agent. This can be both painful and temporarily disfiguring. It should also be noted that although more of the bleaching agent is present, the amount is still restricted.

Professional Tooth Whitening

By far the most effective way of whitening your teeth is to leave it to the professionals. A tooth whitening procedure performed at our 77 Harley Street dental practice takes only around one hour and is a painless and stress free experience. Because the whitening agent is being placed by a trained professional, a stronger solution of bleaching agent can be used. There is no danger of burning as the lips and gums are fully protected prior to the procedure being performed.

The procedure itself is straightforward and once the soft tissues of the mouth are protected, the bleaching agent is applied to the teeth and then activated using a special light. Once the procedure is finished, any remnants of the agent are removed and you will see instant and significant improvements to the whiteness of your teeth.

It should be noted that in the case of very badly discoloured teeth such as those of a long term heavy smoker, a tooth whitening procedure may only produce limited results and our cosmetic dentist may recommend dental veneers as a better option in more extreme cases such as these.

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