If you are dreaming of a brighter, whiter smile, you are not alone. Teeth whitening treatment is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world, and so long as it is carried out by a qualified dental professional, it is a safe, fast, and effective way to boost your smile in time for a special occasion.
When you think about it, we put our teeth through a lot in an average day. Many things can cause our teeth to become stained – from lifestyle habits such as smoking to dietary factors, including drinking a lot of tea or coffee. Some medications and mouthwashes can temporarily stain the teeth, as can taking supplements such as iron for such conditions as anaemia.
The most common cause of tooth staining, however, is visible dental plaque. A whopping 66% of adults in the UK have visible plaque, which is a shocking statistic because not only does plaque discolour your smile, it also causes tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Smileworks in Liverpool recommends an appointment with a dental hygienist to tackle the problem of visible plaque. For other types of staining, or to further brighten your smile after a professional tooth clean, professional teeth whitening is recommended. This involves the use of special dental bleaching gel, and can be carried out in a dental practice or at home – under a dentist’s supervision.
The need for a dentist
If you remember only one thing about teeth whitening treatment, it’s that a dentist is essential. This isn’t just a subtle ploy to drive people into dental practices; it’s the only way to ensure that your treatment is both safe and effective.
Indeed, dentists’ governing body the General Dental Council (GDC) takes a dim view of illegal teeth whitening. They have enshrined the need for a qualified dentist in law, and anyone other than a dental practice offering “professional” teeth whitening should be reported to the GDC.
Products from high street chemists and supermarkets are likely to be safe, but ineffective. Those available online should be avoided as they are often of questionable origin.
Because teeth whitening must only be carried out in a healthy mouth, it’s important to leave enough time for your dentist to assess you and treat problems such as decay before whitening your teeth.