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Does teeth whitening work and is it effective? More and more people are opting for teeth whitening – what is it and how does it work, your questions answered.

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening basically involves bleaching the teeth to make them a lighter shade. It can’t actually make them white but it can return them to a brighter version of they currently are.

Who can perform teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening should only be undertaken by a dental professional, a dentist, a dental hygienist or dental therapist.

Please be aware that teeth whitening is illegal in any business such as beauty salons, spas, hairdressers where there is no dental professional present.

DIY home kits are also available – particularly on the internet – these may also be harmful and contain dangerous levels of ‘Bleach’.

How is teeth whitening performed?

In a dental practice the process may take several visits over a few months before a difference is seen.

The dental profession will make a ‘mouth guard’ type device to use at home. A gel is applied on the inside of the rubber ‘mouthguard’, the guard is then placed in the mouth and the gel will react with the material on the surface of the teeth.

Power whitening or laser whitening is another form of whitening procedure. The dentist will apply a gel onto the surface of your teeth, an ultra-violet light or ‘Blue-Light’ is directed onto the gel which reacts with the surface material on the teeth leading to the whitening effect.

Do all dentists offer whitening?

Most dentist and dental therapists who are registered are able to perform whitening.

Is teeth whitening available on the NHS?

Teeth whitening is seen as a cosmetic treatment to enhance the aesthetic beauty of your smile. It is therefore not available on the NHS.

Who do I ask about getting my teeth whitened?

You may not be suitable for teeth whitening so its always worth asking your dental porfessional for advice.

Is teeth whitening permanent?

Teeth whitening is not permanent, the effect will last longer if you refrain from smoking, drinking tea and coffee as well as making sure you undertake a normal but consistant cleaning regime.

Can teeth whitening be harmful?

No matter how your teeth are whitened you may find that your gumes or inside your cheeks become inflamed and ache. The reagant can have an irritating effect on surrounding tissue.

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