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Health and Fitness

A Complete Cheat Sheet on Teeth Whitening

All You Need to Know about Teeth Whitening

Certain teeth whitening products and systems are there ranging from whitening products, trays, strips, rinses, OTC gels and whitening toothpaste. All of these can obtain from the dentist for your treatment according to your condition and need. Whitening is perfect for those with unrestored and healthy teeth and gums. Persons with yellowish teeth are good candidate for the treatment.

Continue reading this blog to know more about teeth whitening treatment.

Whitening systems

At home teeth whitening is not easy at all. You need to try a lot of products like strips, toothpastes, chewing gum, gels and rinses. When thinking of performing this at home, you need dental consultation especially when you have:

  • Lots of crowns and fillings
  • Single dark tooth or dark stains
  • Dental restorations
  • Sensitive teeth

At-home whitening products contain carbamide peroxide 10%-20%. Always go with a product which has peroxide level in the mentioned range. In case, it never bothers the mouth without any lightening effect then you need to choose the one with slightly higher level. For any queries, consult with the dentist who can help you with the method of best teeth whitening in London.

Whitening toothpastes

Every toothpaste is able to wipe away the surface stains as it has mild abrasives. Certain toothpastes have gentle chemical or polishing agents which offer extra efficiency for stain removal. Due to lack of bleach, these toothpastes only eradicate the surface stains.

Professional whitening and products have both hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide for lightening the colour of the teeth. While whitening toothpaste lightens the shade only by one; dentist-performed whitening will result in 16 shades lighter.

OTC whitening gels and strips

Whitening gel is transparent gel of peroxide which dentist will apply on the teeth’s surface gently. However, application instructions will vary on the basis of peroxide strength. By following the instructions, you can notice the result within a few days. The full desirable outcome will obtain in the end of 4 months.

On the other hand, whitening strip is thin and virtually invisible with the coat of peroxide. One must follow the instructions for applying the strips. Alike whitening gel the final result will notice after 4 months.

Whitening rinses

Whitening rinses are new to the market and dentistry. Similar to mouthwashes, it freshens up breath reducing gum disease and dental plaque. Often these contain hydrogen peroxide for whitening the teeth. One can notice the results within 12 weeks.

You have swish the mouth using it for a minute twice prior to brush the teeth. As it only exposes to the teeth for short span of time, many patients combine it by brushing the teeth with whitening toothpaste.

Tray-based teeth whiteners

This whitening method involves filling of mouth guard-like tray using whitening gel comprising of peroxide-bleaching agent. You need to put on this for about 4 weeks or more depending in whitening desirable level and discolouration degree.

Safety tips for teeth whitening

  • Follow directions- Never keep the gels and strips on teeth for longer other than the dentist’s instructions. This is because you may get sore gums. Post-treatment, don’t consume sports drinks, acidic beverages and soda for some hours for dental protection.
  • Sensitive teeth protection- Usually the teeth become slightly sensitive on getting whitening treatment. In case the gums and teeth possess good shape then the sensation won’t bother you at all. Otherwise, get in touch with the dentist for a consultation. Even getting gel-filled trays which you need to put like mouth guard can be bothersome as well.
  • Avoid overdoing it- After following the exact tips for teeth whitening if you obtain good results then the monthly touch-up session will be enough for you.

In-office whitening

In-office teeth whitening treatment offers the fastest way for whitening the teeth! In this procedure, the agent will apply to the teeth directly. They mostly make use of laser and heat for the effectiveness of the procedure. You can obtain a pearly white smile within an hour of the treatment. However, in order to get a dramatic outcome you need certain appointments.

During the appointment for your London teeth whitening, you will receive professional cleaning followed by a dental assessment. Then the dentist looks for certain problems which can degrade health like cavities. Accordingly, they will start with the procedure.

It is better to ask the dentist which OTC kit is safe to use. In spite of everything, remember that teeth darken along age and colour extent varies from one person to another.

How long will the effect of whitening remain?

Teeth whitening never give permanent solution. If you consume stain-inducing beverages and foods then the whitening effect will fade in just a month. Whiteness degree varies from a person to another on the basis of teeth condition, staining level, bleaching system type you get.

Follow the given tips to retain the new whiteness of the teeth:

  • Don’t eat stain-causing items or which have tannins and acids (carbonated beverages, sports drinks, red and white wine, coffee and tea, curry, tomato soy sauce and berries)
  • Rinse the mouth or brush the teeth right after taking stain-inducing items
  • Practice healthy oral hygiene regime by brushing twice and flossing once. Use whitening toothpaste only twice or once a week.
  • Have calcium-rich foods. You can munch on veggies and fruits for scrubbing the teeth
  • Stop smoking. Chewing tobacco, pipes, cigars and cigarettes will discolour the teeth. Kick them and enjoy pearly white smile
  • Go for regular dental cleaning. The hygienist will remove tartar and plaque
  • Always sip by a straw. By this way the teeth will not expose to liquids
  • Opt for regular dental check up and touch-up treatments once in every 6-month

In office vs. at home whitening

Whitening your teeth by a professional is completely different from DIY methods. Therefore, you must understand the basic differences:

  • Bleaching agent power- Both dentist-given and OTC whitening products use lower amount of bleaching agent ranging usually from 10%-22% of carbamide peroxide content. Therefore it is similar to 3% of hydrogen peroxide. But dentist uses whitening agents having hydrogen peroxide ranging from 15%-43%.
  • Mouthpiece tray- When you dentist will provide at-home whitening kits they will take dental impression to create customised mouthpiece tray. It enables the maximum contact within whitening gel and teeth and minimise the contact with the gum.
  • On other hand, OTC trays mean ‘one size fits all’ which can expose the gum to whitening agent due to ill fitting.
  • Extra protective measures- During the treatment at the clinic the dentist will make use of rubber shield for protecting the gum from the gel. They take additional measures to carry out the treatment effectively. But with OTC products you won’t get such preventive measures.
  • Cost
  • OTC whitening trays are most affordable while the in-office whitening treatment is pricey.
  • Unsupervised vs. Supervised process- Considering the full medical history, dentist will conduct the dental exam. Accordingly, they will determine whether bleaching is suitable for not. They consider a number of aspects like stain extent and type with location and number of restorations. Moreover, they will do the job precisely for lightening the stains taking care of your overall dental health and hygiene. But when you go with OTC trays, no added benefits are there.

When you should avoid teeth whitening?

One should not perform teeth whitening treatment under the following circumstances.

  • Pregnancy and age- Bleaching is not suitable in kids under 16 and lactating and pregnant women. At these times, teeth nerve and pulp chambers remain large and treatment can result in sensitive teeth.
  • Allergies and sensitive teeth- Patients with certain dental conditions like defective restorations, receding gums and sensitive teeth must discuss the dentist regarding the most viable teeth whitening treatment. Those who are peroxide allergic avoid the application of bleaching agent.
  • Exposed roots, cavities, worn enamel and gum disease- The patients with these conditions should not perform teeth whitening. Cavities need treatment prior any treatment. Otherwise, whitening agent will penetrate into the existing decay along interior of teeth. As a result, you can experience high sensitivity. Also it never works on exposed roots of the teeth as they don’t contain any enamel.
  • Restorations like crowns and fillings- Resin composite materials and coloured fillings like bridges, bonding, veneers and crowns are not possible to whiten. So, undergoing whitening treatment on your restored teeth can cause uneven whitening as natural teeth will become lighter than restored ones. Therefore, perform the whitening treatment before undergoing teeth restorations. It is better to look for other available methods by consulting with the dentist.
  • Unrealistic expectations- If the patients expect a blinding white smile instantly then they will be disappointed in the end. Smokers should know that results will limit unless they quit smoking.
  • Stained teeth- Bleaching perfectly works on yellowish teeth. It works minimum on brownish teeth and no response at all for purple-stained and greyish-hued teeth. The patients with blue-grey staining need several in-office treatment with 6-month of home treatments as it happens from antibiotic tetracycline and tougher to lighten.

Patients with darker stains are eligible for other treatments like crowns, bonding and veneers. Discuss with the dentist and choose the most suitable option for you.

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Risks related to whitening

There are only two and temporary side effects of teeth whitening. They are mild irritation to soft dental tissues and increase in the teeth sensitivity. Sensitivity usually takes place at initial stages of bleaching. But tissue irritation causes from poorly fitted tray over bleaching agent. However, both of these will disappear within 1-3 days of the treatment.

If there is sensitivity, then deal with it by:

  • Putting on the tray for short span of time
  • Undergo teeth whitening at an interval of 2-3 days for adjusting the teeth to continue with process
  • Ask the pharmacist or dentist for getting a high fluoride rich product for remineralisation of the teeth. Apply it before the application of whitening treatment
  • Brush the teeth using potassium nitrate toothpaste for soothing the nerve endings of the teeth

Safety of whitening products

Every whitening treatment method whether it is at-home or in-clinic needs the seal of Acceptance from American Dental Association (ADA). It meets guidelines of ADA for effectiveness and safety. The dentist-dispensed home product will have 10% carbamide peroxide and office-offered products will have 35% hydrogen peroxide can get the approval.

ADA never endorses OTC products as dentist consultation is the key to safety and efficiency of teeth whitening treatments. Even ADA doesn’t recommend the use of laser lights for whitening treatment at all.

Even some whitening toothpastes in drugstore have the seal as well. Also if any product hasn’t received the seal this never means that the productive is not effective and safe. As these are not drugs, FDA doesn’t manage them.

Select and OTC whitening kit

Always get a piece which will customise to your mouth! Certain kits are available with tray which is easily mouldable to some degree. However, such kits are better than the basic ones. Check the online reviews before getting the new tray. In case you experience any change in colour of teeth or gums or sensitivity then stop putting on the tray and visit the dentist right away.


If you have stained teeth and want dazzling white smile then book an appointment at Teeth Whitening London. The dentists of the clinic will carry out effective treatment while caring about your overall dental health and that too at affordable price.

FAQs on teeth whitening

Does insurance policy cover the teeth whitening treatment?

Not usually! Insurance policy may or may not cover teeth whitening treatment.

Can whitening agent damage the enamel?

Due to 10% of carbamide peroxide it causes no impact on mineral content or hardness of enamel. 

Can whiteners damage the dental restorations?

Teeth whitening products comprise of only 10% of carbamide peroxide so there is no significant evidence of damage of existing fillings.

Can whiteners damage the nerve of the teeth?

Still no evidence is there that whitening treatment cause harm to the nerves of the teeth. So, one can rest assure about the safety.


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