Is Teeth Whitening Worth It?

teeth whitening
Do you have stained teeth and lack confidence in your smile? It’s time to sparkle!
Today at River Practice we are discussing teeth whitening, the dangers to look out for, how to avoid nasty stains and what to do when you’re ready for treatment.

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a dental treatment that involves brightening teeth and making them lighter in shade.
This is usually a route to go down if you are unhappy with the colour of your teeth. Staining can cause your teeth to turn yellow in colour, create dark streaks or spots. This darkened colour cannot be removed with an ordinary toothbrush and that is where professional help is needed, some staining can be removed by a hygienist or dentist but if you would like a whiter smile then a whitening treatment may be for you.
It is a popular treatment here at River Practice in Truro as it provides a professional, effective and low-cost way to improve your smile and increase your confidence.
We often use this method at the end of orthodontic treatment, providing a great way to end the patient’s journey with a polished and improved look.

Teeth whitening must be done by a professional

Teeth whitening can only be performed by a dentist or another regulated professional, registered with the General Dental Council.
This could be a hygienist or dental therapist – just make sure you have a prescription from your dentist before going ahead with the treatment.
Remember that teeth whitening in settings such as a beauty salon is illegal! That means it is essential that you contact a professional dentist who can guide you before making a decision. Without their consent, you could be putting your health at risk.
It is also important to note that you must be 18 years old or over to have teeth whitening treatment.

NHS and teeth whitening

If you would like your teeth to be lighter in shade, you will need to speak to your dentist who will then advise you on the best options.
Unfortunately, the NHS will only issue teeth whitening if there is a medical reason that the tooth to darken in colour.

What causes stained teeth?

Stained teeth are very common within adults and teeth whitening can make a huge difference to the appearance of your smile.
The colour of your teeth can change slowly over time and before you know it, your teeth are yellow or dark in colour. There are many reasons teeth can change colour, including the following…
Discolouration of teeth can be extrinsic, where the outer layer of the tooth becomes stained.
There are certain food and drink that can change the colour of your teeth over time – coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco are the main culprits in discolouration. It’s the food and drink you consume with high pigments of chromogens that latch on to your tooth which then causes staining.
If you just can’t let go of your morning coffee, there are tips to help you prevent the damage…
Whenever you drink or eat food that could potentially cause staining, brush your teeth immediately after consumption. Ensure you are taking care of your mouth on a daily basis by brushing your teeth twice a day, using antibacterial mouthwash and of course, seeking professional help with teeth whitening if it becomes a problem.
Discolouration could also be intrinsic, meaning that the inner structure of the tooth becomes dark and can appear to have a yellow colouring. This could be caused by a number of reasons such as the use of tetracycline antibiotics or trauma to the mouth.
Additionally, old age can also cause discolouration, as the tooth naturally turns yellow over time. The enamel that covers the teeth also gets thinner and other factors such as food and drinks can worsen the process.
If you find that your child has discolouration on their teeth, take them to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Options with River Practice

We have two successful treatments within River Practice and if you’re seeking a professional service in Truro, Cornwall you know where to come.
River Practice provides home teeth whitening kits, a simple way to keep on top of whitening your teeth with an easy method.
Moulds of your teeth will be taken within River Practice, from which a protective sleeve will be custom-made to protect your gums during the treatment. You will then be given full instructions on how to do the treatment, including advice on how much gel you should be using.
It will only take a few days to see the results!
The benefits of home whitening is that you can improve your teeth in the comfort of your own home. With regular applications of the gel, you will soon find an improvement, giving you the chance to regain your confidence in your smile and oral health.
Another alternative to remove stains is our in-surgery AirFlow jet spray. We use air, sodium bicarbonate and water to create an AirFlow system offering immediate results without any need of using bleach – creating amazing results you will love.

Home whitening

You may be tempted to try out the many teeth whitening kits when strolling around high street shops or online. Although they will brighten the appearance of your teeth, if you want to truly want to banish stains and reveal a polished look that will last, professional teeth whitening is needed to ensure your safety.
Buying whitening kits online can be dangerous as it can cause damage to the enamel and could potentially lead to more problems – always speak to a professional.

Whitening toothpaste

As discussed in the previous section, home whitening kits are only beneficial for removing surface stains – this is also the case with whitening toothpaste.
Whitening toothpaste contains a greater grainer substance than your average toothpaste, and it works at tackling the stains on the surface. It doesn’t however change the colour of your tooth but is certainly a good place to start.
Also make sure you are using an effective toothbrush that can work at removing tough stains, as this will benefit you more than the toothpaste you are using.

Ask questions

If you are interested in the treatment, make sure you contact your dentist first to discuss your options. This is your chance to find out more about teeth whitening, talk about the risks, benefits and costs involved. This way, you can ensure you are making the right decision with the help of a professional.

Teeth whitening not for you? Try these simple tips…

  • Visit your dentist regularly is important in maintaining good oral health. With every visit, your dentist can inform you of any problems or let you know if there is anything you can do to improve your oral health.
  • Visit your hygienist who can provide professional teeth cleaning, advice and so much more. This is a great way to keep on top of stains and prevent the build up of plaque from causing problems.
  • Meet our hygienist Ali or watch one of her episodes of Ask Ali below!

  • Brush your teeth after consuming food and drink that could potentially stain as it could stop the colour being left on the surface of your teeth.
  • If you can’t reach for a toothbrush, a good option is to rinse your mouth out with water as this can help get rid of the food or drink in your mouth.
  • Purchase an effective brush that can work at tackling tough stains and remove bacteria from your teeth.
  • Avoid coffee, tea and tobacco – over-consumption and poor oral health can lead to staining.
  • Contact River Practice today for a friendly chat and discuss your options.

Read our blog post: Why You Might Need A Hygienist

Contact River Practice today

If you have read this blog post and think teeth whitening treatment could be for you, contact our friendly team today. We can talk through your concerns and this will give you the chance to ask any questions, alongside getting advice from a professional.
Always talk to a professional and avoid any high street stores and online shops that stock teeth whitening products, as they could potentially harm your teeth and oral health.
Contact River Practice, Truro on 01872 242444 today.
Read more about our teeth whitening services in Cornwall, meet our team or visit our price guide.