Did you know that a straight, white smile can make you seem younger, more intelligent and more likely to be in a relationship? Whatever your reasons for wanting a perfect white smile, there are a few things to consider. Here are some of the most common questions we come across.

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening involves making your teeth lighter using bleach. Whilst Teeth whitening won’t make your teeth brilliant white, it can lighten the existing colour by several shades.

Who can perform teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening should only be performed by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist.

Although some beauty salons offer teeth whitening, it is illegal if there’s no dental professional present, and it may put your oral health at risk.

It’s important to remember that Teeth Whitening is a form of dentistry and should be indertaken with the same degree of seriousness as any other dental work.

You can buy DIY home teeth whitening kits, although these will have a lower bleach content and will therefore be less effective than the work a dentist will do. Be aware that home based DIY kits may also carry risks.

How is Teeth Whitening done?

If you decide to have teeth whitening you will need to make several visits to the dental surgery. First of all, it’s important to check the overall health of your mouth and to establish if Teeth Whitening is the right treatment for you.

Next, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth to make a mouthguard and will instruct you how to use it with a bleaching gel. Then, using your mouthguard at home, you regularly apply the gel for a specified period of time over the next few weeks.

Can any dentist whiten teeth?

Yes, provided they are registered with the General Dental Council. Registered dental therapists and dental hygienists can also carry out teeth whitening on the prescription of a dentist. If you are considering having teeth whitening at anywhere other than your regular dental surgery make sure that you are treated by someone who is qualified – don’t be afraid to ask!

What are the risks of home kits and salon teeth whitening?

Home kits usually don’t contain as much of the whitening product as dentists can use – this is to protect you from serious harm – however it means that home kits often aren’t as effective as visiting the dentist. Another risk is that if your mouthguard isn’t fitted properly the bleaching gel may leak into your mouth causing blisters and sensitivity.

Can you have your teeth whitened on the NHS?

Teeth whitening is considered as a cosmetic treatment and therefore is usually only available privately. There are some circumstances where it is available on the NHS, typically if there is a medical reason behind the requirement.

How do you go about getting teeth whitening?

We will be able to advise you whether whitening is right for you. For example, if you have crowns, or Gum disease then teeth whitening may not be a good option for you.

What questions should I ask the dentist before going ahead?

Ask us any questions you need to in order to feel comfortable about the procedure. We like to explain as much detail as possible, such as what results you can expect and how to look after your teeth during and after the treatment. We can also talk to you about any particular risks that might concern you, such as increasing sensitivity of the teeth.

Is teeth whitening permanent?

Results do vary from person to person, but teeth whitening is never permanent. If you smoke, drink red wine or lots of tea and coffee the results may not last as long as all of those things stain your teeth.

Will teeth whitening work on false teeth?

No. Teeth whitening won’t work on dentures, crowns, veneers or fillings.

What are the risks of teeth whitening?

The main risks involve in teeth whitening are that you may sensitive to the chemicals used, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. There’s also a chance of burns to gums and some of the whitening kits used at home can harm tooth enamel. We ensure everything possible is done to minimise the risk to you.

If you would like to know more about having teeth whitening here in Barnoldswick then we’d love to hear from you! Please call us at the practice on 01282 570195