Dr Neha Rathod, Aesthetic and General Dentist at King’s College Hospital London Dubai shares her sentiments regarding teeth whitening, as well as the options you might have.
If there could be one unmistakably universal way to say ‘hello’, it would be through smiling. And if you could throw in some pearly white teeth into the mix, then the ‘hello’ would become warmer. That is why most of us are always searching for ways to brighten that smile through different cosmetic dental procedures, with teeth whitening being at the top of the list.
Teeth whitening is a very gentle and predictable way of brightening the smile, which gives your teeth a little bit more life to them by changing their colour. The procedure is conservative, and it’s not destructive to the teeth. In short, it’s not harmful if it’s done appropriately and using the right products.
There are a lot of products in the market that claim to do the job, as well as gimmicky fads like charcoal toothpaste, which is not something that really whitens your teeth. So, if you’re going to look for something that will actually change the colour of your teeth effectively, it’s got to be cosmetic teeth whitening treatment.
Home teeth-whitening is a very gentle and comfortable way of doing it. For this, you would have customised trays made for your teeth, then your cosmetic dentist would give you the bleach to put in the tray and apply to your teeth on a daily basis until you are happy with the colour that you see.
There are different strengths of bleach involved. For instance, if your teeth are quite sensitive, we would give you a very gentle one. And if your teeth are not particularly sensitive, we can start you on a higher strength. Additionally, we can tailor them to suit your teeth.
During the home teeth whitening process, you can always skip a night or two if you’re getting a bit of sensitivity, until you get comfortable throughout and the teeth gradually get brighter. After your desired whiteness has been achieved, you can keep your kit and use it for one or two nights every couple of months.
In terms of duration, a consistent 4 weeks is recommended if you’re using the gentlest bleach. And to achieve the best results, you have to be totally committed. If you take the time to do it every day it will work really well for you. After all, it’s a very easy process that’s not technically difficult.
Chair Teeth Whitening
Chair-side teeth whitening is the opposite of home teeth whitening in that it gives very instant results. For home kits, it might take weeks to get you there. The process of chair-side whitening is quicker, whereby you come in, sit in the chair, we apply bleach to your teeth then we shine a light on it, which accelerates the bleach, leaving you with a brighter smile at the end of your appointment. We usually repeat the cycles for as many times as you’re comfortable with, up to a maximum of maybe three or four cycles. The bleach that we use is usually stronger than the bleach in a home kit.
If you have sensitive teeth, chair-side teeth whitening is probably not the best option because the strength of the bleach is a bit higher. On the other hand, there are things you can do to make your teeth a little bit less sensitive before you come in for the treatment.
Combination of both
If you are looking for the end results of your teeth to be whiter than before, the best option would be a combination of the two teeth whitening options. Here you’ll have the chair whitening to kickstart the teeth whitening process, giving you an instantly brighter smile. After this, you’ll need to use the home kit to top up a little bit until you’re happy, and then to keep using it for maintenance purposes a few nights a month.
When you want teeth whitening, you may want to stay away from things like smoking, coloured juices, tea, coffee and anything similar. If you keep up with such habits, then obviously the results won’t last as long.
- Teeth whitening, whether chair or home, only lightens the natural colour of your teeth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on veneers, crowns, fillings and any other types of teeth dental work.
- If you’re wondering if the chair or home teeth whitening is safe, then the answer is yes, but only if it’s done under the supervision of a certified cosmetic dentist.
- The results of the teeth whitening process can last for months, even years, but it all depends on your lifestyle. At some point, the teeth will start to get discoloured again due to what you eat, and mostly if you’re a smoker. That’s why the home kit is recommended to be used once or twice a month after the chair teeth whitening.
- Like most treatments out there, teeth whitening has its own share of side effects. These include sensitivity to cold and heat. Fortunately, this discomfort lasts for only a couple of days.
- Some teeth whitening home remedies that are usually hyped up for their ‘magic powers’ might be causing more harm than good. For instance, baking soda might be good at removing surface stains, but it’s also quite abrasive towards your enamel.
Home whitening kit and the chair-side whitening are available for AED1,200. To book an appointment, visit King’s College Hospital London Dubai