Teeth whitening is a fast and relatively simple process that can make a dramatic difference to your appearance and confidence. Perhaps you’d like to whiten your teeth as a treat after quitting smoking for good. Or maybe, it’s a beauty update that’s been on your wishlist for a while. Whatever your reasons for whitening your teeth, it’s important to get the most out of the process to ensure the brightest, whitest smile. After all, if you’re going to invest in this cosmetic treatment, it’s vital that you know how to care for your teeth before and after the procedure. To make things easier, our experts have compiled a list of five essential things you need to know before you start the teeth whitening process. Read on and find out all you need to know.
1. Get to grips with the whitening process
As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to have a good understanding of the process and how it will affect your body before you continue. When it comes to teeth whitening, there are actually two types of whitening available, with each type focusing on one of the two ways that our teeth are whitened.
Intrinsic whitening will whiten the inner section of the tooth, combating the effects of yellowing due to ageing, fillings, disorders, genetics and heavy staining. The inner part of the tooth will soak up the whitening bleach or gel, becoming lighter and causing the outer layer of enamel to appear whiter.
Extrinsic whitening is a faster and easier process, which is effective for less invasive stains. This is when the outer part of the tooth (the enamel) is lightened by removing the stains from the tooth. This type of yellowing tends to be caused by external effects such as smoking, drinking wines, teas and other acidic and pigmented foods or drinks. Extrinsic whitening is a faster dental procedure, as stains are often easily removed with whitening polish from your dental hygienist. You can also use a tailor-made whitening tray at home as a DIY alternative.
2. Make sure to ask as many questions as you need
Feeling comfortable and safe is important when it comes to whitening, as it can sometimes take a few hours to complete (wear a moisturising lip balm before your treatment to prevent dry or chapped lips). Before you decide to go ahead with your procedure, make sure to ask every and any question that you can think of to ensure your peace of mind. It will help ease your nerves as well as help to make the procedure a more comfortable process. Understanding the type of whitening that you will be having, as well as the reasons that your teeth yellowed, is also an important factor when it comes to your aftercare.
3. Remember, teeth whitening will only affect your real teeth
If you have crowns or fillings, you may need to consider getting them replaced to match your newly, whitened teeth. The whitening process will only affect your real teeth, so any fillings or crowns will remain unchanged. This is something that your dentist will likely cover in your consultation, but it is important to keep in mind as it will mean incurring extra costs and procedures.
4. You may be left with tooth sensitivity
It doesn’t apply to everyone, but some people experience tooth and gum sensitivity during the whitening process due to the chemicals used. If you already suffer from sensitive teeth, it’s very likely that you will be affected. Speak to your dentist for tips on aftercare and the right toothpaste to use that will help to reduce or stop your sensitivity. Luckily, it’s uncommon that the sensitivity will continue once your treatment is finished.
Stock up on the Right Foods and Drinks
In the 24 hours after your whitening process has been completed, your teeth will be more susceptible to staining and damage. It’s important to avoid heavy staining foods and drinks during this period, to ensure your teeth look their best. Avoid highly acidic fruits and drinks that can damage your enamel, as well as items such as wine, tea, coffee and more.
Also, remember that teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure and, in time, your teeth will discolour. Use this as a reason to kick the smoking habit for good, reduce the red wine, tea and coffee drinking and be more mindful of what you put in your mouth.
Feeling ready to begin your teeth whitening process? Contact our friendly team by calling 020 8459 2324.