Getting your teeth whitened is the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry throughout the world. People love it because, no matter what the shape, position or condition of their teeth, it gives them a lift and makes their owner look more youthful and healthier.
But, like all cosmetic dental treatments, whitening is an investment and you will want your investment to last as long as possible. Let’s take a look at what causes tooth discolouration, how whitening works and how long it lasts.
Those nasty stains on your teeth
In the majority of cases, discolouration is caused by traces of things we have ingested getting caught in the pores of our tooth enamel. These traces of things like coffee, tea, red wine and berries are embedded in the pores and won’t come out with brushing or hygienist treatments. They build up over time.
There are some problems that whitening can’t fix, and in that case, we would probably recommend that you have veneers to cover up the discolouration.
Two ways to get whitening
At The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, we offer 2 ways to get your teeth whitened. You can come into the clinic and get your teeth whitened in around an hour. We use a fairly strong hydrogen peroxide gel that we paint onto your teeth and activate with a UV lamp. You can choose the shade of white you want to lighten to.
Alternatively, you can do the whitening yourself at home, using a milder gel and a set of bespoke gel trays we make from impressions of your teeth. These fit your teeth exactly to produce maximum contact between the gel and your teeth. You wear them for a short period each day and, depending on the depth of discolouration and how white you want to go, the results take 2-3 weeks to appear. The great thing about DIY home whitening is you can just buy more gel when you want to top up your treatment.
How long does whitening last?
It is generally reckoned that whitening treatments last about 18 months, but you can make them last longer by cleaning your teeth after every meal and avoiding the foods and drinks that cause staining.