Teeth whitening is the process of lightening the teeth to its original colour and beyond, teeth become discoloured due to various reasons. However the most common reasons are due to food and drink, such as cola’s, coffee, tea and red wine. Smoking is also a massive contributor to discoloured teeth leaving the teeth very dull and grey, in some cases tar and nicotine stick to plaque and form stubborn stains, which cannot be removed with brushing alone Age also has an impact on the colour of teeth, as we get older our enamel wears thin causing the dentine below which is naturally yellow to become visible, or cause intrinsic staining (staining within the tooth).
The most common and widely used method used to improve the colour of teeth is peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide (HP) and Carbamide peroxide (CP) are both used for teeth whitening treatments; however it is more likely that a dentist will use Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is 3:1 stronger than Carbamide with 12% HP approximately equivalent to 36% peroxide. In most cases dentist will use HP and give the patient CP to take home, HP is faster acting than CP. CP must first convert into HP before the whitening occurs and this can happen from 10-15 minutes.
So what is the right treatment for you? Professional or Home teeth whitening?
Before you opt for professional teeth whitening here are some of the things you should consider.
Cost and affordability:
As mentioned earlier, although the cost of professional teeth whitening has reduced over the years the prices in the UK can be very high. Professional teeth whitening can be performed in salons, beauty room’s by dentist and by mobile technicians. However all options come with a considerable price tag.
Dentist can cost anything from £300-£1000, agreed this is a hefty price tag, as with anything the results will vary depending on overall staining of the tooth and structure of the tooth.
If you choose not to have an in office treatment with your dentist you can opt for a whitening kit, which will be given to take home, usually with custom fitted trays and Carbamide peroxide, with prices ranging from £100-£300.
Teeth whitening performed by a beauty therapist rather than a dental professional tends to be cheaper averaging around £99-£170. Good results can be achieved from these types of treatments however in most circumstances you will be paying for a one off treatment or a course of two treatments. Beauty therapists are more likely to use Carbamide peroxide and non peroxide gels such as sodium perborate.
It is important that you speak with your whitening technician or dentist to ensure that the product being used is suitable for you, and that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. It is also important to ensure that your treatment is carried out by a competent person; therefore it is recommended that you do your home work, and check for local reviews.
You can get some fantastic results with professional treatments’ ranging from 8-12 shades lighter in some cases, however this does range on different variables such as, treatment application times, is there any additional after care? Or additional whitening treatments to be used at home?
Home teeth whitening
Home teeth whitening has always been something that has been widely available in the USA, however this hasn’t always been true in Britain. Research shows that British women spend £18,000 on beauty products in their lifetime, with Briton’s spending more on their appearance than ever, teeth whitening has seen dramatic increases over the years. Although we are spending more on beauty products, do consumers really want to spend more on professional products which can give you the same results as home treatments?
There are various products on the market for home teeth whitening such as crest whitening strips, which contain peroxide, whitening gels containing sodium perborate, or gels containing both HP and CP.
Due to the continued improvements of teeth whitening, results of up to 10 shades whiter can be achieved. However the time taken to get these results will be at an increased rate, whilst there will be a saving on price, the time spent will be longer if you opt for home teeth whitening.
Things to consider if you opt from home teeth whitening.
Cost and affordability
The old adage goes, you get what you pay for, however this does not quite ring true with home teeth whitening kits, and you can in many cases spend 10 times less than in office treatments to get the same results.
Home treatments can cost anywhere from £10-£150, some kits do come with boil and bite trays that can be moulded to your teeth. Trays are then filled with the gel, and in some cases an LED accelerating blue light may be included.
When buying your teeth whitening product it is important that you do your home work and ensure that the products you are using are safe and regulated. It is best to get products that are manufactured in the USA, as these will be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or products manufactured in the E.U.
It is also important that you follow the instructions provided to ensure that you get the best results safely.
Similar results can be achieved with home kits, with some home kits boosting 10 shades whiter. As technologies evolve as does the overall improvement in tooth colour.