April 12, 2024

Best Options To Whiten Your Teeth Safely

How does teeth whitening work?

«Teeth whitening works by lightening teeth from the inside out,» explains celebrity dentist Dr Richard Marques at Wimpole Street Dental (the man responsible for the smiles of Rita Ora and Binky Felstead). «The whitening solution usually contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (although some methods do use other agents such as sodium perborate but these are generally considered less effective). »

«The peroxide solutions basically bleach or whiten the enamel, which is the outer covering of the tooth, and the dentine, which is the inside of the tooth. When both the enamel and dentine are bleached or whitened you get a much improved colour of the teeth that is usually sustained well for the long term,» he says.

Do at-home teeth whitening treatments also use hydrogen peroxide?

«Clinics use hydrogen peroxide as well as home kits. Home kits can only use very very low levels of peroxide which is why they are not that effective. In clinic we are allowed to use higher concentrations as they are administered by a dentist, which gets much better results,» says Dr Marques.

Due to regulations, the UK uses a 6% hydrogen peroxide solution (or up to 16% Carbamide Peroxide Solution as this is 3 to 1 of hydrogen peroxide so under 6% Hydrogen peroxide contained in 16% Carbamide Peroxide). In the USA, however, they can use 25% or more of hydrogen peroxide, though this can burn gums and cause sensitivity. These effects can be permanent so the teeth whitening in America is much more high-risk.

Is hydrogen peroxide safe for your teeth?

“The main reported side effect of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity, but it’s important to remember that this should only be temporary,” says Dr Derek Swan, dentist and partner at New Town Dental Care. “If you do start to experience sensitive teeth, try brushing with a specially targeted sensitive toothpaste to help reduce this, and it should fade over time. Some patients also report a soreness of the gums, but again this should be a temporary effect that will subside. To avoid causing sore gums, make sure that you’re not using too much whitening gel in your at-home applications, and be sure to wipe away any excess gel from the gums, as this can cause soreness. If your symptoms persist, visit your dentist. ”

When it comes to the question of whether teeth whitening damages the enamel, Dr Ayah Siddiqi, advanced aesthetic practitioner, cosmetic dentist and CurrentBody resident LED expert, explains that the answer is a firm no. “The main portion of the tooth, the dentin, is the portion of the tooth that’s responsible for your teeth’s colour. The teeth are first coated with a whitening solution on the front surface of the tooth,” she says. “The solution will then travel through the tooth enamel to the dentin. The stained tissue in the inner layer will begin to lighten. ”

Does LED light treatment actually work?

The whitening lamps used in clinics are of a very high grade so get very good effects. And while at-home LED kits may not be just as effective, they’ve improved significantly in the past several years and should definitely not be slept on.

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