FAQs about Teeth Whitening

How will long it last?

Teeth Whitening can last a lifetime.   What you need to do is have the first course of treatment and you have to be very strict about following the plan.  This takes 10 consecutive days when you use the whitening trays and gel.  Doing it over his time frame really lets the treatment destroy the stains on the teeth.  You then store the trays safely and put into your diary 6 months hence and do one whitening application at home.  Keep doing this every 6 months and the whitening should last forever.

What are trays?

Trays are just like very thin splints that are made to fit your teeth perfectly.    We take an impression of your teeth and the technician makes your unique tray which fits as close as possible to your gums and has a reservoir to hold the gel

Why is this important?

The whitening gels that are on the open market – i.e. freely available on the internet and in shops, are very weak.  They need to be weak because when you apply the gel to your teeth, it goes not only onto your teeth but into the rest of your mouth and you will inevitably swallow some.  Therefore it has to be safe to ingest, but to be safe, it is not strong.

Indeed it is now illegal for anyone except a licensed Dentist to sell effective strength whitening gel.  You might also be offered, say at a Beautician, a bicarbonate of soda based product which is also mostly ineffective and any results are short lived.

The gel is strong peroxide and could damage gums and the mouth lining.  That’s why precision made trays to fit your mouth exactly are important to ensure maximum safety and maximum effect.

Why is it important to use the Gel?

Your teeth are like glass but not just as perfect a surface.  Each tooth has minute pores and tiny cracks which appear as a result of everyday use.  Staining occurs when liquids seep through these tiny cracks and discolours the inside of the tooth which cannot be cleaned with normal cleaning.  Our teeth also get darker as we get older. So, not unlike cleaning a stained tea cup with household bleach, teeth need to be cleaned with the special gel. 

How does it work?

Because staining has built up over a long time, it takes time to clean it.  After cleaning your teeth thoroughly at night, you put the gel onto the tray and place into your mouth and wear for the recommended time.  This will vary from patient to patient and is dependent on the gel recommended.  We recommend 10 consecutive treatments for the best possible result.

Anything else I need to do when treating my teeth?

You only need two appointments.  At the first appointment we will check your teeth and existing fillings.  What we don’t want is to find you have a bad filling which is cracked and will allow the gel to seep inside and perhaps damage the nerve.  If everything is OK, we will take the impressions for the Trays at the same appointment.  You will then comeback when the Trays are ready and we will show you how to use them and the gel.

How long will I have to keep the trays and gel in place during the 10 day cycle?

It can be anything from 1 hour daily to 8/10 hours depending on your lifestyle and the sensitivity of your teeth.  We normally find that 3 – 4 hours is adequate.

Anything else?

While you are whitening, you shouldn’t take black tea or red wine.  We will review your diet for any possible foods or drinks that might cause staining.

How will long it last?

It’s a gradual process over the 10 days so that’s why we take a shade match at the start to let you see results at the end of the cycle.  And remember, it lasts for a lifetime as long as you remember to do the monthly top up treatments.