Tooth whitening is a very simple and safe procedure – if done correctly!
Very simply, the process involves placing a bleaching gel onto the teeth. The gel is most often a carrier for Hydrogen Peroxide (ie peroxide blonde teeth!).The gel is wiped onto the tooth enamel where it bleaches out the stains and pigment that have soaked into the surface over the years.
As we get older, the enamel on our teeth becomes more translucent – it shows through what is underneath – and we see more of the darker dentine that lies below the enamel. The best thing about this procedure is that it makes tooth enamel more opaque; this simply means the teeth will reflect more light, which in turn makes them look whiter and younger.
Since 1995, when tooth whitening hit the world, there has been increasing pressure to make it faster and more extreme (never a good recipe for health and longevity – compare it to short-termism in banking and finance!). High-speed ‘power’ bleaching has become popular and from our observations there is a strong link between extreme whitening and extreme tooth sensitivity.
Our method is it to take a more gentle approach, which simultaneously reduces the risk to teeth yet the outcome is the same whiteness. We just take it a little slower by using the home whitening trays only (unless the teeth are resistant to this gentle approach).
The end result with tooth whitening is that the teeth will look cleaner, younger, whiter and, most importantly, natural. However, the key is to avoid the teeth becoming too white! The slower method gives each patient control so they don’t end up looking like a stand in for a lighthouse every time they smile.
For most people, all that is required is to wear the home whitening trays for one hour each day for up to five days in a row. The procedure is simply as follows:
- brush the teeth
- place a small drop of the whitening gel into the tray
- place the tray over the teeth and keep in place for one hour
- remove the tray
- rinse the mouth (brushing the teeth is a good idea!)
- finally, clean the tray.
That’s it… Simple! Safe! Effective! Reliable!