Different Methods Of Teeth Whitening And Their Cost

A lot of people in the UK do not think that their teeth are bright enough to give them a beautiful smile. If you are among these persons, then there are different solutions to provide you with that bright smile you desire.

Choosing teeth whitening solution for the first time may be an easy choice to make because the teeth whitening options available are numerous. Most of the solutions advertised currently are both unsafe and ineffective.

This teeth whitening guide aims to explain the different teeth whitening options available, including those that may only waste your time and money. It also covers the professional and DIY teeth whitening solutions with their cost and level of effectiveness. This should help you choose the right whitening solution.

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Table of contents

History of tooth whitening

People have always wanted to whiten their teeth for thousands of years. Thousands of years back in Egypt, white teeth were associated with the wealthy who used a paste made from ground pumice stone mixed with wine vinegar to apply on their teeth using a frayed stick (the original toothbrush). The Romans in that time used urine probably because the ammonia component whitened the teeth.

In the 17th century, barbers usually took care of oral health. They were known to pull problematic teeth and also whiten the teeth by filing down the stained enamel then applying nitric acid to it.

With advancements and introduction of dentists, they discovered that peroxide was an excellent whitening agent in the 1960s. Twenty years later, commercial teeth whitening solution began to be sold. A technique used today like dental trays filled with thick whitening gel containing carbamide peroxide came into existence.

How do I whiten my teeth?

Different methods are available for whitening the teeth. Most of these whitening options have been tried and tested to be effective, and they include the following.

  • Gels
  • Lasers
  • Trays
  • Bleach
  • Toothpaste
  • Strips
  • Coconut oil

The best teeth whitening option is relative to the individual. It depends on the amount you are willing to spend, when you want to see the result and if you want a permanent effect from the whitening agent and the level of sensitivity of your teeth.

Most of these whitening solutions will work on only your natural teeth, and as such, if you have dental fillings, veneers or dentures, they will remain the same colour after the whitening procedure.

What causes teeth discolouration??

If your thought is centred around your teeth not being pearly white, the truth is, the teeth are not naturally sparkling white. The enamel which covers the teeth has a blueish-white colour, and it has a translucent property, so the yellow colour of the dentin below enamel reflects through it.

As we get older, the enamel becomes thin, and the teeth tend to become darker or more yellow. However, some certain external factors may accelerate the thinning process of the enamel. These external factors include:

Berries

Berries contain antioxidants which are beneficial to the health, but they have a deep hue which stains the teeth.

Sauces

Curry and tomato sauces also stain the teeth, and the acidity in tomato also aids faster thinning of the enamel. If you want to eat sauces, take those that are lighter and creamier to reduce tooth staining.

Coffee

The acidity and dark colour of coffee discolour and damage the teeth.

Tea

Tea, especially the black variant, can be more detrimental to the teeth than coffee. Light herbal teas also make the enamel thinner.

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Wine

Red wine contains tannins which make the teeth have grey colour. The tannin does not directly stain the teeth but makes existing stains look darker.

Sugary drinks

Sugary drinks cause tooth decay and also wear away the bright tooth enamel, making the teeth darker over time.

Smoking

Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar, which quickly stain the teeth. Heavy smokers are known to have brown teeth.

Braces

Braces usually help to straighten your teeth, but in the process, they may darken your teeth.

The best way to reduce the thinning process of the enamel and prevent your teeth from getting darker will be to avoid these things listed above, but, it may not be possible to avoid them altogether.

To minimise the staining effect of these foods, eat them alongside foods known to prevent stainings like apples, carrots, celery, lettuce, cheese and cauliflower. These foods prevent staining by either cleansing the teeth through friction or working to neutralise the damaging effect of acid on the enamel.

Although, you may have to whiten your teeth at some point if you want your smile to look bright.

What is the cost of teeth whitening?

At just a little cost, you can get a tube of whitening toothpaste, but on the other hand, procedures like laser treatment may cost you a few thousands.Generally, professional teeth whitening costs more than home teeth whitening procedures. With professional teeth whitening, you would be paying for the expertise of the dentist who helps you avoid certain risks and recommends the best treatment option for you.

The NHS does not cover either full, or part of tooth whitening cost except there is a medical reason for carrying out the procedure. In cases, where a damaged nerve causes darkening of the tooth, the NHS could cover for the whitening.

It is uncommon to find a dental insurance plan in the UK that provides coverage for cosmetic procedures like whitening the teeth. Still, most dentists offer payment plans to make the treatment affordable. A dental loan is also an option for paying for your teeth whitening.

Home teeth whitening kits

Home teeth whitening kits are convenient and affordable, and this makes them a popular option for whitening the teeth. There are different types available, but they all have a common ingredient which is a bleaching agent which you apply to the tray (mouthguard) inside your mouth.

Each variant has its application time but usually lasts for 10 – 30 minutes daily for 1 – 2 weeks. With home whitening kits, you can go about your daily activities while you whiten your teeth.

When choosing a home whitening kit, here are things to consider.

Where is the kit made?

Opt for kits made in the UK, US or EU because they have strict regulations when it comes to the ingredients used to produce the whitening gels. Also, check the ingredient list to know what gets into your mouth.

LED lightening kits

These kits are also called blue light whitening kits. They have an LED light that accelerates the effect of the bleachingagent. Some bleaching agents do not contain the LED light but an accelerator fluid which you apply before the whitening gel.

Fixed shape or mouldable trays

Some whitening kits have fixed shape mouthguards while others have thermoforming trays. To use the thermoforming tray, you have to place them in hot water and mould them into the shape of your teeth, so this type of trays usually fits the teeth better. Although moulding the tray may be difficult for some people, so they prefer fixed shape trays.

Here are two US-made home whitening kits that contain high-quality ingredients and may be suitable for you.

Smile Avenue professional tooth whitening kit

Smile Avenue is a US-made whitening kit new in the UK. It contains a whitening gel which is gentle on the teeth. It comes with a cleaning gel which you use to brush your mouth before applying the whitening gel.

To use this kit, you will attach the mouth tray to the LED accelerator light and place it in your mouth for about 20 minutes daily for two weeks. The kit comes with 3 x 10ml syringes of gel, which is more than what most whitening kits provide.

Snow teeth whitening kit

The whitening system of the Snow teeth whitening kit is a bit different from other whitening kits. The gel requires direct application on the teeth with a whitening pen and not in the whitening trays. The whitening procedure is less messy and conserves the whitening gel. The risk of the gel squirting out and damaging the gum is less, and it ensures even whitening of the teeth.

The Snow teeth whitening kit also has a premium wireless kit which contains a waterproof LED mouthpiece that you can use in the shower. The kits are US-made, so you are sure of a certain level of quality. Although Snow teeth whitening kit is more expensive than the standard tooth whitening kits, you get more value for what you pay.

Teeth whitening with a dentist

Visitinga dentist towhiten your teeth is usually the best, especially if you have the money. Teeth whitening with a dentist is effective, safe, and the dentist will discuss the three main options available with you.

Laser teeth whitening

In laser teeth whitening, the dentist uses lasers to accelerate the effect of the bleaching agent applied on the teeth. Laser teeth whitening is the most expensive teeth whitening procedure, but it also produces an instant result.

Before the procedure, your dentist will apply a rubber seal on your gums before applying the bleaching product (hydrogen peroxide-based bleach). The seal helps to protect your gums. Your dentist will quicken the whitening process using laser light. In one dental visit, you would have the bright smile you desire, although, you may likely experience sensitivity afterwards.

Zoom teeth whitening

The Zoom whitening procedure works like the laser whitening, but it uses LED lights instead of laser lights to accelerate the teeth whitening process.

The whitening system is not as intense as the laser whitening, and the chances of having teeth sensitivity are less. You may need about 3 – 4 sessions, each involving a 45 – 60 minutes session with the dentist to whiten your teeth. To prolong the effect of the whitening, you may need to use a home whitening treatment.

Professional bleaching

Professional bleaching involves using custom trays to apply professional tooth whitening gel on the teeth. The whitening gel for professional bleaching is more effective than the ones used in DIY whitening kits.

First, your dentist will take your teeth impressions then create custom mouth trays for you. When you get your mouth trays, you will carry out the remaining whitening procedure at home. You can use some professional whiteninggels overnight if you do not have the time to wear it during the day. Your dentist will inform you about the professional bleaching options available.

Other home whitening treatments

Teeth whitening kits are one very effective option for whitening the teeth at home. There are products which you can use to brighten your smile from the comfort of your home. You can use these home whitening kits for mild whitening effects or maintain the bright shade of your teeth.

Teeth whitening strips

You can place the teeth whitening strips directly on the teeth, so the strips are easy to use and more hygienic than gels and trays.

Some whitening strips do not contain peroxide, but others still rely on the whitening effect of peroxide compounds. You need to apply the strips for about 30 minutes daily then remove them, but some strips dissolve on their own after 10 – 15 minutes.

Whitening strips are effective in whitening the front teeth but not the back teeth and uneven teeth surfaces. The strips may not cover all surfaces of the teethso you may have irregular patches of whitened teeth.

Teeth whitening pens

Whitening pens are similar to brushes, and they contain a small tube of gel which you apply to your teeth while brushing. Most whitening pens contain hydrogen peroxide, and they are convenient to use. The whitening pens are small,so you can carry them with you.

The treatment lasts for 1 – 2 weeks, and you need to use the pen 2 – 3 times daily for 10 – 30 minutes. Whitening pens only whiten the teeth by a few shades.

Whitening toothpaste and toothbrushes

Most people opt for whitening toothpaste, but some brands are abrasive and can scratch the enamel of the teeth and even stain the teeth more. Some toothbrushes, both electric and manual help remove stains from the teeth. Daily use of most whitening toothpaste causes increased sensitivity.

The whitening kinds of toothpaste that work only remove the surface stains, so if your teeth are naturally yellow, whitening toothpaste won’t change the colour of your teeth. You can only use whitening toothpaste to ensure that the effect of other whitening treatment lasts longer.

Using whitening toothpaste is the cheapest solution for teeth whitening, and this makes it a popular whitening treatment.

Summary of at-home teeth whitening

The table below summarises the different at-home teeth whitening treatments and their cost.

Treatment option

Approximate cost

Duration of treatment

Time for a result to show

comments

Teeth whitening strips

£12 - £25

10 – 20 minutes application for 1 – 2 weeks

1 – 2 weeks

No gel and peroxide-free variants are available

Whitening pens

£7 - £20

10 – 30 minutes per application for 1 – 2 weeks 

2 – 7 days

Convenient, quick result but peroxide causes sensitivity

Whitening toothpaste

£2 - £10

5 – 6 minutes (average time for brushing)

2 – 3 weeks

Removes only surface stains

Whitening the teeth naturally

Natural teeth whitening is not as quick as other types of teeth whitening. Some people have used these natural teeth whitening remedies and claim that they did an excellent job in whitening the teeth. They may be effective whitening agents, but the result does not show overnight.

Coconut oil

Coconut is a traditional Indian remedy for improving oral health. Swish a small quantity of coconut oil in your mouth for about 10 – 15 minutes every dayto get the oralbenefits of the oil, but you need to brush afterwards. The coconut oil should make your teeth feel cleaner.

Homemade whitening paste

Homemade whitening paste is a mixture of baking soda and water with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Rub the mixture on your teeth for 30 seconds then brush the teeth normally.

Activated charcoal

Using activated charcoal immediately makes the teeth black, but once you wash out the charcoal, the shade of your teeth becomes brighter.

Mashed strawberries

You can mash some strawberries and apply them directly to your teeth for a few minutes then rinse it off afterwards. The acid in strawberries can damage the teeth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar removes dark stains on the teeth when you gently rub it on the teeth, then rinse it off with water. After the application, brush normally, but you need it for about a month to get a good result.

Activated charcoal

Although charcoal makes the teeth black following application, the charcoal removes stains on the teeth by binding to stains and removing them when you wash off the charcoal. Charcoal powders and toothpaste are popular whitening solutions in the UK.

A popular natural product in the UK for whitening the teeth is the Very Good Smile Teeth Whitening Powder. It is about 30 grams, and you can use it for about 2 – 3 months. You can either apply the powder directly on your teeth or mix it with other ingredients if you want to form a homemade whitening paste. The powder is non-abrasive and effectively removes coffee, tea, tobacco, and wine stains to give your teeth a brighter look.

Whitening sensitive teeth

If you have sensitive teeth or experienced teeth sensitivity in the past, you should speak to your dentist before you whiten your teeth. If after whitening your teeth, you feel intense pain, also talk to your dentist who may administer topical pain relievers.

If you want to use home whitening teeth to brighten your teeth, and your teeth are sensitive, you may want to use the whitening kit for part the time recommended by the manufacturer first. For example, if you need to use the whitening kit for 15 minutes, try using it for five minutes on the first application to check the effect on your teeth.

Opt for products that are hydrogen peroxide-free because they cause less sensitivity and products with potassium nitrate and fluoride may be as effective as pain relievers.

How to keep your teeth white after the treatment

Whitening treatments do not offer a permanent solution, but there are ways to ensure that the whitening effect lasts for a long time.

  • Limit your intake of things that can stain the teeth
  • Take acidic or sugary drinks using a straw.
  • After eating any stain-causing food, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum
  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly

Ensure that you visit a dental hygienist regularly to scale and polish your teeth as this prevents the build-up of bacteria and plaque that could cause tooth decay.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Teeth whitening is safe when you get a dentist for the treatment. A dental professional can perform different whitening procedures and will recommend another treatment if you are not suitable for teeth whitening.

Local beauty salons and other mobile whitening services may offer teeth whitening treatments, but they are not professionally trained to carry out the treatment.

You may decide to use teeth whitening kits which are safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Try not to exceed the recommended time or amount of whitening gel.

If you have concerns about a whitening treatment, speak to your dentist. You could also talk to some persons who used that whitening treatment.

Teeth whitening reviews

Before you opt for teeth whitening solution, check online for reviews. This should help you know what to expect during and after your treatment. However, some whitening brands may give out their products to influencers to get good reviews.

Bear in mind that different people will get different results and experiences using the same product when searching for online reviews.

Conclusion

You can get different teeth whitening solutions. Although teeth whitening from a dentistis usually more expensive, it offers you professional and supervised treatment.

Other whitening solutions like the home whitening kits, strips, and gels are also effective and less expensive. Most of these solutions are safe, but they could cause sensitivity. They are most effective for maintaining whitening results.

For your professional teeth whitening with an experienced dentist, contact London Braces on 020 37457520 to book an appointment.

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