If there’s one thing that’s often overlooked when it comes to our beauty regime, it’s dental care. I know, yawn, but who doesn’t want a sparkling smile? Having a mouthful of pearly whites instantly lifts your face and gives you a younger, more groomed appearance and that is not to be sniffed at. I’m not someone that shys away from the dentist, in fact I quite enjoy laying back and having someone clean my teeth! So when it came to considering pre-wedding cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening was up there.
Whether you have overly stained teeth or not, it’s easy to let your dental regime slip down the to-do list. But if you’re anything like me, morning cups of PG Tips, that delicious glass of Merlot on a Friday night and the odd curry on pay day all take their toll on our teeth to the point where manual brushing just doesn’t cut it anymore. I’ve always been intrigued by teeth whitening and have tried everything from expensive toothpaste to whitening strips and didn’t really see significant results from them.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been looking into more preventative cosmetic measures – nothing drastic, but I’ve got to the age where I want to take better care of myself and fix those niggly things that have annoyed me for years. I’ve never had a massive problem with my teeth but I wanted to lift the shade slightly and went to see my local dentist for his advice on professional teeth whitening. I’m so happy with the results that I thought I’d share my experience with you guys for any of you thinking of having teeth whitening.
WHAT’S THE PROCESS?
Ok, firstly, a quick disclaimer! I’m sure that everyone’s experience will be different depending on what your dentist offers but this is my personal process. Although you can have your teeth whitened then and there in the dentist, I wanted to have a professional kit at home so I can top it up whenever I want.
The first step in teeth whitening is to have a consultation with your local dentist or Smile clinic to see what options are available to you and if you’re eligible for the procedure. After confirming that I’d like to go ahead, my dentist took a mould of my top and bottom teeth using some very cold gym that fits over your teeth and takes an impression. These are then sent away to be made and a week or so later I was called back to collect them and the product.
The package includes a bottom and top shield to fit over your teeth and four syringes of 6% hydrogen peroxide. It doesn’t sound like a lot but you only need a pin-head amount of product in the trays to make a difference. Depending on how stained you teeth are you can leave the trays in for as little as 2 hours up to 8 hours or while you sleep.
After you’ve taken the shields out and brushed your teeth, it’s best to stay clear of the tea, wine and any coloured food for a couple of hours afterwards. After all, you don’t want to undo all your good work!
DOES IT STRIP YOUR ENAMEL?
Going into this process I was worried that I would be thinning my teeth or receding my gums but it’s a lot gentler than I was expecting. Admittedly it does take a small amount of enamel off initially but it comes back after half an hour with no long lasting damage.
DOES IT HURT
Teeth whitening is not painful at all. When you first put the shields in with the peroxide in you will feel a slight bubbling sensation for a couple of seconds as it settles onto your teeth. What does hurt, however is if you get the peroxide outside the tooth area on the shields – there’s a slight burning sensation when the product comes into contact with the gum so make sure you only put a small amount on the tooth area and wipe the gum area clean with a tissue.
This happened to me once and after a quick brush and swig of water it washed off the gum and I could carry on.
IS IT EXPENSIVE?
Let’s face it, it’s never going to be a price match for a tube of Colgate! But it wasn’t as bad as I thought and definitely cheaper than veneers. I paid £120 in all which was a January offer (who knew dentists had January sales too?!) But almost a year later, I still have two syringes left so it’s well worth every penny.