What to Expect with Home Teeth Whitening Treatment

What to Expect with Home Teeth Whitening Treatment

Kent Teeth Whitening

For home teeth whitening in Kent, your dentist will give you a bleaching kit and bleaching trays for you to apply at home. It is necessary when it comes to wearing the trays and applying the bleaching agent that you follow the instructions of your dentist and the manufacturer. 

How long do you have to wear the trays for?

The length of time you should wear the trays depends on two factors: the amount of whitening you desire and the original shade of your teeth. The darker or more tetracycline stained your teeth are the longer they will take to bleach. 

If you are not experiencing any sensitivity you may wear the trays for at least 1-2 hours and even sleep with their trays in your mouth. It is very important to remove all the excess material around the gums or the palate prior to sleeping with the trays.

Some teeth can whiten after just 1 month, however tetracycline stained teeth can take 6 months or up to a year to bleach. It does not matter if you forget or are unable to wear the trays for a few days because you are too busy; whiten your teeth according to your schedule. Some like to wear the trays after dinner for an hour whilst they watch TV, then if everything is fine they replenish the trays and sleep with them in the mouth.

What do I do if I have any sensitivity? 

The most common side effect of home bleaching is teeth sensitivity. This usually occurs around the necks of the teeth where the gums have receded. If you do experience sensitivity, you should stop bleaching for 3 or 4 days, and then resume. If the teeth become very sensitive you can add sensitive toothpaste to the bleaching trays for an hour a day, which will usually stop the sensitivity. 

Alternatively you can rub the desensitising toothpaste into the gum margins with your finger five times a day for a few days. If you are at all concerned, please call your dentist.

What if your teeth do not bleach evenly? 

If your teeth have white spots on them prior to bleaching then these spots will appear whiter during the first few days. The contrast will reduce though and eventually they will not be noticeable. It is possible for the dentist to perform a procedure called micro abrasion where the white spots can be more permanently removed. Please ask your dentist about this procedure if you are concerned about this. 

You might find new spots or lighter areas occurring whilst undertaking the bleaching treatment. These spots were already present, and become more visible as the teeth become lighter. These spots will fade however as the whole tooth becomes lighter. 

How will my teeth feel after the teeth whitening process? 

The teeth usually feel very clean after the bleaching procedures. The bleaching materials also have an indirect effect on the gums by helping them to heal and improve their health. This is how the technique was invented originally, as it was first used to heal gum irritation during orthodontic treatment. 

What about my smile? 

Teeth whitening will make your smile appear brighter. In some very rare circumstances the teeth do not lighten at all. If this happens you may need to try a different bleaching product. If you have white fillings that match your existing shade of your teeth they may not match after bleaching. This is due to your teeth lightning but the fillings not lightening.  

When the desired colour has been achieved, your dentist can replace your fillings to a lighter shade to match your teeth. 

How long will the bleaching last? 

Normally the white colour of your teeth will keep well after bleaching. The effect will depend on what caused the teeth to discolour in the first place. The effect may darken slightly if you smoke or drink lots of tea, coffee or red wine. Some patients choose to do a top up treatment after 3 or 4 years, though many do not need to. 

Does bleaching harm your teeth? 

Studies have shown that bleaching using a dentist prescribed technique is perfectly safe on your teeth, cheeks, gums and mouth tissues. The pH of the bleaching material is neutral. 

There are however risks with bleaching kits that are bought over the counter. They are inexpensive and normally contain an acid rinse, which can thin the enamel of the teeth. The acid rinse can be extremely harmful to the teeth. 

It is also not advisable to bleach your teeth if you smoke. It is best to stop smoking for 3 weeks before starting the procedure. This is because smoking causes the teeth to darken. 

There are some situations where bleaching teeth is contraindicated – such as when front teeth are already crowned or have large fillings on them, or if teeth are already excessively worn and there is evidence of tooth surface loss.

Contact us for Teeth Whitening in Kent

To learn more about the teeth whitening services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us