Ever seen a celebrity with stained teeth? A bright white smile is the most important accessory you could have.
White, unstained teeth not only improve your self-confidence but also your social standing and job prospects, so it’s no surprise that more and more of us are turning to whitening treatments.
Usually performed in a dental office or salon (but always by a dental professional), there are professional whitening treatments that are designed to bleach your teeth back to a brighter, whiter colour. Say goodbye to that horrible staining!
How much does teeth whitening cost?
Teeth whitening treatments must be carried out by a qualified dentist or other regulated dental professional and as a result, it almost always takes place in a dentist’s office although a large part of the treatment is actually carried out at home.
The costs vary practice to practice and, because you will have to attend multiple appointments over a period of a few weeks or months, teeth whitening treatments can be expensive overall.
First let’s take a look at what a typical teeth whitening treatment involvesA consultation with your dentistAn individually fitted mouth guard – it’s very important that the mouth guard has been made from a mould of your personal teeth as an imperfectly fitting mouth guard could let the chemicals through to your gums.The first whitening treatment is usually done in officeBleaching gel that you will apply at home over a period of a few weeksMonitoring and check-ups
Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments
Your dentist will most likely offer you two types of treatment.Chemical bleaching that takes several weeks, sometimes a couple of months.Power whitening, which takes around a week and works by using laser light to speed a similar process.
Cost of Regular Teeth Whitening
In the UK most regional dental offices offer professional teeth whitening treatments from just £200-£300.
These are treatments that include a personalised mouth guard, consultations and in office treatments as well as a take-home teeth whitening kit and check-ups.
Cost of Power Teeth Whitening
These treatments involve a more hands-on approach from your dentist including the use of laser light beams. As a result, this kind of treatment usually starts at £500.
Can I get Teeth Whitening treatments on the NHS?
NHS Dentistry only covers procedures that are required for good overall dental and oral health and this doesn’t cover cosmetic dental procedures in general. However, if you have a tooth that is discoloured due to damage, such as a root canal, then you may be able to have it whitened under the NHS price plans by your NHS dentist.
Can I just do a home whitening kit instead?
There are lots of home whitening kits on the market that are very similar to what a professional dentist will use and give to you. Many contain gel, strips or pens and often contain chemicals such as peroxide to white the teeth.
At around £20-40, these home teeth whitening kits are obviously a lot cheaper than professional teeth whitening treatment but are they safe?
Without the regulation and controls that professional dental teeth whitening treatments go through, home-whitening kits can carry risks, not least because you won’t have an individually fitted mouth guard.
However, many people have had excellent experiences with home whitening kits, especially if used properly and carefully. If you want to give home teeth whitening kits a try before considering the cost of professional teeth whitening then
Do you have pain when you eat hot or cold foods? Discomfort when you drink? How about a sharp pain when you breathe cold air through your teeth?
Sensitive teeth are very common and are caused by many different things, from gum disease and cavities to hereditarily thin enamel and teeth whitening treatments.
The good news?
It’s remarkably easy to stop sensitive teeth.
5 Ways to Stop Sensitive Teeth
1. See your dentist
Seeing your dentist is the first step in stopping sensitive teeth, as they will help you find out what the cause is. If you know why your teeth are sensitive, you can quickly find the best cure.
2. Use a Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste
Toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth contain chemicals that de-sensitise the area and allow you to breathe, eat and drink without pain. Some toothpastes also contain potassium nitrate and other chemicals that fill in tiny holes in the softer dentine under the enamel and stop pain.
Start with . It’s cheap and very effective, stopping sensitivity dead in its tracks by filling in those tiny tubes and holes in the dentine. For the best effect, use it twice a day as your regular toothpaste.
3. Brush properly
Many people brush incorrectly and this is a major cause of sensitivity and gum recession. Harsh over brushing will gradually weaken and thin the enamel, exposing the dentine underneath and causing gums to recede, both of which will cause sensitivity to some degree.
Using a small-headed toothbrush with soft bristles is important, as well as brushing in small, circular motions rather than scrubbing side to side. Electric toothbrushes are great for those who have a habit of brushing too hard, as you don’t need to apply any pressure while using them.
4. Quit the sugary drinks
Fizzy drinks are usually very acidic and this acid can soften the enamel and wear it away. If you brush straight after drinking acidic drinks, the enamel is too soft and will wear away even faster. Try swilling water around after consuming acidic drinks and waiting an hour before brushing.
Fizzy drinks also have monstrously high sugar content and that sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which causes plaque. Plaque build-up then causes irritation of the gum line which leads to gum disease and sensitive teeth. Yikes!
The best option? Just quit those sugary, fizzy drinks. They do taste good though, so at least try limiting them and drinking water afterwards.
5. Are you stressed?
Stress impacts our lives on so many more levels than most people think and affects our health negatively in countless ways. Grinding your teeth in your sleep is usually caused by stress and this can cause teeth sensitivity as well as gum disease and receding gums.
While many people grind their teeth in their sleep, some also hold a huge amount of tension in their jaws during the day as well. Clenching and grinding teeth is terrible on your oral health and you should talk to your dentist about the possibility of a mouth guard to help you sleep without damaging your teeth.
Mouth guards are great for protecting teeth but they’re treating the problem, not the cause. Stress needs to be dealt with on a daily basis to dramatically improve your life, health and your relationships. Try meditation, relaxation and regular exercise such as yoga and walking outside.