5 myths about whitening debunked

Woman smiling

In the modern world, it is important to have supreme confidence in your appearance and your smile.

And if you are like the majority of dental patients, you may wish that your smile was whiter.

As one of the staples of all dental cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening from Harley Street is in no danger of slowing down, with more patients than ever before seeking an easy way to get their teeth on par with those who tread the red carpet.

But, with popularity comes myths and half-truths. If you have been considering having your smile whitened, you have probably come across at least a couple of the following myths that surround this procedure.

So, without further ado, here are the truths behind dental whitening.

It ruins the enamel

In the past, whitening may have involved drilling or physical sanding to remove some deeper-set stains, which would have damaged the enamel and heightened sensitivity.

Today, the majority of whitening procedures involve gels and these gels are made from hydrogen peroxide; this oxidises the surface of the teeth and removes the stain without the need for abrasion or enhanced sensitivity, so your enamel stays intact.

You get the same effect with over the counter pastes

DIY whitening kits have boomed in popularity but they cannot offer the same results as professional whitening.

Even the strongest over-the-counter gels contain 1% hydrogen peroxide, whereas the ones used in a dental surgery can be as high as 6%. To prevent this higher strength gel from causing issues with your gums, your dentist will fit a dam to stop it from coming into contact with the soft tissues of your mouth.

If you want to whiten your smile quickly and effectively, talk to your dentist.

People with crowns and fillings can’t have their teeth whitened

In recent years, there has been a rise in the use of composite fillings and crowns, to help patients who have needed restorative procedures to maintain their smiles.

But this has led to questions surrounding the compatibility with whitening gels and polishes. In short, if you have composite fillings or crowns, the surrounding tooth can still be whitened, but the filling cannot be, which can lead to an uneven appearance.

If you have concerns relating to whitening with composite fillings or crowns, talk to your dentist about cleaning the composite to match or, alternatively, discuss a more suitable procedure like dental veneers.

Whitening is permanent

While professional whitening can last up to 2 years, it is not permanent.

Smoking, drinking and consumption of sugar can all impact any whitening procedures longevity.

Whitening looks fake

Yes, if done to the extreme, teeth whitening can look extremely fake, as the teeth appear to lose all dimension and imperfections that make them yours.

However, depending on how white you want your teeth to look, your dentist will be able to achieve it by altering the concentrations in the gels, so you can have a smile that is 5 shades whiter, or 15.

Why are clear aligners replacing braces?

Woman wearing clear teeth aligners

Clear aligners are an orthodontic tool used to straighten teeth and can often be used instead of a brace. You may have seen them advertised on TV or online, as some providers will offer them directly to patients without using local dental clinics.

Even in clinics where clear aligners have been available for about 10 years, we are seeing more use of clear options over traditional brace use. If you do need orthodontic work, should you wear an aligner or a brace? How do the two treatment options compare?

Aesthetics of the treatment; during and after

The clear aligners are often called invisible braces, which is used to get across the idea that it works as a brace but cant been seen. This is a half-truth, the aligners available by Invisalign in Bromley are very thin, light and translucent, making them as close to invisible as possible but the way they re-arrange teeth is quite different. A standard brace applies pulling force to a tooth from the archwire to the brace, which is glued to the middle centre of the tooth. The aligners have contact points across the tooths front, back and upper surfaces allowing them to push on them from different angles. This, along with the smarter application of force, allows more tooth movement with less force and therefore less discomfort.

This alone is enough for most patients to adopt clear aligners over braces. The awkward brace wearing phase associated with adolescents can be avoided, and among adult working professionals the idea of using a metal brace is distasteful, once again heightening the popularity of clear alternatives.

How do aligners feel?

Patients with complex orthodontic conditions who have experienced using both aligners and regular braces consider aligners less painful and easier to eat with.

This is mostly to do with the adjustments that are made to braces; brace adjustments are made by an orthodontist usually every 6 weeks but each aligner is only worn for two weeks. These smaller and more regular adjustments, along with the more forgiving plastic resin of the aligner compared to the rigidity of metal braces, make the latter more tolerable. With braces, users often have to take paracetamol and eat softer food for several days after adjustments, but with aligner users reporting not having to alter their food choices or use pain relief.

Clinical effetiveness

The clinical effectiveness of braces is very well established with more than a hundred years of use in dentistry. The clear aligners have less than 20 years but have shown themselves to be effective when applied correctly. One of the biggest issues in determining the effectiveness of aligners is their possible misuse. Braces have always only been available in clinics provided by fully licenced dental professionals, but aligners are available in at-home kits. Without the guidance of a dentist, it seems the success rate of the at-home kits is significantly lower than clear aligners used with the oversight of a local clinic.

In concussion or TLDR

Aligners are not always appropriate; if your condition involves altering the position of molars or changes to your palate size, braces are the only effective treatment. If clear aligners are appropriate for you, they are more comfortable, less disruptive and are just as effective.

Who are Sheen Dental?

Dentists consulting on an x-ray

If a patient is looking for a Dentist Richmond to improve their smile, then they are in the right place. The practice has over one hundred years of experience, this has allowed the team of professionals to create the best level of service and customer support. The practice is committed to giving patients the best access to all kinds of dental treatments. Every effort to ensure that patients are given the most pleasant experience. This practice is committed to allow patients to enjoy their dental experience rather than feeling stressed and not at ease. It is believed that beautifully sculpted smiles have the capacity to change lives, so scientific backing and collected knowledge can be used to allow patients to create the smile that they have always wished to own. If a patient is looking for a dentist or hygienist then they can read on to discover what treatments are on offer to them.

What treatments are available?

As a potential patient of Dentist Richmond, the a patient could have access to a whole host of different treatments. If a patent is looking for a treatment that will improve the appearance of their smile then they could consider Cosmetic Dentistry. This branch of treatment includes offers such as White Fillings, Porcelain Veneers, Teeth Whitening, Gum Contouring, Smile Makeover, 1 Visit Smile and CEREC. If a patient is looking to restore their smile into its former glory then they could consider Restorative Dentistry. This includes access to Bridges, Dentures & Denture Stabilisation, Crowns and Inlays & Onlays. It is also important for patients to consider taking care of their mouth in a preventative sense. This includes access to advice such as Dental Hygiene, Sensitive Teeth, Children’s Teeth, Smoking Cessation, Mouth Cancer Screening and Pregnant Women. For missing teeth patients can consider treatments such as dental implants. General dentistry is also offered, this includes access to Emergency Dental Care Extractions, Oral Surgery and Canal Therapy. Assistance with issues such as Jaw Problems and Snoring is also available. Orthodontics can be used to straighten teeth, products available include Invisalign, Incognito Braces alongside fixed and removable Braces. Facial Aesthetics such as Anti-Wrinkle Treatments can also be done in practice. Patients could consider reading onto the next section to see what they should do next in order to access one of these treatments.

What should I do next?

If a patient thinks that one of these treatments could be for them, then they should consider their options moving forward. The practice is committed to ensuring that all patients have access to the treatments that they need. Patients can learn more about these treatments through the website as well as asking any enquiries. Patients can also get in contact with the practice directly by calling the practice to discuss what treatments could be a good fit for them and their family. Patients are encouraged to work with their dentist to discover what treatment could allow a patient to access the smile that they have always wanted. The practice is always keen to meet new patients, so if a patient is looking for a new dentist, then they are in the right place.

Social Judgements Size You Up in Seconds

Woman smiling in the mirror

Living in modern society has brought the idea of ‘the face you wear matters’ to the fore which is probably why an increasing number of individuals are turning to cosmetic dental treatments such as Invisalign St Albans and other facial aesthetic procedures (non-surgical) to enhance the looks that Mother Nature gave them.

In the case of straightening the case of crooked teeth, there is much more to this worthwhile endeavour than just improving dental appearance (and thereby one’s attractiveness). This highly-approved dental goal also answers to improved oral hygiene and optimal dental health. Of equal importance to these desirable outcomes, is a boost in confidence and self-esteem and the patient reaps the rewards of a metaphorically rich and fulfilling life.

Why the preoccupation with first impressions

No matter on which side of the for-or-against side of the fence you sit, the fact remains that in this image-obsessed modern world, we are judged according to our looks. It is interesting to note that this judgement does not only come from external sources but also from within ourselves. In an enlightening report on self-perceptions on body image, results from an online survey showed that 34 percent of adults in the UK experienced feelings of shame due to dissatisfaction over how they looked.

It takes only a split second for others to make inferences about our personality and character with a first glance. The potential of a human being is narrowed down to whether they are friendly, intelligent, confident and capable – all in a blink of an eye. Provided you have an attractive smile, others are more predisposed to allocate positive personality traits to you along with a greater likelihood to succeed in life. While it may take about a second to make social inferences, these can have weighty and life-long consequences.

The appearance-bias that is often seen in practice in the workplace, prejudices against individuals who are deemed unattractive, and therefore, incapable. Individuals can be looked over when it comes to being hired or looked over for promotion opportunities. Outside the workplace, this prejudice can filter into the playground in the form of bullying and into one’s personal life when one experiences difficulty in forming friendships and finding love and acceptance.

The answer to the question, from where do we learn to evaluate facial appearance and facial expressions may lie in a research study that looked at how babies gain meaning from facial signals. It seems that it is human instinct to study faces for information for we have been responding to faces from the time we were born. Only a few days after being born, babies are able to tell the difference between facial expressions, a happy face, sad face and surprised face.

The British Orthodontic Society together with the Oral Health Foundation have expressed concern about individuals seeking to straighten their teeth without the supervision of a professionally qualified dental practitioner. The Safe Brace campaign is the result of this partnership that aims to inform and educate anyone interested in braces to fix their teeth about how to go about this in a safe and effective way.

It is only a practising dentist that can provide trusted advice and oversee a proper teeth-straightening treatment for safe and reliable results. For more trustworthy information on orthodontic treatments from experienced dental practitioners, contact UK Dental Specialists.