Gentle Touch practice principle Dr Amber Aplin explains the benefits of professional teeth whitening. She also talks about some of the reasons for teeth discolouring as we age and live our normal lives. Amber took over the Gentle Touch dental practice in 2017.
How white is white?
One of the questions I ask my patients is: if I gave you a magic wand, what would you change about your teeth? So often, the answer is that they’d love to have whiter and brighter teeth. The next question is, of course, “how white is white?!”. There is a large spectrum of answers ranging from ‘to have teeth like Simon Cowell’ to patients preferring to have a naturally healthy appearance. Getting the right shade is one of the main reasons to opt for professional teeth whitening rather than DIY home kits. Most of my patients can tell me of at least one celebrity smile which they think is “too white” – and that usually gives us a good laugh!
As we get older, our teeth can become more discoloured (darker). The severity of this discolouration increases with age and it’s slightly more common in men affecting up to 31% (compared to 21% of women). Professional teeth whitening is one of the solutions I recommend. It’s a great value treatment with results which last – you can use the same trays to “top up” after 2-3 years.
Why do our teeth discolour and stain?
There are many other reasons that teeth stain and become discoloured. The more serious issues occur before the adult teeth even erupt – perhaps due to having defects in the tooth development as well as the impact of drugs such as tetracycline antibiotics.
More commonly, however, it’s what happens after our adult teeth have erupted that matters for discolouration. As well as ageing, habits such as smoking, staining from silver fillings, certain foodstuffs (coffee, red wine, curries) as well as poor oral hygiene can all cause unsightly stains.
Treatments for teeth whitening
The good news is that you can easily improve the appearance of teeth affected by all types of staining. Your first step is to book in for a no-obligation consultation. We’re very experienced in teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatments here at The Gentle Touch and we’re always happy to discuss options in detail.
At the more “invasive” end of the scale, we can guide you on options including porcelain veneers. I should ‘highlight’ here that I strongly suspect that this is the treatment of choice for Simon Cowell! However, a simple professional teeth whitening treatment can result in a remarkable improvement. This is the treatment of choice for most of our patients.
Lots of patients opt for whitening treatment at our Scottish Borders clinic and we see real joy from them in the resulting more youthful and healthier appearance to their teeth. You are welcome to have a look at our gallery to see what can be achieved.
The major benefit of our teeth whitening approach is that teeth become lighter in a very controlled way. For that reason, we can reach the shade you’re looking for gradually – and not overshoot!
The professional teeth whitening process
So, how does it work? We start by looking at a shade guide and working together, as every patient has a different need and aspiration for their teeth. I will take impressions of your teeth which I’ll send off to the lab to be made into custom-made trays. You’ll then come back to see me and the treatment can begin. Our home whitening system works with a gel which gradually lightens the tooth shade each time it is applied. This process is extremely safe, effective and it’s also really simple to use.
Once you are happy with the lightness of your teeth, this shade should remain stable for 2-3 years. After this, it can be easily ‘topped up’. That’s why I always advise you to keep your custom-made trays for the future.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening, you are welcome to speak to me. You can also discuss with any of the dentists at our Kelso practice. If you prefer (and for new patients) contact us for a complimentary consultation with our treatment coordinator. In the meantime, please have a look at our teeth whitening gallery to see the results of recent patients at The Gentle Touch.