This Article is About
hydrogen peroxide
going to the dentist
taking the plunge
cosmetic dentistry
complicated question
How To Best Whiten Your Teeth
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How to Best Whiten Your Teeth

What is the appropriate way to whiten your teeth

My name is Dr Mike and I am a retired dentist of 20 years. I spent much of my time in cosmetic dentistry and have most probably whitened hundreds if not thousands of teeth. The question always arose, "What is the best way to whiten my teeth" this is a complicated question and has many variables. The first thing to understand is whitening vs bleaching, a common misconception. Remember that whitening is restoring the teeth back to their natural colour and bleaching is attempting to get the teeth beyond their natural colour.

Upon embarking on a visit to the dentist there are some points to think about

  1. Do I want to do this ‘at all’?
  2. If so, Am I going to do it myself from an internet kit?
  3. What products and methods are available right now?
  4. Am I going to go to my dentist?
  5. How much do I want to pay? What is my budget?
  6. How long do I have before my appointment, date or interview?
  7. Do I like the dentist, as in dental procedures?
  8. Am I informed?

Do I want to do this at all?

This is something to think about seriously, whitening is not for everyone. It can be time consuming, it could be expensive and it does require upkeep. Do you like going to the dentist? Some procedures can be claustrophobic. Why are you doing it? Are you doing it because your spouse or significant other wants it done? Are you happy with your teeth? Things to consider before taking the plunge.

Am I going to use internet or over the counter products?

Internet products are often untried and untested and you cannot be sure which one you are getting. A very important thing to remember is that any product on line will likely be Carbamide peroxide, EU regulation states that whitening products can be no more than 0.1% carbamide peroxide. A dentist would never use CP on your teeth as it is the breakdown product of Hydrogen peroxide that actually whitens. Be very careful that the concentration is right before buying cheap on line products.

Over the counter (OTC) products may be hydrogen peroxide but they can be quite thin which means the product can run out of the trays easily and be swallowed. Not a health problem but can get expensive.

What products and methods are available right now?

There are many products available right now OTC that will do a sufficient job, you should ask your dentist where you live for a list of approved and 5-star rated OTC products.

Once at your dentist you can do professional home whitening, walk-in single tooth treatments, so called 'laser' whitening (blue light) and cosmetics to include veneers

Am I going to go to my dentist?

With all teeth concerns I strongly recommend that you go to your dentist if for nothing more than a consult. Gum health and certain staining needs the care of your dentist.

How much do I want to pay? What is my budget?

Whitening can range from home kits OTC from 15 - 30 GBP but you may need more than one kit.

Professional whitening can be upwards of 99 GBP but more usually 199 - 350 GBP

Cosmetic work can run to the thousands if you require veneers.

How long do I have before my appointment, date or interview?

You need to allow a good 4 weeks before you need your teeth white, this is 2 weeks of whitening plus a week or two of settling in. I would personally allow 2 months prior to a wedding or photo shoot to get it done correctly.

Do I like the dentist, as in dental procedures?

A strange question maybe but if you have the 'fear of the dentist' then your only option will be to find a home or internet kit and follow the instructions. We are not horrible people and we are here to help you but we understand the fear.

Am I informed?

I hope after reading this article you will be more informed about tooth whitening. I strongly urge that you visit your dentist to discuss tooth whitening and the ins and outs of home whitening kits. There are many methods to get that gleaming smile.

Good luck with your journey and remember, we dentists are not here to harm or scare you but to get you ready for that wedding or that interview or that photo call.

Street Talk


My daughter is a dental assistant working on her hygiene license. here in So Cal, So I knew some of these things but it was great to hear all. Always better to be informed. Good job! God bless Kymee

  about 9 years ago

Well done Mike - this is great

  about 9 years ago

Oh my gosh! This is exactly what I needed to read and this is great information. I have an appointment I need to make so you have answered some questions for me that will help me in what steps I need to take next. Have your site marked as a "favorite" on my Bookmarks so I can keep up. Thank you for all the info!

  about 9 years ago

Fab dana, I will work hard on this then ok, to keep you personally daily and thanks very much....

  about 9 years ago

Excellent Article, those are details some of us have never of, seriously thank you for the information.

  about 9 years ago

you are more than welcome Grace, always here for your dental questions

  about 9 years ago

Thanks for this. You answered some questions I had about teeth whitening. Checked out your website and look forward to reading more. Great job.

  about 9 years ago

Hi Rick, Thanks and I am glad I could help

  about 9 years ago

Great article! Very informative. Thank you very much for sharing your vast knowledge with us.

  about 9 years ago

Hi Lee, lots more to come....Thank you!

  about 9 years ago
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