Getting your teeth whitened is great for boosting confidence, and for making the most of your smile. This simple, quick, and painless procedure can make your teeth several shades lighter. Surely that's enough to put a big smile on your face! Tooth whitening procedures are readily available at a variety of establishments in the UK, and the whole process can even be quite relaxing: you can just sit back and relax whilst the dentist does her or his work.
Tooth whitening involves either bleaching the teeth to make them whiter, or using lasers. Bleaching is the cheapest and most common option, and involves the dentist placing a custom made mouth guard over your teeth to protect the gums and surrounding area, and then applying special gel bleach to the teeth. The process is not instant, but involves several trips to the dentist so that the bleach can be applied again and again over the course of several weeks or months. Or, the dentist will allow you to take the mouth guard home and tell you how to apply the bleach to your teeth yourself. This can take weeks or months. You will start to notice a difference after your first appointment, however! Laser whitening, though it is more expensive, only takes an hour to complete. The dentist simply paints the bleach directly onto your teeth in a way that is quite similar to regular teeth bleaching. Then, lasers are used to activate the bleach: hey presto!
Anywhere from a few months to a few years. Once this time is up, though, you can always go to get your teeth whitened again. Drinking red wine, coffee, or smoking can all stain your teeth after they have been whitened, so maintaining a good oral healthcare regime is important for ensuring that those newly-white teeth stay as good as new for as long as possible. Brush your teeth regularly and floss at least twice a day.
This procedure is officially registered in the UK as a dental procedure. So it can legally only be performed by registered dentists or other dental professionals, or on the prescription of a dentist. If you are in doubt about whether a certain establishment or person is registered, just ask: they will be able to show you a certificate of registration from the General Dental Council. Alternatively, check online to see who is registered. You can get your teeth whitened at an NHS dentist (usually for a fee, unless there is a medical reason behind your tooth discolouration), at a beauty salon provided there is a registered dental professional present, or you can go to a private dentist: whichever you prefer.