Beauty Salon And At Home Teeth Whitening?

Like home teeth straightening, social media has generated an influx of people looking to whiten their teeth, but what is and isn’t safe?

In the UK, teeth whitening comes under the scope of practice of ‘dentistry’, which is regulated by law. This means that teeth whitening must only be carried out by dental professionals, who are registered with the GDC. Therefore, any person offering teeth whitening using between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide can be prosecuted by Trading Standards and the Health and Safety Executive, the GDC may also press for this action and work alongside these regulatory bodies.

There are risks that come with going to someone that is not a qualified dental professional.

Firstly, home kits don’t contain enough whitening product to actually be effective for whitening your teeth. Additionally, if a dental professional isn’t doing the whitening, the whitening trays provided may not fit properly around your teeth. This can then cause some of the bleaching gel to leak out onto your gums and into your mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity.

Teeth whitening carried out at home, or in beauty salons by untrained staff or staff without dental qualifications also puts your oral health at risk and is also illegal.

Existing dental restorations such as fillings, crowns and veneers are not affected by the whitening, so we can’t change their colour. As the colour of your teeth lightens, any dark or unsightly pieces of dentistry will become more obvious, therefore they may need replacing if you chose to whiten your teeth.

Here at Newby dental Practice, we offer Boutique teeth whitening. Boutique is a premium tooth whitening product. Not only is it the product we recommend, it is the one we use ourselves too!

Boutique tooth whitening works with the use of special trays, made especially for you. You can use it for a couple of hours during the day, or overnight, for those that have a busy lifestyle. All our treatments are tailored around you, and work to achieve the result you want!

If teeth whitening is something you’re interested in, ask your dentist next to you visit us, or book in for a consultation to see how Boutique could improve your smile!

Invisalign Vs. Home Orthodontic Treatment

With all of the options available on the internet, the adverts all over social media…. is tooth straightening at home really a safe option?

Invisalign Treatment

The first, most important point to make is that with Invisalign treatment, you are in the hands of a registered dentist who sees you face to face. They know your lifestyle habits, they know what you look like in person, they know what you would like to achieve, and most importantly…. they know what you teeth and gums actually look like!

With Invisalign, your dentist will check your teeth before treatment, ensuring you have no active gum disease, no cavities that require fillings, and they can take x rays to ensure you have no underlying abscesses which could flare up and cause problems. They will also arrange appointments with you for a review every few weeks, to ensure no problems have occured and to monitor your treatment to ensure nothing goes wrong.

As with all dental procedures, there are risks that come with Invisalign treatment, however these are minimised with regular reviews with your Invisalign dentist.

By using an Invisalign treatment with a dentist, they can ensure the impressions required to start your treatment are as perfect as possible before being sent away. Additionally if, like ourselves, they have a 3D scanner – they can take an actual scan of your teeth to send to Invisalign to create your Clini-check and aligners. (It doesn’t get much more accurate than that!)

Throughout an Invisalign treatment with a dentist, they will ensure everything fits correctly, adjust your teeth as required before treatment, and add small amounts of white composite to the fronts of some of your teeth to help create areas for the aligners to grip to move your teeth.

Home Teeth Straightening

By using a home tooth straightening kit, you don’t have a dentist there to take your x rays, check your teeth and gums and regularly review the treatment in person to ensure everything is going to plan. This can result in a higher chance of risks occurring, such as finishing treatment with straighter teeth that then need to be filled or extracted…. so not really the result you would hope for!

With home teeth straightening kits, they send you the basics of what you will need to take your own impressions to start. These impressions can sometimes need to be retaken even when a dentist does them for you, so they are extremely difficult to get accurate, especially on yourself!

When you complete these impressions at home, they are sent away to the laboratories that make the aligners for the online company, so it is essential that these are as accurate as possible to ensure the aligners will actually fit, and the course of treatment you require is correct. If these impressions are not taken correctly, they will need to be retaken and sent away again, adding more time to your treatment.

During the course of treatment, any reviews will be completed either other the phone, video chat or just through a chat or email with the company. This may or may not be with a dentist, and it’s certain that nobody will be there to physically examine how the treatment is progressing

Unfortunately, applying composite material and adjusting the spaces between your teeth at home is just something you’re not going to be able to do! Therefore meaning any treatment provided with your at home teeth straightening kit is not going to be the optimum of what you could achieve.

In a nutshell, registered dental professionals have a professional responsibility to follow the Standards for the Dental Team and provide patient-centered, safe care based on authoritative clinical guidance. Therefore you can be assured that your Invisalign dentist is working as safely as they possibly can to minimise any risks. Dental professionals also need to ensure that they are appropriately indemnified, meaning they are insured if anything were to go wrong. Those who do not comply with the Standards for the Dental Team, indemnity requirements and authoritative clinical guidance put patient safety, and their registration, at risk.

It is therefore our recommendation that patients visit a qualified Invisalign dentist or orthodontist for any tooth straightening treatments, to optimise your safety and take care of those pearly whites!

Starting the Little Ones off Right

We all know that those first visits to the dentist can make us a little anxious, so here are a few things you can do to help prepare children for their first dental visits!

1 – Start by preparing at home

Start to introduce your little one to the dentist by talking about their teeth, and telling them about the special chair that takes them on a fun ride! The chair can be a big, scary place for someone so small.
(Top tip, some childrens cartoons have dedicated dental episodes to help with just this! Pop them on for your little one to watch and see their favourite character go to the dentist too)

2 – Ensure good oral hygiene at home

Brushing at home is the best way to help your little one understand the dentist. Helping them brush and checking their teeth at home will help us to be able to check them here too! Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what decay looks like, just as long as your little one will happily open their mouth for you to check, it helps to develop a routine and make looking at their teeth a normal experience, which equals it being less strange as scary here!

3 – We LOVE to meet your cuddly friends!

Bringing a cuddly toy to the dentist can really help children to be confident for their check ups. Plus, we love to meet them, find out their names and if they are really lucky, their best buddy can even have a check up too to show you how it is done!

4 – Use a positive approach

Use positive language when talking about visiting the dentist, such as saying how fun and exciting it will be! We understand some parents suffer with dental anxieties, and we need to try our best to ensure children don’t develop any too.

Trips to the dentist don’t have to be scary, and instead should be portrayed as a fun experience with lots of praise for happy teeth! Our lovely dentists are all fantastic with children and helping to make check ups a positive experience.

We advise parents to bring children before the age of 1, even if they don’t have any teeth! These first appointments help to reassure children and familiarise them with the dentist, setting them up with dental confidence for life.

Plus…. it is always worth it for a sticker!

Should I Use Mouthwash?

One of the most common questions we get asked by our patients, is whether they should incorporate mouthwash into their daily oral hygiene routine.

Mouthwash has always been advertised as a key item in any oral hygiene routine… take TV adverts for example….

Brush, rinse, mouthwash = healthy teeth and gums.

….right?

Don’t believe everything you see on TV.

Don’t get me wrong, mouthwash is a fantastic agent to an oral hygiene routine if used correctly. However, it needs to be used correctly.

So when should I use mouthwash?

Mouthwash should only ever be used at a separate time of day from brushing. And at least 1 hour after brushing.

Why?

So when we brush our teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, we are adding that protective fluoride to our mouths and creating a lovely protective coating for our teeth. By using mouthwash straight after brushing, you are rinsing that protective fluoride straight down the drain (literally!).

Mouthwash is also fantastic for aiding gum health in patients that suffer with gum disease. Your hygienist can then recommend a suitable, alcohol free mouthwash that contains fluoride to suit you.

It is worth noting that chlorhexidine mouthwash can cause staining if used too frequently.

Therefore if mouthwash is something you think you could benefit from, just ask your hygienist for some advice! They will let you know if this is something you really require, or if your oral hygiene can be maintained with just your regular toothbrushing and interdental cleaning instead.

Is It Sugar Free?

Numerous times you will come across drinks claiming to be ‘sugar free’….but are they really?

The immediate presumption would be that ‘sugar free’ or ‘diet’ really means sugar free, however this isn’t always the case. Most people are aware of high sugar intake causing tooth decay, but there is also the need to be careful of the acidity too. Diet drinks, fruit juices and other no added sugar drinks can have a higher acidity, meaning a higher risk of tooth erosion due to the lower pH.

Studies carried out by the Oral Health CRC on sugar-free drinks, sugar-free confectionery, and sports drinks found that “many of these products contained multiple acids and had low pH values.” Essentially, many people think that switching from regular to diet soda will keep their teeth healthy. Unfortunately, although they often contain no sugar, diet sodas usually cause about the same amount of dental erosion as regular sodas and can harm your teeth.

In addition to this, diet or sugar-free drinks also contain phosphoric acid which is also found in regular fizzy drinks. Citric and tartaric acids are just a couple of the added ingredients in diet drinks and fruit juices that can cause harm to your teeth. This happens by the frequent acid attacks occurring to your teeth whilst you drink, therefore weakening the tooth enamel, and causing decay over time.

But what should I drink that won’t harm my teeth?

Of course we still need something to drink! Sugary and sugar-free drinks should only be consumed with a meal, in order to minimise harmful attacks on the teeth.

In between meals, the drinks of choice should be water, plain sparkling water (no flavourings!) and milk.

After any acidic meals or drinks, you should rinse your mouth with water, drink milk or even snack on a little bit of cheese. Dairy and other calcium-rich foods can help neutralize acids. It’s also good to limit snacking between meals, so your saliva has time to rebalance its pH.

Cutting down on sugar is the perfect lifestyle choice to make. However remember to be mindful of what replacements you choose, and to take optimal care of your oral hygiene!

If you would like any further tips and advice on your oral hygiene and diet, our fantastic oral health educator, Beth, could help you. Just get in touch with us to make an appointment!