1. Who can perform teeth whitening?

    10th October 2016 by thecourtyardclinic
    teeth smile beauty

    teeth whitening session

    Teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and should only be performed by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist.

    Some beauty salons offer teeth whitening, but this is illegal if there’s no dental professional present, and it may put your oral health at risk.

    You can also buy DIY home teeth whitening kits but these may also carry risks.

    What happens during teeth whitening at the dentist?

    If you have teeth whitening, you will need to make several visits to the dental surgery over a couple of months.

    The dentist will take an impression of your teeth to make a mouthguard and will instruct you how to use it with a bleaching gel. Then, using your mouthguard at home, you regularly apply the gel for a specified period of time over two to four weeks. Some whitening gels can be left on for up to eight hours at a time, which shortens the treatment period to one week.

    Another type of teeth whitening system that a dentist can provide is called laser whitening, which is also known as power whitening. This is where a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth and then a light or laser is shone on them to activate the whitening. Laser whitening takes about an hour.

    Can any dentist whiten teeth?

    Yes, provided they are registered with the General Dental Council. Registered dental therapists and dental hygienists can also carry out teeth whitening on the prescription of a dentist.

    To find out if a dental professional is registered with the GDC you can check online or call 0207 167 6000.

    What about home kits and beauty salons for teeth whitening?

    Only go to a registered dental professional for teeth whitening because whitening by people who aren’t qualified, for example in beauty salons, is illegal. Home kits also carry risks.

    What are the risks of home kits and salon teeth whitening?

    Some home kits don’t contain enough of the whitening product to be effective. More generally, if a dental professional is not doing the whitening, the mouthguard provided may not fit properly so some of the bleaching gel may leak out onto your gums and into your mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity.

    Where teeth whitening is carried out in beauty salons by staff without any training or dental qualifications it not only carries a risk to your oral health, but is also illegal.

    Can you have your teeth whitened on the NHS?

    You can only have your teeth whitened on the NHS if there’s a medical reason for it. For example, this might be to lighten teeth that have discoloured because the nerve has died.

    Otherwise, teeth whitening by a dentist or other dental professional can only be done privately because it’s considered to be a cosmetic treatment. Costs vary and, as a general rule, laser whitening is more expensive than professional bleaching.

    How do you go about getting teeth whitening?

    Your dentist will advise you whether whitening is right for you. It may be that teeth whitening isn’t suitable, for example if you have gum disease or crowns.

    What questions should I ask the dentist before going ahead?

    Don’t be afraid to ask simple questions about the types of whitening treatment available, what results you can expect and whether the work is guaranteed for a certain amount of time. Also, ask them what they consider to be the risks in your particular case, for example increasing sensitivity of the teeth.

    Try to talk to other people who have had the same treatment or visit another dentist for a second opinion until you feel confident. Always ask for a written treatment plan and price estimate before going ahead.

    Is teeth whitening permanent?

    No, teeth whitening isn’t permanent. It can last from a few months to up to three years, but this varies from person to person. Generally, the whitening effect won’t last as long if you smoke or drink red wine, tea or coffee, which can all stain your teeth.

    Will teeth whitening work on false teeth?

    No. Teeth whitening won’t work on dentures, crowns, fillings or veneers.

    What are the risks of teeth whitening?

    No matter what treatment you use, there is a chance your gums can be sensitive to the chemicals used in teeth whitening, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. There’s also a chance of burns to gums and some of the whitening kits used at home can harm tooth enamel.


  2. Six Habits Which Can Hurt Your Teeth

    7th October 2016 by thecourtyardclinic
    damaged teeth, teeth care

    habits that harm your teeth

    Regular brushing and flossing aren’t the only care that you should give the teeth. The teeth are likely to suffer other forms of damage other than tooth decay.

    Key takeaways:

    • Chewing on ice is a potential cause for damaged teeth. Making it a regular habit will lead to chipped or cracked teeth.
    • Using the teeth to open bottles and packaging will result in cracked teeth and even tooth decay.
    •    Snacking between meals increases the contact between sugar and teeth. It increases the growth of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and tooth decay.

    Chewing ice may seem like a harmless and calorie-free way to cool down, but in reality, you could be causing real damage to your teeth. If it becomes a regular habit, it can lead to cracked and chipped teeth, damage to tooth enamel and problems with dental work such as fillings and crowns.

    Read the full story here


  3. Brushing Your Teeth Irritates the Gums Causing Bleeding

    6th October 2016 by thecourtyardclinic
    bleeding gums

    bleeding gums

    Gum disease, also referred to as gingivitis, is a non-painful condition of the oral cavity. Pink or red-colored spittle when brushing will indicate the presence of gingivitis.

    Key takeaways:

    •       As plaque builds up on the teeth, there is more inflammation in the surrounding gums.
    • Brushing the teeth irritates the gums which causes the bleeding. It is the most recognizable symptom since gingivitis does not cause pain.
    • The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research indicate that gum disease is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

    The only way to get rid of or avoid gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene. You should brush twice a day and floss every night to discourage plaque buildup.

    Read the full story here


  4. Follow these Healthy Teeth Habits that Dental Hygienists Advocate

    5th October 2016 by thecourtyardclinic

    Young woman brushing cleaning teeth. Girl with toothbrush in bathroom. Oral hygiene.

    Missing your regular dental checkups can prove to be detrimental to your oral health. During the checkups, the dentist will clean plaque from your teeth.

    Key takeaways:

    • Brushing, flossing and rinsing the mouth will eliminate the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
    • White teeth are not necessarily a sign of healthy teeth. Teeth have different shades such as grey and yellow shade but are still healthy.
    • Scrape or brush the tongue to get rid of bacteria that may attack the teeth and gums. Scraping the tongue also helps to get rid of bad breath.

    Flossing is important because your teeth are round, not flat, especially your back teeth. “Where they’re touching, you’re not reaching,” Lugaila says. “With a toothbrush, you’re missing almost two-thirds of the teeth.”

    Read the full story here


  5. Information That You Didn’t Know About Your Teeth

    4th October 2016 by thecourtyardclinic
    healthy teeth


    We know of common advice regarding oral health such as brushing and flossing regularly. But there are some tooth-related facts you probably don’t know.

    Key takeaways:

    • Saliva is the best friend to your teeth. Saliva is the first line of defense in the mouth by rinsing out the mouth and  neutralizing the buildup of bacteria.
    • Frequent snacking and sipping could be hurting your teeth since they contain sugars that support bacteria that cause tooth decay.
    • Gum disease, tooth decay and other oral cavity infections are associated with health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

    “Oral health is an integral part of overall health,” Harms says. “What people don’t realize is that people who have higher levels of gum disease also have a higher level of heart disease.”

    Read the full story here


  6. Studies of Teeth Provides Insights into Environmental Risks

    by thecourtyardclinic

    boy 2 years in front of the mirror

    Potential causes of autism can be identified by simply studying baby teeth. Baby teeth are an information repository on exposures suffered.

    Key takeaways:

    • Fallen baby teeth can be used to track exposure to chemicals that may trigger autism during pregnancy and infancy.
    • Tooth enamel forms at different stages and will absorb chemicals circulating in the body. It therefore acts like an archaeological record showing when exposure to certain chemicals happened.
    • Baby teeth could also be used as a painless way to extract DNA required to identify changes in the genes that could be linked to autism.

    “Taken together, research on baby teeth will inform us about potential causes of autism and who might be most vulnerable,” says Dr. Palmer, who is not directly involved in the UCLA study.

    Read the full story here


  7. Tips To Prevent Coffee from Staining the Teeth

    by thecourtyardclinic

    girl cleans stains on her teeth looking in the smartphoneThe more you drink coffee, the higher the likelihood of having discolored teeth. Drinking coffee without doing anything will lead to deeper staining.

    Key takeaways:

    • Brushing the teeth regularly and after taking coffee will help prevent staining of teeth especially after taking coffee.
    • Drinking coffee using a straw will avert direct contact with the teeth. It is more effective with iced coffee enthusiasts.
    • Adding milk to your coffee will prevent staining. Casein in milk binds to tannins that cause staining.

    Less liquid touches your teeth when you drink it through a straw. The smaller the straw, the better. This comes more naturally to iced coffee drinkers, but it works for hot coffee too.

    Read the full story here


  8. Underlying Reasons for Sensitive Teeth

    3rd October 2016 by thecourtyardclinic
    Young hispanic girl with tootache and dental problems, feeling pain and putting ice bag on mouth

                                sensitive teeth

    Some toothpastes and teeth whiteners contain bleaching solutions that may cause teeth sensitivity. Speak with your dentist about some of the best products.Even better, get a professional teeth whitening in your dentist’s office.

    Key takeaways:

    • Using too much mouthwash could be a problem leading to a sore mouth or worsening of already sensitive teeth.
    • Acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes as well as acidic drinks will cause erosion of tooth enamel.
    • Receding gums such as in periodontal disease may expose tooth pulp leading to sensitive teeth.

    If you brush too hard or don’t use a soft brush, your gums can pull away from tooth roots. This can also wear away your enamel and expose dentin (yellow). Holes in the dentin are the tiny tubes (blue) that allow hot, cold, and sweet foods to affect tooth nerves. Ouch!

    Read the full story here


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