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Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening St Albans

Most people desire a whiter and brighter set of teeth, so you’re not alone if you want to undergo teeth whitening treatment to make your smile more attractive. Teeth whitening is a common procedure in the UK, with different whitening solutions available, from professional whitening treatment to home whitening solutions.

The wide range of whitening products available makes it difficult for people who want to whiten their teeth to choose a suitable option, especially those whitening their teeth for the first time. The availability of several unsafe and ineffective whitening products makes getting your desired result more difficult.

However, this guide will help choose a suitable whitening treatment easier by providing information about the different teeth whitening options, including the ineffective ones and their cost. It also provides information about DIY and professional teeth whitening treatments and ways to keep your teeth white.

Teeth whitening history

White teeth were a sign of wealth in ancient Egypt. Back then, Egyptians used a paste containing wine vinegar and ground pumice stone to whiten the teeth. They applied this paste to their teeth using a frayed stick, the first and original toothbrush. The Romans of this time used their urine for teeth whitening because the urine contains ammonia.

The 17th century has barbers who took care of people’s health because dentists did not exist. The barbers pulled damaged teeth and sometimes performed teeth whitening by filling down the discoloured or stained enamel, then applying nitric acid.

With time, dentists existed and could practice, so they took care of people’s oral health, and by the 1960s, they identified the teeth whitening properties of peroxide. Twenty years later, commercial teeth whitening solutions became available, using dental trays filled with a thick whitening gel. The whitening gel contains carbamide peroxide, which brightens the teeth.

How to whiten the teeth

Several effective teeth whitening solutions are available. They include:

  • Lasers
  • Gels
  • Trays
  • Strips
  • Toothpaste
  • Bleach
  • Charcoal
  • Coconut oil

The most suitable whitening option usually depends on how fast you want to whiten your teeth, your teeth sensitivity, how much you want to spend and how long you want the result to last.

Teeth whitening solutions mostly work on the natural teeth, so your dental restoration such as filling, veneer, implant, crown or denture will have the same colour even after a whitening treatment.


You will find us at:

54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD

Causes of teeth discolouration

Many people are concerned about their teeth colour, but the teeth do not have a brilliant white colour. The enamel has a blueish-white colour but is translucent, allowing the yellow colour of the dentine below it to show.

As we get older, the enamel becomes thinner, so the teeth naturally become darker and yellow. Some medical conditions and medications can also discolour and stain the teeth.

Stain-causing foods

The natural teeth yellowing process is sometimes accelerated by what we drink and eat. Some external factors also contribute to making the teeth yellow. These foods and drinks include:


Berries contain antioxidants and have several health benefits but contain a natural colour that stains the teeth.


Tomato sauces and those with bright colours can also stain the teeth. The acid in tomatoes makes them more likely to stain the teeth.


Coffee is acidic and has a dark colour, which can damage and stain the teeth.


All types of tea, including the lighter herbal tea, can stain and erode the enamel, especially back tea which damages the teeth more than coffee.


Red wine contains tannins which change the teeth shade to grey, and white wine can make existing stains darker.

Sugary drinks

Sugary drinks cause tooth decay and wear down the enamel to make the teeth look darker over time.


Tobacco contains tar and nicotine that easily stain the teeth. Heavy smokers tend to have brown teeth over time.


Although braces straighten the teeth, they may leave your teeth looking darker.

The best way to ensure you have white teeth is avoiding things that can stain the teeth, but it’s not always easy to avoid these stain-causing drinks and foods. Some ways can help reduce the staining effect of these drinks and food.

For example, you can eat these foods with those that combat their stain-causing effect, like celery, apples, cheese, cauliflower, and lettuce. These foods either neutralise the acid that damages the enamel or cause friction to clean the teeth.

Brushing your teeth properly and flossing daily can also help remove the stains and plaque on the teeth. However, some people still need teeth whitening treatment regardless of how they care for their teeth.


You will find us at:

54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD

Effective teeth whitening treatments in the UK?

The best teet whitening option depends on the following personal factors

  • The condition of your teeth
  • Your budget
  • How long you intend to whiten your teeth
  • Whether you want to whiten your teeth gradually or instantly
  • How white you want your teeth

Here’s a table that summarises the main teeth whitening options.

Teeth whitening treatment Pros Cons
In-office teeth whitening Gives an excellent result within 1 – 2 hours Very expensive and may fade easily
Take-home bleaching kits Gives a strong result and be combined with an in-office treatment Takes about 2 – 6 hours and expensive
Home teeth whitening kits Affordable and convenient, may need LED technology Result may not be as strong as professional teeth whitening, depended on its ingredient
Whitening strips Affordable and convenient Gives an uneven coverage and weak result
Whitening pens Affordable and convenient Gives a weak result
Whitening toothpaste Affordable and convenient May be abrasive and gives a weak result

Professional teeth whitening procedures are the most expensive but involve a dental professional’s expertise to avoid certain risks and recommend a suitable treatment.

Other available whitening products have different brands with varying technology, results and ingredients.

Home teeth whitening kits

Home teeth whitening kits are more convenient and affordable, which makes them a popular whitening option. Different types of home teeth whitening kits are available, but they all contain a whitening gel to apply on the teeth directly or using a mouth tray.

The application time for these kits varies from 10 – 30 minutes daily over 1 – 2 weeks. An advantage home whitening kits offer is minimal disruption to your daily activities.

Before you buy a home teeth whitening kit, ensure you consider the following.

  • Where is the kit made?
  • Does it have LED light/
  • Are the trays fixed or mouldable?
  • How will you apply the gel?

Examples of effective home teeth whitening kits with high-quality ingredients that use the paint-on method include:

  • Smile Avenue Professional Tooth Whitening Kit
  • Snow Teeth Whitening Kit

Peroxide teeth whitening with a dentist

Dentists can use whitening gel containing a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide to improve the teeth by several shades. Teeth whitening by a dental professional is more effective and safer than over-the-counter whitening products.

The two main types of professional teeth whitening procedures include the following.

Laser or LED teeth whitening

This teeth whitening procedure used LEDs or lasers to speed up the teeth whitening process and give instant result. Before the treatment, the dentist will place a rubber seal to protect the gums, then cover the teeth with the bleaching gel containing hydrogen or carbamide peroxide.

After applying the bleaching gel, the dentist will shine a light on your teeth to activate the chemicals in the bleaching gel, making them work faster.

Treatments like the Philips Zoom requires 3 – 4 sort whitening sessions within an hour to improve the teeth colour by 7 – 8 shades.

The whitening effect stems from the dehydration of the teeth, so the effect may not last long, and there is the risk of teeth and gum sensitivity.

Professional bleaching trays

This is a more affordable professional teeth whitening option. The dentist will give you custom-made trays to apply a professional teeth whitening gel. The concentration of bleaching gel is stronger than those provided in DIY kits. Your dentist will instruct you on using the whitening trays and how long you should wear them daily.

In-office and take-home teeth whitening

Some dental clinics offer combined teeth whitening treatment that involves an in-office whitening session and home-teeth whitening trays. This treatment requires you to use the teeth whitening trays at home for about two weeks then visit the dentist for a 40 minute to one-hour whitening session.

Other home teeth whitening solutions

Home teeth whitening kits are the most effective home whitening solution, but other products can improve your teeth shade. You can use these whitening solutions alone to achieve a brighter smile or to maintain your whitened teeth. These whitening solutions include:

  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening pens
  • Whitening toothpaste and toothbrush


You will find us at:

54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD

How to whiten the teeth naturally

Several natural teeth whitening solutions are available. However, they gradually whiten the teeth and may take a while to notice the effect of the natural teeth whitening solution. They can also keep your teeth white in the long run.

Common natural teeth whitening solutions include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Mashed strawberries
  • Activated charcoal
  • Apple cider vinegar

How to keep your teeth white after teeth whitening treatment

Teeth whitening treatment does not offer permanent solutions, but you can take steps to ensure the effectiveness of your teeth whitening treatment lasts for a long time.

  • Reduce your intake of stain-causing foods and drinks such as tomato paste and coffee
  • Reduce intake of acidic and sugary drinks, and if you must take them, use a straw
  • Avoid vaping and smoking
  • Rinse your mouth using water or chew sugar-free gum if you take stain-causing foods or drinks.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene routine
  • Visit your dental professional often for check-ups and cleanings.

Is whitening the teeth safe?

The safest teeth whitening solution is professional teeth whitening by a dentist or dental hygienist. A dentist can examine your teeth to determine whether you are suitable for teeth whitening or not, so ensure you visit your dentist before a teeth whitening treatment and get a recommendation.

Teeth whitening at local beauty salons and mobile whitening services are illegal and unsafe. Home teeth whitening kits are safe if you follow the instructions for use. Ensure you use the recommended amount of whitening gel to prevent gums and teeth damage

Whitening sensitive teeth

Some people have naturally sensitive teeth and may experience intense pain after any teeth whitening treatment. If your teeth are sensitive and want to undergo teeth whitening treatment, ensure you consult your dentist first. The dentist may administer topical pain relief to manage the pain after your teeth whitening.

You may opt for products containing other bleaching agent asides from hydrogen peroxide. Fluoride and potassium nitrate products can relieve pain, and you can get products with hydroxyapatite to remineralise the teeth.


Different teeth whitening treatments are available for you to consider for a brighter smile. Teeth whitening done under the supervision of a dental professional is safer. However, if you can’t afford a professional whitening treatment, you can get an approved over-the-counter or online teeth whitening product.

You can visit a dentist St Albans today at St Albans Dental Care for safe and professional teeth whitening procedure.