When ‘Lockdown Lifestyle’ Leads To Tooth Discolouration

Restoring teeth that are stained and discoloured

In the last few blogs, we have focussed on immediate oral health concerns following the easing of the lockdown in the UK. For most people with dental problems, it has been a priority to receive treatment to resolve these often painful issues. As we work through these cases, we hope that it won’t be long before our dentists can start to treat less urgent cases, and indeed, those where aesthetic improvements are required.

At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton, one of our most popular cosmetic dental treatments is the teeth whitening procedure. In today’s blog, we will take a look at why people’s teeth may have suffered aesthetically in the last few months, and at the treatments that can be used to help reverse this.

The lockdown period

We have written much about looking after your teeth to avoid decay and gum disease, and of course these are problems that definitely should be avoided as much as is practically possible. Increasingly though, more and more people are concerned not only about the health of teeth, but their appearance too.

One of the things that lockdown may have contributed to is discoloured and stained teeth. This may have occurred in two ways:

Lifestyle – Our diets and lifestyle may have changed in order to help us through this tricky period. Some of us will have drunk more, eaten less tooth friendly food, and some of us may have even started smoking again. All of these factors alone or together, may have led to surface staining of your teeth.

Pausing treatments – Although a lot of people have the teeth whitening procedure carried out as a ‘one off’, such as before a holiday or wedding, there are a number of our Burton patients who have this done on a recurring basis; in effect ‘topping up’ the whiteness to keep it as consistent as possible over time. Inevitably, as practices closed, these treatments will not have been carried out and those of you who have been forced to miss appointments may find that your teeth now appear duller than usual.

Restoring the whiteness

Unless your teeth have become severely stained and possibly would benefit from a more permanent treatment such as veneers, it is likely that we will be able to restore the whiteness of your teeth using our popular teeth whitening treatment. This applies whether you are a first timer or ‘regular’ for this cosmetic procedure.

For those who have not had this treatment carried out before, a brief introduction follows.

Initially, we will need to examine your teeth and any issues such as decay or gum disease will need to be treated beforehand. If this is not required, or once these treatments have been carried out, your teeth whitening procedure can begin. To start with, we will take impressions of your teeth. Theses impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where custom trays will be made to fit your teeth comfortably and securely. Once these have been returned to our practice we will show you how to fit them and also explain how to use the whitening gel that they hold in place on your teeth. You will be given clear instructions on how to use the trays and whitening gel and for how long each day. Each case varies, but full results are usually achieved within two to three weeks. Once this time has passed, you will be able to see a marked improvement in the whiteness of your smile and your friends will hopefully notice too!

Your custom trays are reusable and especially so if you intend to have this treatment done again in the future. If there is a significant gap in time between treatments, it may be necessary to produce a new set of trays if there has been movement of your teeth. This is to ensure a good degree of comfort and also to minimise spillage of the whitening gel which can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth.


Whitening is often used before a big event, with weddings being a prime example. Everyone wants to have an attractive smile in their wedding photos and this is one of the easiest ways to achieve that. With weddings now allowed to go ahead again, this could be a good time to consider having the treatment completed. If you have a wedding coming up, why not talk to us to see how we can help you have a great looking smile on your big day!

As we gradually start to work our way towards the new ‘normal’, we appreciate your patience whilst we optimise our procedures for both patients and staff alike. By working together we will find solutions in these difficult times.

If you would like to talk to us about a problem with your teeth or gums or would like to make an appointment for an aesthetic treatment, please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.