Does teeth whitening really work?
Teeth whitening kits are accessible from your local chemist, supermarket and on many online sites. You can even get quick treatments at pop up stores in shopping centres between picking up your dry cleaning and your weekly grocery shop.
With so many options, as a savvy customer, you’re probably thinking – Will any of these work for me? How are they different? Why are they priced that way?
If you’re looking to improve your smile with teeth whitening, there are things you need to know before deciding on how and where you’ll have your teeth whitened.
Who is tooth bleaching for?
Coffee lovers beware! Coffee stains teeth. Consuming dark beverages like coffee, tea and that blissful glass of red wine on a Friday night can lead to stained teeth. Your favourite pasta sauce, curry and even berries are also culprits that contribute to the discolouration of the micropores on your teeth. Teeth bleaching can help remove the stains caused by everyday life.
Who is tooth bleaching not for?
Whitening products don’t work on all teeth for everyone, particularly if you have veneers or crowns made of porcelain or composite (tooth coloured material). In this case, replacing them is the only way to change their colour if they’re stained.
Stains that are ‘inside out’ stains originate from the root of the tooth. These also have limited effect with tooth bleaching.
Tetracycline stains caused by antibiotics taken in childhood are also difficult to treat with tooth bleaching. Porcelain Veneers are typically the most predictable way to cover up Tetracycline stains.
Bleach strength is important for dramatic, noticeable results
The active ingredients used on your teeth when whitening your teeth are important, more so than if you use a special “light” or not. To achieve dramatic results in a short amount of time, stronger concentrations are used to whiten teeth. Professional grade products combined with the light provide dramatic results.
As of 2013 in Australia, only dentists are allowed to use strong solutions greater than 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (or 18% carbamide peroxide). The Poisons Standard changed as a result of the increasing injuries from non-dentist using tooth whitening with stronger products.
Whitening your teeth at a pop-up kiosk or home teeth whitening kits may improve your smile, but it won’t be as dramatic as the results when whitened by your dentist.
Your dentist is able to combine stronger ingredients with a light system like the Zoom! Whitening that salons and kiosks don’t have access to.
Are your teeth healthy for whitening?
If you have tooth decay, bleeding gums or strong plaque build-up, you’ll need to have this treated by a dentist before you whiten your teeth. It’s worthwhile getting a dental check-up before conducting any teeth whitening to identify issues that need attention.
Someone who is not a dental professional may not address or see health issues with your teeth that may cause you unnecessary harm or pain.
Your dentist will also have more experience to know if your stains will respond to bleaching. Not all stains can be removed with teeth whitening and it’s costly to find this out after you’ve already paid for it.
When considering teeth whitening to improve your smile and give you that extra boost of confidence, it may be tempting to use cheaper, convenient options. However, only a dentist can identify any dental issues that may cause complications, work with products strong enough to obtain dramatic results and provide you with a custom tray that is comfortable and which protects your gums. Cheaper at home and kiosk type services won’t get you the same effective results or provide the same level of diligence your dentist will.
A tooth whitening experience at the dental office takes less than a couple of hours out of your day and you’ll get dramatic safe teeth whitening before and after results immediately which is great if you are in a hurry to enhance your pearly whites.
Here at justSMILE, Dr Rammo has been providing his patients with Zoom! teeth whitening for over 10 years, book an appointment if you would like a whiter, brighter smile!