There’s nothing better than showing off a clean, bright smile full of white teeth. However, this sort of standard of teeth is made difficult to actually achieve by Hollywood, as many stars have porcelain veneers to achieve that ‘perfect’ smile. If you love your smile but wish it was just a little whiter and brighter tooth whitening may be a great option for you. Many of the habits we have and the foods we eat can lead to increased staining and discolouration of our teeth. Drinking red wine and coffee, eating curries and tomato sauce-based meals and smoking are all lifestyle choices that can have a negative effect on the colour of your teeth.

Fortunately, in 2022, there are many ways you can whiten your teeth. Unfortunately, many across Australia are frequently using bad techniques. In fact, according to a study by the Australian Dental Association, over 50% of people who took part in teeth whitening, did it unsupervised using over-the-counter at-home products. 

In this post, we are going to find out the different types of teeth whitening available and when done in the right way, some of the factors that make it safe.  

Professional At-Home Kits

Professional At-Home Whitening Kit can be a great tooth whitening option. This whitening option involves your dentist making special whitening trays for your teeth and prescribing you whitening gel to use in the comfort of your own home. 

After your dentist has checked your teeth are suitable for at-home whitening they will take impressions of your teeth at the first appointment. They will then have custom made whitening trays made up and issue these at your second appointment. After checking the trays fit just right your dentist will go through the correct technique for using the whitening gels. They will also give you some great tips and tricks for maximizing results and minimizing complications.

In-Chair Whitening

In-Chair Whitening can also be a great tooth whitening option especially if you have a big event coming up and are short on time. This whitening option still involves your dentist making custom whitening trays but has an initial In-Chair whitening session to whiten the teeth.

Again your dentist will first check the suitability of your teeth for whitening. If they are suitable and after discussing all options they will take impressions of your teeth at the first appointment. They will then have custom made whitening trays made up. 

At your second appointment, your dentist will use a combination of whitening gel and light to whiten your teeth. In-chair whitening gels can be stronger than take-home kits as they are applied under the supervision of a dentist. After your initial whitening appointment your dentist will issue you with your custom whitening trays and instructions on how best to maximize results and minimize complications. Contact us today and find out what we can do to make your smile look incredible. 

How Safe Is Teeth Whitening?

The possible complications involved with teeth whitening treatments will depend on the method you use. But if you’re having your teeth whitened professionally, here are some reasons why it is often much safer than if you were to do it yourself with some of the over-the-counter products available.

Extensively Studied

In Australia, professional teeth whitening treatments have been studied extensively and treatments carried out by your dentist are strongly backed by scientific research. Having a dentist whitening your teeth allows them to assess your teeth and recommend the most effective and safest whitening option for you.

Dentist prescribed whitening treatments have been studied to prove their safety and effectiveness. Talk to your dentist about all the options and the level of whitening achieved by each as well as their overall effectiveness. Unfortunately, with some over-the-counter options, you may not know how thoroughly the whitening system has been tested.

Regulated

There are regulations that limit the concentrations of whitening gels that can be prescribed by Dentists for at-home use to minimize the risk of complications such as tooth sensitivity and gum irritation and burns. The two main types of whitening gels are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Both are used at different concentrations and for different lengths of time depending on your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Treatment Aftercare

Once you’ve had your teeth whitened, they don’t simply stay white forever. You have to take care of them to maximize the results. Your dentist can advise how best to maintain your new white smile. Helping to maintain a healthy white smile are regular dental visits and having your teeth checked and cleaned. Your dentist may recommend having top-up whitening treatments or give you advice on ways that may minimise future discolouration, such as avoiding: 

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products 
  • Minimising coffee, tea and red wine consumption 
  • Avoiding eating lots of foods that can add to discolouration including some types of curries and sauces

Avoiding these will help sustain your white smile for as long as possible. But in conjunction with this, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day using whitening toothpaste. You should also floss your teeth to help reduce the risk of decay which can lead to your teeth discolouring and/or needing restorations. 

Unfortunately, according to AIHW, only 48% of Australian adults saw a dental professional in 12 months from 2020 to 2021. If you want to give your teeth the best chance of staying white and healthy, you should be seeing your dentist every 6 to 12 months.

Summary   

Whatever your reason for wanting whiter teeth, there are many ways you can do it. One of the primary considerations you should take from this post is teeth whitening is best done under the care and guidance of a professional dentist. 

Although there are many alternative options out there claiming to give you whiter teeth, if you want to ensure you don’t damage your teeth or gums and get the best results possible, have your teeth whitened by a dentist either in-chair or with a customised at-home kit. 

If you need any help or would like to book an appointment to discuss the best whitening options for you, please contact us today. We would love to help you get that bright set of whites you’ve always dreamed of having.