Teeth whitening can be an excellent way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth. Whilst some over-the-counter methods exist, there are a number of reasons why whitening treatments are done by your dentist. Firstly, the bleaching solutions that are used by the dentist are the correct concentrations and are applied in a more effective manner. Secondly, a professional clean by a dentist or hygienist prior to a whitening treatment, will remove most external staining caused by food, drinks and smoking, and thus ensures a brighter and longer lasting result.
Dentists in our Chatswood clinic offer an excellent take-home whitening solution. After offering a number of different whitening solutions in the past, we believe that take-home whitening is the most effective and long lasting. Take-home whitening is done progressively in the comfort of your own home, under the guidance of your dentist, and with bleach strength that is appropriate for each individual case.
Take-home whitening treatments are very popular as they are conveniently done in the comfort of your own home and can be repeated as necessary. Even though the treatments are done at home, the dentist will recommend the correct strength and application frequency for you. The process is rather interactive and occasionally the dentist will change the strength of bleach according to results or patient sensitivity.
What’s involved? Small amounts of the active whitening gel is placed into custom-made trays which are to be worn for an hour a day or overnight (depending on the strength of the whitening gel).
How long does it take? Usually, you will see results within 1 to 2 weeks. The process is gradual and gives the user more control over the results achieved.
Is it safe and are there any side effects? Yes. Research and clinical studies have shown that whitening your teeth with carbamide or hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dental professional is safe for teeth and gums. The most common side effect is tooth and gum sensitivity, which can last for up to 2 weeks after whitening, and can differ from patient to patient. For this reason it is important that whitening be undertaken under the supervision of a dental professional who can ascertain whether you are a good candidate for whitening and that you are using the right concentration of whitening formula.
To keep tooth sensitivity to a minimum, dentists at our Chatswood clinic provide “Tooth Mousse” or Pronamel to use for a week before and after whitening, and also recommend the use of a desensitising toothpaste during treatment.
Can anyone have their teeth whitened? Teeth whitening is a simple and effective method to brighten your smile but it may not be suitable for everyone. For this reason, all patients require a full checkup and consultation prior to whitening to assess their suitability and to obtain the best possible results. Teeth whitening is not recommended for children under the age of 16, or for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
How can I maintain my newly whitened smile? Teeth whitening gives great results that can last for years. The length of time that whitening lasts depends on lifestyle factors. The consumption of highly coloured foods and drinks (e.g. coffee, tea, red wine, cola, berries) and smoking can adversely affect your whitened smile.
To maintain whitened teeth, we recommend that you:
- Brush and floss regularly.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a professional clean.
- Brush or rinse immediately after consuming stain-causing beverages or foods.
- Give yourself a ‘touch-up’ whitening treatment every few months – this can be easily done at home using bleaching trays for a few nights in a row.