Not everyone’s teeth are suitable for whitening, find out if you should whiten your teeth.
There is a plethora of teeth whitening procedures and products available. They range from over-the-counter teeth whitening toothpastes and strips, to tooth lightening and polishing procedures conducted by dentists and dental hygienists, and bleaching methods that can be purchased over the counter and done at home.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people ask their dentist to assess their teeth before undertaking any bleaching or whitening, so that they can get the right advice on what procedure is suitable for them and avoid undesirable side effects.
How are teeth whitened?
Teeth can be whitened through a process of bleaching. Hydrogen peroxide is the active bleaching agent in both domestic and professionally-applied dental bleaching products. The effective concentration of hydrogen peroxide varies greatly, from as low as 3% for whitening toothpastes to 35% in some professionally-applied bleaching products. Many bleaching products available contain carbamide (urea) peroxide which is more stable than hydrogen peroxide but generates hydrogen peroxide as the active bleaching agent.
What is the safest way to effectively whiten my teeth?
As teeth whitening became more popular it was possible to purchase teeth whitening products with high concentrations of bleaching agents over the internet for personal use or receive tooth whitening services from unqualified people in beauty salons and ‘bleaching booths’ in shopping centres. This presents a real risk to healthy teeth. In the interest of public safety it is now illegal to sell any teeth whitening product to the public over 6%. Teeth whitening must not be carried out by anyone other than people registered in the dental or medical profession.
All persons, including dental practitioners are not permitted to provide take home teeth whitening kits to patients that contain greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide or greater than 18% carbamide peroxide.
Teeth whitening procedures which use hydrogen peroxide/carbamide peroxide involve irreversible chemical changes to teeth so it is important the whitening process is closely monitored by a dentist to ensure no long-term damage is sustained.
How does Leederville Dental whiten teeth?
After consultation with your dentist a 90 minute teeth whitening appointment is booked. During this appointment a solution of 40% hydrogen peroxide is painted onto your teeth and left for 8 minutes. This process is then repeated twice more in the same visit. Your teeth will be visibly whiter and no take home kit is needed. You can expect your teeth to be around two shades whiter.
What are the common side effects of teeth whitening?
The most common is over sensitive teeth. We have chosen a tooth whitening technique that reduces this side effect. We do not use techniques that involve adding heat, high-intensity visible light or laser light to accelerate the bleaching action as this can lead to increased sensitivity.
What age can I have my teeth whitened?
It is best to wait until you are over 18 to whiten your teeth. Your teeth are still forming before this and the nerve endings in your teeth are larger than when you are older. To avoid over sensitive teeth and nerve damage it is best to wait.
In the mean time during your late teens you can use a whitening toothpaste twice a week to remove stains from food you eat or drink. Correct cleaning and flossing is the best way to stop the build up of bacteria that causes tarter build up on your teeth. At your dental appointment our dental hygienist will give you tips for brushing techniques, flossing and the types of tooth paste that will give you good results. Visiting your dentist each year for a clean, scale and polish can also make a big difference to the appearance of you teeth.
Avoid drinking sugary drinks and eating a diet rich in sugar as this leads to an acid build up in your mouth and the enamel of your teeth (outer white section) is stripped from your teeth revealing the yellow dentine layer beneath.
What teeth respond best to whitening?
Teeth that are yellow in colour respond best to whitening. Grey colour teeth from taking tetracycline antibiotics do not respond as well to tooth whitening. Fillings in teeth and crowns are not whitened by the process.