What You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening
What to Consider Before Whitening Your Teeth
Like every health-related procedure, there is a range of factors to consider when deciding which option suits you best.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens both the inside and outside of the tooth. How?
The inside of a tooth is a pulp chamber, containing blood vessels and nerves. Surrounding this chamber are two layers; dentine on the inside, and enamel on the outside, which form the white tooth cap that we see.
When we consume staining substances such as coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco, in addition to natural factors such as ageing, these layers can become discoloured. Some stains on the enamel can be removed through regular brushing and professional cleaning at the dentist, but sometimes discolouration will become more embedded and penetrate the dentine.
Teeth whitening, therefore, uses chemicals (mostly hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) that reach through the enamel to the dentine, releasing oxygen that bleaches the deeper stains.
Being Safe With Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
Every set of teeth is unique. Since cosmetic teeth whitening uses chemicals, it’s important that you consider your own teeth and their sensitivity before settling on a treatment option. For example, for more sensitive teeth, continued application of whitening gels with lower chemical concentrations may be necessary to avoid discomfort, rather than fewer applications of a higher concentration.
We therefore recommend that you book an appointment with us to discuss which treatment option would be best for you and your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Options
There is a wide variety of teeth whitening products and services on the market. We’ve resumed the two most common pathways to help you consider your options. We also cover over the counter options and why you may want to reconsider using them.
1. Custom Take-Home Whitening Kit
The first option is a custom whitening kit. These kits contain a custom-fitted mouth tray and whitening gels adapted to the sensitivity of your teeth.
Following a consultation, this option allows you to be in control of the process without more costly visits to the dentist. Because of their adaptability, take-home kits often provide better results than over-the-counter options.
2. In-Chair Teeth Whitening
While this option is considerably more expensive, knowing you’re in the capable hands of a professional dentist means many consider it a worthy investment.
3. Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
The final teeth whitening option is products such as whitening strips that can be bought over the counter. While they often cost under $40, they cannot be tailored to your teeth in size, angle and gel chemical dosage. This means these products are not only less effective but also may be damaging to the enamel, making cavities worse. It is therefore important to seek medical advice before opting for such products.
Want to Learn More About Teeth Whitening?
We hope that you’re more confident about the world of teeth whitening and the pathways that are out there. Feel free to get in contact with us if you have any questions, or we would be happy to chat in more detail about any of these processes at your next check-up.