Once you understand how does teeth whitening work, you probably won’t want to waste your time and money on over-the-counter products ever again. Having brighter, whiter teeth can make us look younger, restore confidence and improve our general appearance – but it isn’t as simple as using a gel or strips from your local pharmacy. If you want to get rid of discolouration and stains, you need professional teeth whitening.
What Causes Tooth Stains And Discolouration?
When we are born we all start life with white dentin, but this discolours and turns yellow as we get older. If you combine this inevitable effect with different lifestyle choices like drinking lots of coffee and red wine, or using tobacco products, it can cause your teeth to change colour over time.
The only way to address this, is to use a proven whitening treatment like Philips Zoom teeth whitening. This is because the bleaching agent (which is generally hydrogen peroxide-based) must penetrate and access the dentin inside your teeth, in order to whiten them. And, under Australian law, only dentists are permitted to administer whitening products containing more than 6% hydrogen peroxide. To put it into perspective, some whitening products contain up to 37% hydrogen peroxide, which means a more effective and faster result.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Frist, your dentist needs to evaluate you as a candidate for whitening, and prepare your teeth for the procedure. This means performing a thorough dental assessment to check for the presence of gum disease, tooth decay or weaknesses in your tooth enamel.
It also includes a professional cleaning, to remove any surface stains from your teeth, and to make them an even shade of white, so that the end result is also more even.
You will discuss your whitening needs with your dentist and have a discussion about what could be achieved with your teeth.
Philips Zoom whitening products can bleach teeth by up to eight shades.
In the dentist’s chair
If you are having an in-chair treatment, you can look forward to a quick process because your dentist will be able to apply the strongest bleaching agent to your teeth. He or she will make sure your soft tissue is protected before painting the bleaching agent onto the surfaces of your teeth. Unlike when using whitening strips (which often don’t fit the contours of your teeth), this means your dentist can ensure all the sides of your teeth are covered. Once the whitening gel has been applied to all your teeth, it is activated by a blue light and left on for about 15 minutes. Depending on how much your teeth have been whitened by, your dentist may wipe the bleaching agent off after 15 minutes, and re-apply it two or three times, until you have reached your desired shade of whiteness.
An in-chair treatment is best for patients who may have a special occasion they want to attend and need their whitening completed quickly, or for those who want their dentist to take control of the process.
At-home teeth whitening
Patients who want to whiten their own teeth, or those who do not need to accelerate the process may opt for at-home teeth whitening using the pola whitening system. With at-home whitening your dentist gives you custom trays to wear, wherein you will dispense some of the bleaching agent. You will wear the trays for a few hours or as directed by your dentist.
At-home whitening may take longer to see results but can whiten your teeth by up to six shades lighter. If you do opt for an at-home treatment, remember that it’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and not to exceed the wear time, as it could cause damage to your tooth enamel. Having your dentist oversee your treatment means that he or she manages the process for you and manages your risk factors appropriately.
What Can You Expect After Teeth Whitening?
Whitening treatments are so advanced by today’s standards that when used correctly, most patients can resume their daily activities virtually immediately. Some patients do experience slight tooth sensitivity but high quality teeth whitening systems protect and remineralise the teeth so side effects are usually minimal.
How Long Will The Effects Of Your Whitening Treatment Last?
How long you can keep your whitened smile for will depend on your lifestyle factors (will you continue smoking or drinking red wine) so you may want to discuss follow up treatment options with your dentist prior to leaving.
Still have questions about how does teeth whitening work? It’s always best to speak to a professional (especially before investing in over-the-counter products). Please contact us at (02) 9158 6379 for an appointment