Dental Education Pt 1
May 22, 2017

Tooth Whitening – Is it for you?

Do you want whiter looking teeth? Have you noticed that over time, they have changed colour?

There are two reasons why our teeth can appear more ‘yellow’. It can be due in external factors, which can be caused by our diet, smoking or poor oral hygiene, which have resulted in staining our teeth. It can also be due to internal factors within the tooth structures such enamel or dentine defects, having high doses of antibiotics or fluoride as a young child. It is normal for your teeth to appear more ‘yellow’ over time. This is because the outermost layer of tooth structure that you can see is the enamel, which is actually translucent. The different shades of colour that we can see in our teeth is due to the underlying tooth structure called dentine, which can become more ‘yellow’ or darker over time.

There are a range of tooth whitening products available in the market, but it can be overwhelming on which one you should choose and which one is actually effective. It is important to be aware that some toothpastes which advertise to ‘remove stains’ can in fact do more damage to your tooth. This is because these certain toothpastes, contain abrasive particles in the toothpaste, which can remove staining, but also the enamel surface.

Our tooth whitening products contain Hydrogen Peroxide is known to cause the enamel structure to appear whiter. There are a few whitening toothpastes available in the supermarket which contain Hydrogen Peroxide, however at very low percentages which can take a very long time to have any whitening effects.

We have two types of tooth whitening products available at our clinic: Home whitening or In-Chair whitening. The at home whitening is takes approximately one to one and a half weeks to take effect as there is a lower concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide. Some patients that have mild existing sensitivity prefer the home whitening as high concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide can increase sensitivity. The In-Chair whitening takes approximately 2 hours and you should be able to see the results at the end of the appointment. As the tooth whitening for In-Chair whitening occurs more rapidly, there is a higher concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide which can increase the risk of post-whitening tooth sensitivity.

It is important to understand that tooth whitening is a cosmetic procedure and we need to ensure that your oral health is optimal before we proceed with the tooth whitening. It is essential for us to ensure that you are the right candidate for tooth whitening as it is not appropriate for every patient. So if you are very interested in having your teeth whiter, please feel free to make a whitening consult with one of our lovely oral health therapist or hygienist at no out of pocket cost.

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