Age, diet, smoking, medications, and poor oral hygiene can cause your teeth to become stained. If you have discoloured teeth, then professional teeth whitening is an excellent solution for achieving a bright smile.
However, some patients may have concerns about the safety of professional teeth whitening products. Read on to learn more about teeth whitening and the answer to the question: Is teeth whitening safe?
Professional Teeth Whitening at Southern Smiles
At Southern Smiles, we offer two options for professional teeth whitening: in-chair whitening treatment and take-home whitening kits.
In-Chair Professional Teeth Whitening
The fastest and most effective way to get brighter, whiter teeth is with an in-chair teeth whitening treatment. After an initial consultation, we work together to find the perfect shade of white for your teeth. We then apply a protective shield to your gums and lips to avoid exposure to the bleaching agent.
A bleaching gel containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is applied directly to your teeth, and a light is used to activate the bleaching agent and accelerate the whitening process. After 10-15 minutes, the gel is rinsed off. The process is repeated until your desired shade is achieved.
You will see noticeable results immediately and your teeth will continue to whiten after the treatment is complete.
Take-Home Whitening Kit
Our take-home whitening kits are not the same as those found at chemists or supermarkets. They are customised to your mouth and use professional grade bleaching agents.
During your initial visit, we take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fitted tray. Once your trays are ready, you will receive bleaching gel in precisely dosed syringes to fill the tray.
Depending on your treatment protocol, you may wear the trays day or night for a specified amount of time. After several weeks, your teeth will be noticeably whiter. This treatment option takes longer than in-chair whitening as the concentration of bleaching agents is less than that which is used for in-chair whitening.
How Safe is Teeth Whitening?
While most patients recognise the effectiveness of teeth whitening, many patients wonder: is teeth whitening safe? Here are some of the reasons why professional teeth whitening is safe and effective.
Professional teeth whitening at a dental practice is deemed safe by the Dental Board of Australia and the Therapeutic Goods Administration. These regulatory bodies limit the sale and use of professional-grade teeth whitening products to qualified and trained dental professionals.
Most professional grade teeth whitening treatments contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide has been extensively studied for its therapeutic use in dentistry and has been found to be safe for long- and short-term outcomes. Some other teeth whitening treatments contain carbamide peroxide, which studies have shown to be safe and effective for use in teeth whitening treatments.
In addition to strict regulations regarding who can use teeth whitening products, the concentration of active bleaching agents in teeth whitening treatments are rigorously evaluated for safety. Most store-bought hydrogen peroxide bleaching kits contain a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide, while professional bleaching gels can contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide for more effective results.
Additional Safety Precautions
Getting your teeth whitened at a dental practice is considered safer than over the counter at-home kits because your dentist evaluates your oral and overall health to ensure you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening treatment.
Decayed, overly sensitive, or restored teeth do not respond to teeth whitening. Gum disease, worn enamel, and exposed roots can make your teeth too sensitive for a teeth whitening treatment. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid teeth whitening, and health conditions like diabetes may make you ineligible for the procedure.
For dentist approved take-home whitening kits, your dentist provides you with a bespoke mouthguard, so you won’t experience blistering and sensitivity caused by leaking bleaching gel, which is a common side-effect of products purchased over the counter.
What to Expect After Professional Teeth Whitening
Although teeth whitening is a safe and effective dental procedure, you may experience some increased sensitivity to hot and cold after the treatment. If this causes discomfort, call your dentist who can prescribe a desensitising toothpaste or mouth rinse to help reduce tooth sensitivity.
During the procedure, your dentist will cover your gums with a protective shield to avoid exposure to the bleaching agent; however, you may experience some gum irritation for a few days after the procedure. This is temporary and should resolve itself after a few days.
How to Prolong your Teeth Whitening Treatment
Professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth up to several shades in a single session, but to keep your teeth white between visits, there are a few things you can do.
- Avoid pigmented food and beverages such as red wine and coffee
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine which includes twice daily brushing and flossing as well as rinsing with a mouthwash once per day
Discoloured teeth can affect your confidence and self-esteem, but professional teeth whitening can help whiten your teeth several shades to give you a megawatt smile you are proud to share.
Although some patients wonder: is teeth whitening safe? The active bleaching agents used in professional grade products are tightly regulated, and the application is carefully monitored by your dentist to ensure your safety.
Find out more about our teeth whitening treatments by calling Southern Smiles on (02) 8503 9902 to talk to our staff and make an appointment for a brighter smile.