Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
By today’s selfie standards, bright white teeth certainly are the hallmark of youth and good looks but modern consumers are inundated with a range of products all promising to deliver a white smile. And how are you supposed to make an informed choice?
The best place to start is with your friendly Woonona dentist who will evaluate whether teeth whitening is a good move for you. And that’s important for a number of reasons:
Firstly, because not all types of staining will respond to whitening treatments.
Secondly your dentist needs to inspect the condition of your teeth and gums. During this process he or she will check whether you have any exposed roots, cracks in your enamel or cavities. Also, if you have restorations that are stained, they won’t respond to whitening.
Thirdly, your dentist should also clean, scale and polish your teeth to remove any traces of plaque and tartar. This will give you a more even whitening result.
The Difference That Professional Teeth Whitening Makes
Today’s patients have a number of different whitening products to choose from. And many of them are positioned at an attractive price point to appeal to patients’ purse strings.
The problem with whitening toothpaste is that they tend to contain abrasive ingredients that can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. Baking soda, charcoal, different fruits, lemon juice and various home remedies often find their way into whitening products but are ineffective and may cause damage with long term use.
Bleaching strips typically don’t fit the surface of everyone’s teeth correctly.
They don’t offer the same level of customisation that take-home trays from your dentist do, and thus can’t protect your gums and soft tissue from coming into contact with the bleaching agent.
Whitening kits that are available from whitening salons are not regulated, and are not administered by dental practitioners. This means that issues such as infection control and inaccurate bleach application are common. It’s also worth noting that only a dental practitioner is allowed to administer a whitening product that contains more than 6% hydrogen peroxide.
This regulation was put in place by the Dental Board of Australia because of the number of injuries stemming from unregulated whitening salons.
How Safe Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a safe procedure when it is performed by a suitably qualified and experienced dental practitioner. This is because your dentist is qualified to assess your teeth and gums and to provide you with professional advice in your best interests.
He or she is also qualified to administer a concentration of bleaching agent that will help you achieve your whitening goals in your desired timeframe. In fact your dentist can use a bleach of up to 35% hydrogen peroxide, a strength that can penetrate the tooth enamel and lift deep stains.
Making use of reputable whitening products such as the Philips Zoom whitening gel offers another tier of safety because the product remineralises as it whitens. This prevents your tooth enamel from weakening.
Tips To Ensure Safe Teeth Whitening
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime – and they perform a very important functional role, as well as an aesthetic one. Don’t take any risks with sub-standard whitening products as they could compromise the integrity of your teeth.
- Always get the go-ahead from your dentist before you whiten
- Obtain your whitening products from your dentist
- If you are using a take-home whitening kit do not exceed the wear time instructed by your dentist or use the product for longer than recommended
- Don’t get taken in by false or misleading claims – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Don’t believe that ‘natural’ whitening ingredients can brighten your smile
- Don’t purchase any whitening products containing more than 6% hydrogen peroxide for home use
- You can’t whiten your teeth indefinitely. Once you achieve your desired shade, you should stop using bleach. Your whitening results should last for at least six to 12 months.
Still wondering is teeth whitening safe? Don’t leave anything to chance. Make an appointment to see your dentist today, and find out if teeth whitening could work for you: (02) 4210 9078.