Everyone wants a bright and dazzling smile, but the quest for whiter teeth should never cause a serious health concern for a consumer. Before commencing any whitening process, you should be aware of what’s involved and if there are any associated risks. Here’s an overview of how teeth can be whitened and what you should know before you get started.
There are two standard ways to whiten teeth and the first is to bleach them. Bleaching changes the colour of your teeth by applying a product with some concentration of peroxide. The other available whitening strategy is to remove surface stains on your teeth with chemicals.
What’s in an over-the-counter teeth whitening kit and is it safe?
There are at-home and over-the-counter peroxide-based teeth bleaching products available. The concentration of peroxide is never more than 10%, which is considered a safe level of concentration of bleach to use at home.
At-home and over-the-counter products may also contain other chemicals. Glycerin, carbopol, sodium hydroxide will most likely be present in these whitening kits.
Teeth whitening at the dentist
You can visit your dentist for a professional teeth whitening service. Here, the concentration of peroxide can be higher—usually between 25 and 40 percent. Other components of a tooth-whitening service at your dentist may involve light or laser treatments.
One benefit to a whitening treatment at your dentist’s office is time. Your one-time teeth whitening treatment at the dentist should take about an hour, achieving affects that would take multiple applications over several weeks with an at-home kit. Dentists also utilise barriers to protect your gums from the whitening agents.
Finally, you can consider whitening toothpastes. These products use chemical agents to brighten the appearance of teeth, but they do not contain peroxide. Using a whitening toothpaste is the longest process for whitening and it has the lowest concentration of chemicals.
The best way to understand teeth whitening and choose a process that is right for you is to ask your dentist. After an oral examination, your dentist can recommend which product will meet your specific needs. Do not use an at-home teeth whitening kit if you have fillings, crowns or dark stains on your teeth without first consulting your dentist. Always use whitening products under the direction of a professional.
Our friendly reception staff will be happy to book you in to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist so call to make an appointment today.