If you find yourself longing for a whiter, brighter smile with teeth whitening treatments, you are not alone.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recently noted that "The popularity of teeth whitening is surging", especially in young adults. The benefits of teeth whitening extend far beyond a beautiful smile, with patients reporting increased self-confidence and reduced oral bacteria.
Patients today have more teeth whitening options than ever before. From in-practice procedures to kits for teeth whitening at home, patients can safely and comfortably enjoy the benefits of a brighter smile.
Your trusted dentist will review your whitening goals along with your oral health and recommend the best teeth whitening treatment to meet your needs.
In-chair teeth whitening
In-chair teeth whitening requires one or more visits to a dental practice. You’ll be in the dental chair for about an hour while your dentist applies a professional-grade whitening solution to your teeth.
Depending on the type of solution used, your dentist may also use a bright light to maximise results. Following the application of the solution, your dentist will provide directions for avoiding staining your teeth for the following day or two, then offer general advice to help keep your teeth white in the long term.
Available teeth whitening methods
At National Dental Care, we offer multiple options for whitening your teeth
Zoom! requires a separate dental appointment for teeth whitening. This method uses a 40% concentration of carbamide peroxide, and could be the right choice for people who want a considerable level of whitening but don't expect to experience a significant reaction or sensitivity to the gel used.
Opalescence is a teeth whitening process that takes place in the comfort of your home. The at-home method also represents the least amount of risk for adverse reactions. The downside of this method involves the amount of time it takes for optimum results. It may take up to two weeks to whiten your teeth.
BriteSmile® is an option available during your normal dental appointments. It takes three applications of whitening gel, each of which contains a relatively low level of carbamide peroxide.
How to whiten teeth at home
An alternative option to in-chair whitening is a take-home whitening kit that includes custom dental trays and whitening gel. Your dentist will provide instructions for applying your whitening gel to achieve the desired results.
In most cases, it takes longer to achieve results with at-home whitening kits because they are less potent. However, patients often like the convenience of whitening their teeth at home.
Why choose teeth whitening at home?
Take-home whitening kits represent a great way to whiten your teeth in your own time, and offer several benefits
Take-home whitening contains potassium nitrate and fluoride or PF. PF helps maintain the health of the enamel. It may also prevent cavities and even lessen teeth sensitivity. The formula also prevents dehydration and shade relapse.
Additionally, as a National Dental Care patient, even though you're at home, your dentist remains a resource for any questions or problems.
While using take-home whitening treatments, you may notice a slight difference after the first session, but for the best results it takes one to two weeks of in-home treatments.
The amount of carbamide peroxide in the gel determines the amount of time to wear your trays per session for the best teeth whitening results. These professional-strength gels can only be used in custom made trays, under the supervision of a dentist. The colour and condition of your teeth, and your tolerance, may help determine which level your dentist chooses.
You can choose the strength of the whitening solution based on your individual needs, and the whitening gel can come in a variety of different flavours (regular, melon or mint – depending on the brand you prefer) to make the process more pleasant.
What to consider when deciding on teeth whitening
Have you tried whitening toothpaste and other products promising pearly whites, but you're not seeing results? It might be important to start asking yourself if professional teeth whitening might make the difference you've been looking for:
- Does the condition of your teeth adversely affect your self-esteem?
- What method of teeth whitening fits best in your budget?
- How does your schedule align with the different choices for teeth whitening?
- What level of whitening do you want?
- Do you have any underlying health problems?
- What process for teeth whitening makes the most sense for your schedule and household situation?
Your teeth whitening dentist will want to know your answers to these questions, so be sure to think about your goals and budget before you arrive.
Why professional teeth whitening is better than over-the-counter whitening kits
Do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth whitening products remain popular in Australia. They are easy to buy and tend to cost less than professional treatments. However, DIY kits don't compare to whitening treatments offered by your dentist.
Here are just some of the reasons why professional teeth whitening is better than DIY whitening kits:
- Safety: Whitening your teeth under the supervision of a trained dentist is much safer than trying to use whitening products on your own.
- Improved Results: In-practice whitening and kits provided by a dentist tend to produce more noticeable and desirable results.
- Personalised Support: If you have questions or concerns, you can easily contact your dentist for personalised help and support.
- Better Oral Health: With a dentist examining your teeth and monitoring your smile, you may discover other dental issues that need attention.
Additionally, it is important to recognise that some over-the-counter whitening kits may do more harm than good. Some contain harsh bleaching chemicals that could damage your dental enamel, irritate your gums, and cause your teeth to become overly sensitive. The safest and most effective path to teeth whitening is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Teeth whitening cost estimates
Teeth whitening costs vary from one dental practice to another, and depend on the treatment you choose and the condition of your teeth.
As a general guide, teeth whitening costs for in-chair treatments generally range from about $800 to $1,500 for all of your teeth.
Take-home treatments are more affordable at anywhere from $100 to $400.
How to avoid staining teeth naturally
As well as receiving teeth whitening treatments, you can also take steps to avoid staining your teeth naturally. This will help to minimise discolouration in general, or following whitening to ensure the results last for as long as possible.
Here are some of the most common causes of stained teeth to minimise or avoid completely:
- Tea and coffee
- Red wine
- Cigarettes and tobacco
Some causes of discoloured teeth, such as age and illness, are simply unavoidable. In all cases however, good oral hygiene - regular brushing and flossing - will help to avoid stains and keep your teeth whiter for longer.
Are there any side effects of teeth whitening?
Typically, teeth whitening is a safe treatment, especially when completed by a trained professional. However, there are some minor, short-term side effects that some patients may notice. These include:
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Tingling of the gums
- Skin irritation if the gel comes into contact with your skin
- Irritated throat if you ingest the gel
Speak to your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms.
Interested in teeth whitening?
Dental whitening can make a massive difference for a person with discoloured teeth. If you are tired of having dull, yellow teeth, contact us and one of our skilled dental professionals will talk to you about our teeth whitening packages, or schedule a consultation.
Find your nearest dental practice and get in touch to find out more. We look forward to helping you transform your teeth and your confidence.