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Is Teeth Whitening For You | Bay Street Dental Group | Melbourne

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25 September 2018

Is Teeth Whitening for You?

People face different types of oral issues from serious dental problems to aesthetic issues. Since the array of upper and lower teeth are one of the most distinguished and visible parts of the mouth, the shape, colour, and the structure of teeth become crucial to one’s facial aesthetics.

One of the leading dental aesthetic issues is the discolouration or stains on teeth. Everyone wants white, shining teeth that can make them look more appealing and help them to offer a complete smile to others. Due to various reasons, many people do not get whiter teeth or become stained over the years.

Reasons For Teeth Discolouration

Reasons for Tooth Discoloration

While most teeth discolouration issues happen due to lifestyle choices or the lack of dental care, some people face it due to their medical conditions or the treatments they go through.

  • People who consume coffee, tea, wines, colas, and some fruits and vegetables experience stain issues on their teeth. People who eat potatoes and apples often struggle with stains on their teeth.
  • Lack of dental care is another major reason for teeth discolouration. Insufficient brushing and flossing can lead to tooth discolouration and stains. Some antiseptic mouthwashes can cause stains on your teeth. People who use phenolic mouthwashes often experience yellow staining. Similarly, mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine also stain teeth.
  • The use of tobacco, both smoking and chewing, can lead to tooth discolouration and stains. Since tobacco stains go deep into the enamel after several years of smoking or chewing, dentists often find it difficult to remove.
  • Certain antibiotic medications, such as doxycycline and tetracycline, can cause tooth discolouration in children. Also, certain antipsychotic drugs, medications for high blood pressure, and antihistamines also found to cause tooth discolouration.
  • When people age, the outer white layer of enamel gets worn away. Therefore, the yellowish dentin becomes highly visible, and make the teeth look yellowish.
  • Excessive use of fluoride in various forms, such as toothpaste, rinses, and food supplements, can lead to teeth discolouration.
  • Some dental materials like amalgam restorations and products that contain silver sulphide create grey-black colour spots in teeth.

In most of these situations, teeth whitening is the only effective solution to bring back the natural colour of the teeth. However, people have many questions about teeth whitening services and are hesitant to use the treatment option.

Therefore, it is important to discuss some of the key characteristics of teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening Options

At Home Teeth Whitening Products

There are a range of teeth whitening products available for at-home use, offering convenience and the opportunity to brighten your smile in the comfort of your home. Some common types of at-home teeth whitening products include:

  • Whitening Toothpaste: These are designed to whiten the teeth to some extent. They often contain mild abrasives and polishing agents to help remove surface stains over time.
  • Whitening Strips: These are thin, flexible strips coated with a peroxide-based gel. You apply them directly to your teeth and wear them for a specified period, usually once a day for a couple of weeks.
  • Whitening Gels or Trays: These kits include custom-fitted trays that you fill with a whitening gel and wear over your teeth. Dentists often provide them for at-home use, ensuring a more controlled and effective process.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional Teeth Whitening comes in two main options: in-office and at-home treatment facilitated by your dentist. Both approaches are designed to brighten your smile effectively, but they differ in setting and process.

  • In-Office Treatment: This is a dynamic and swift method executed by a dental professional within their clinic. The procedure offers immediate results, making it ideal for individuals seeking rapid transformation before significant events or occasions. During the session, your dentist will apply a potent whitening solution to your teeth, often utilising advanced technologies like laser or light activation to accelerate the process. The controlled environment and professional supervision ensure both safety and optimal outcomes.
  • At-Home Treatment through Your Dentist: This approach involves custom-fitted trays provided by your dentist and a professional-grade whitening gel. While the process takes place in the comfort of your home, it’s guided and overseen by your dentist. You’ll fill the trays with the whitening gel and wear them for a prescribed duration daily. This method typically spans a few weeks, offering gradual yet noticeable improvements. It’s a great choice for those who prefer a more flexible schedule and are willing to invest time in achieving the desired results.

Both in-office and at-home treatments have their merits, and the choice between them depends on your preferences, timeline, and your dentist’s recommendation.

What Are the Advantages of Getting Your Teeth Professionally Whitened?

Getting your teeth professionally whitened offers many advantages that enhance a smile and overall oral well-being. These benefits encompass:

  • ILong-Lasting Results: Professional whitening treatments yield more enduring results than over-the-counter options, providing a brighter smile that lasts over time.
  • Less Chance of Side Effects: A dentist’s expertise significantly reduces the risk of adverse effects like tooth sensitivity or gum irritation, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience.
  • Improved Self-Esteem: A whiter smile often boosts self-confidence, positively impacting various aspects of your life.
  • Quick Procedure: In-office whitening procedures offer swift outcomes, making them suitable for those seeking rapid improvements before significant events.
  • Professional and Customised Procedure: Dental professionals tailor the whitening process to your needs, ensuring a personalised approach that maximises effectiveness.
  • Better Oral Health: Before whitening, any underlying dental issues are addressed by your dentists, guaranteeing your oral health is optimal before the procedure.
  • Cost-Effective in the Long Run: Although the initial investment might be higher than at-home options, professional whitening’s long-lasting effects make it cost-effective.
  • Professional Post-Advice: Following the procedure, you receive expert guidance from a dental professional on maintaining your results, which aids in prolonging the benefits of your whitening treatment.

Both in-office and at-home treatments have their merits, and the choice between them depends on your preferences, timeline, and your dentist’s recommendation.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Most teeth whitening treatments are generally safe and produce guaranteed results. Sometimes, the bleaching agent present in the whitening product may irritate your gums, and most of the dentists use special protection devices to secure your gums from the bleaching agent.

People may also face tooth sensitivity of varied extents. However, none these issues are prolonged or severe, and people can be relieved from it after the teeth whitening process is over.

Over the counter teeth whitening kits available in Australia do not contain more than six percent of hydrogen peroxide. However, teeth whitening products that contain higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can lead to chemical burns.

Compared to teeth whitening at home, the treatment performed by a dental specialist reduces the risks associated with teeth whitening.

The chemicals used for teeth whitening do not cause any harsh effects on human body. Studies also confirm that it does not cause any long-term health implications.

However, new mothers and pregnant women are advised to avoid teeth whitening as the whitening chemical can enter the breast milk and the placenta.

Does It Produce Permanent Results?

Not everyone can expect the same level of whitening with the treatment. The degree of whiteness depends on a number of factors, including the level of discolouration, the type of treatment you receive, natural colour of your teeth, and much more.

You can speak to your dentist and explain your expectations from the teeth whitening service, before going ahead with the treatment.

None of these teeth whitening treatment options can provide you with permanent results. Most teeth whitening services produce results for six months to three years. By refraining from smoking and staining food as well as drink items, you can enjoy the whitening effects for a longer period of time.

Right Time For Whitening When Getting Ready For A Big Event

People who prepare for upcoming events want to look their best, and they take a teeth whitening service as an option to achieve it. You should learn about different teeth whitening options and the duration for each of them to produce best results, before deciding to have teeth whitening treatment.

For people who prefer teeth whitening at home, it may take up to two weeks to get the best results. In comparison, the teeth whitening service provided by a dental professional produces instant results. People who prefer whitening toothpaste should wait for at least four weeks to notice any changes.

However, people who are struggling with severe stains and discolouration can preferably go for the teeth whitening services offered by dental specialists. It will help them to get better and quicker results compared to other whitening options.

Treatment Results For People Who Have Veneers Or Crowns

Treatment Results For People Who Have Veneers Or Crowns

Teeth whitening gels are made to specifically work on tooth enamel. Therefore, your veneers, crowns, and bridges do not show any colour change while applying the gels.

Since most veneers, crowns, and dental fillings come with the natural colour of your teeth, they may standout after the teeth whitening process. Your dentist will confirm this during the teeth whitening process and advise you on the need to replace any existing restorations.

Effects Of Excessive Teeth Whitening

Though teeth whitening will help to restore the aesthetics of your teeth, frequent whitening can affect the health of the teeth. Do not apply teeth whitening strips every day for a few years or go for dental whitening services every two months.

Teeth Whitening For People With Braces

People who go through orthodontic treatments may not get accurate results due to the placement of braces or aligners. Therefore, dentists normally request them to wait until the orthodontic treatment is over.

However, if you really require teeth whitening services, your dentists can still offer these to you. However, the whitening process with braces usually takes more time to complete and brings less effective results.

If you choose a teeth whitening kit to do it at home, the whitening trays will come with space for brackets without making them dislodged. After the braces are removed, you might find the areas beneath the braces look yellowish or darker than other areas of your teeth. In such situations, your dentists can provide you with a touch-up treatment to lighten the discoloured areas.

Who Are Not Advised To Go For Teeth Whitening

Though teeth whitening is the ideal solution for stained and discoloured teeth, not everyone can have it for a number of reasons. As discussed earlier, pregnant and lactating women are not encouraged to go for teeth whitening services.

Children Under The Age Of 15

The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry does not recommend teeth whitening services for children below 15 years of age. The nerve of the teeth and pulp chamber of children do not develop completely until this age. Therefore, teeth whitening gel can cause sensitivity to the pulp.

People Who Struggle With Gum Disease, Cavities, And Worn Enamel

People who suffer from gum disease, cavities, and worn enamel are not generally advised to go for teeth whitening. Instead, they should undergo treatments for dental issues and then go for the whitening procedure. The whitening solutions can enter the inner layers of the tooth through cavities and worn enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.

Individuals who have exposed tooth roots cannot get the benefit of teeth whitening. The tooth roots have no enamel layer, and the whitening solutions can only produce results in teeth areas that covered by enamel.

Also, people who are allergic to whitening agents, especially peroxide, should not opt for teeth whitening services.

People With Unrealistic Expectations

tooth decay and teeth whitening

People who have severely stained teeth cannot expect excellent whitening results. Most teeth whitening treatments can offer you a reasonable level of whitening, which is slightly whiter than your sclera (the white part of your eyes).

Smokers should try to quit smoking to get better and long-lasting results after teeth whitening.

You should note that yellowish teeth produce excellent teeth whitening results. Compared to this, brownish teeth produce less effective results whereas purple or greyish tooth do not respond to the whitening treatment at all.

Do you know that the blue-grey stains caused by tetracycline (an antibiotic) is very difficult to lighten? It needs up to six months of home whitening or several in-office sessions to produce satisfying results.


Teeth whitening treatments are highly effective and quick options to bring back the original colour of your teeth. Dentists offer both in-office treatment services as well as at-home treatment trays based on the requirements of people.

These whitening services provide guaranteed and lasting results for people. These procedures are safe for most people, except for pregnant women and people who face dental issues.

To know more about teeth whitening service, visit dentist port Melbourne clinic or call us on (03) 9646 2577

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