3 minute read
Teeth whitening remains far and away the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment in Australia, as adults of all ages choose to remove food and drink stains and other discolouration from their teeth.
These treatments are safest when carried out under the supervision of a registered and qualified dental professional, but the growth of cheap teeth whitening products is causing many people to avoid their dentist and whiten their teeth on their own. This has led to the increased risk of damage to teeth and gums, as well as underwhelming results. Learn about the various teeth whitening treatments available in 2021.
Home whitening trays
Home teeth whitening kits use a peroxide-based whitening gel and trays worn over the teeth. How long the trays are used for varies depending on the product, the amount of peroxide and how much whitening is desired, but results will usually be seen in around 1 to 2 weeks. Home whitening kits prescribed by a dentist are likely to yield superior results to other home whitening options, but are not as fast or reliable as professional in-chair teeth whitening.
Home whitening kits may be bought over the counter from pharmacies or online, and contain less than 6% hydrogen peroxide (18% carbamide peroxide). They can also be provided by a dentist and can contain anywhere from 6-16% hydrogen peroxide (18-44% carbamide peroxide).
The benefit of seeing a dentist for home bleaching is that they will create custom trays based on impressions of your teeth. This ensures more even coverage and lowers the risk of gel escaping from the tray and coming into contact with the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth.
A custom whitening kit from a dentist is recommended for improved results and safety from home teeth whitening.
Kelmscott Dental offer Philips ZOOM! home whitening kits for a special introductory offer of $299, where you will notice a visibly whiter smile in just 7 days* from the comfort of your own home. Call us for more information on (08) 9495 7999 or book an appointment online.
Teeth whitening strips are a thin, transparent film coated in a peroxide-based whitening gel. These strips are placed over the teeth and worn for as long as the manufacturer recommends. Results may be seen in 3 to 5 days and can last for several months.
Whitening strips can be effective at removing some surface stains from tooth enamel, but they can’t treat deeper discolouration of teeth. Similar results may be achieved with professional teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist.
Whitening gels, pens and wands
Whitening gel is applied directly to teeth using a brush or dispensed from a pen or wand device. These treatments may be used alongside teeth brushing and flossing to gradually whiten teeth over a number of weeks or to ‘touch up’ a smile on the go.
Although the concentration of whitening agent is lower than in a home whitening kit, users must still take care to avoid the gel coming into contact with their lips and gums before it dries. While some degree of whitening may be observed over time, these products are more effective for maintaining a white smile than for removing stains and discolouration on their own.
Kelmscott Dental offers Philips ZOOM! Sonicare Whitening pens for maintaining your smile on-the-go. Call (08) 9495 7999 for more information or book an appointment online
Whitening mouth rinses contain ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide to help whiten teeth through repeated use. These products are designed to be used alongside
tooth brushing twice a day, swishing the formula for 60 seconds before spitting.
Effects from whitening mouthwash are less noticeable than other over-the-counter whitening products containing peroxide, as contact of the whitening agents with the teeth is significantly reduced.
Most toothpaste contains mild abrasive agents that help to scrub away plaque and surface stains. Whitening toothpastes include higher concentrations of abrasives and other chemical agents to help remove more stains over time.
The amount of whitening that can be achieved using whitening toothpaste is comparatively low, as these products don’t contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide bleaching agents. However, this also lowers the clinical risks, and whitening toothpastes are often recommended by dentists to help maintain whiteness after another tooth whitening treatment.
Activated charcoal is made from oxidised substances like wood, coconut husks and bamboo. Its porous-like nature has the ability to absorb and remove toxins. However, while charcoal toothpaste may remove some surface stains from teeth, but it’s not able to increase their whiteness as it doesn’t contain bleaching agents.
Since charcoal toothpastes also don’t contain fluoride, they offer less protection from plaque and tooth decay than standard toothpaste. Some studies have even found that regular use of charcoal toothpaste may cause teeth to turn grey over time, doing more harm than good.
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that originates from India, and involves swishing a teaspoon of coconut, sesame or sunflower oil in the mouth for 20 minutes and then dragging the oil through the teeth. It is thought to remove toxins from the body through saliva.
Oil pulling may be effective for reducing bacteria levels in the mouth and gums, which can help to manage conditions such as gingivitis, but there is no reliable evidence to supports the claims made for whitening teeth.
Salon, kiosk and online teeth whitening kits
If you’d rather trust a professional to handle your teeth whitening, you may be tempted by treatments offered at beauty salons, pop-up kiosks in supermarkets or online vendors as a cheaper option than in-clinic whitening. However, these services are not regulated and their staff won’t usually have the qualifications and experience necessary to give your teeth the care they need.
Besides the safety risks, results from teeth whitening kiosks won’t necessarily be better than using DIY products, as the practitioners aren’t permitted to use higher concentrations of bleaching gels. Products containing more than 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% carbamide peroxide may only be used by a registered dentist in a clinic setting.
Professional teeth whitening
For improved results, a faster treatment time and minimal risk, consider in-chair teeth whitening with an experienced dentist. Your dentist will first examine your teeth and gums to see if there are any oral health problems such as gum disease that need to be treated as a priority or if you have any fillings, sensitive teeth or other considerations that could affect your suitability for teeth bleaching.
Laser teeth whitening can usually be completed in 45 minutes to 1 hour and involves applying a highly concentrated bleaching gel to teeth and activating it with a curing light. This effectively lifts discolouration from tooth surfaces and deeper layers. An experienced dentist will treat each tooth individually to help you get an even-looking finish.
Professional in-chair whitening costs more than the alternatives, but it can also be the most reliable option for helping you to restore and maintain lost whiteness and get the smile you want. Even if you prefer a take-home treatment, you should consider making an appointment with a dentist to check that your teeth are suitable for whitening and what results you can expect.
Kelmscott Dental offers Phillips ZOOM! professional teeth whitening to brighten your smile up to 8 shades whiter in just 45 minutes^! Enjoy professional in-chair teeth whitening for $799 and you’ll receive a FREE Home Whitening kit (total package value $1050). Book online or click here for more info on the offer.
Kelmscott Dental offers Philips ZOOM! Whitening exclusively!
Kelmscott Dental offer Philips ZOOM! Professional in-chair whitening, take-home kits and whitening pens. Speak to one of our experienced dentists, we’ll make sure you know what each treatment involves and what the risks and costs are so you can make a fully informed decision.
*Excludes preparation time. Research conducted in the US using 25% HP Zoom! Kit, funded by Discus Dental. Results may vary for each individual. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, your dentist can check your eligibility during a consultation.
- Australian Dental Association. Policy Statement 2.2.8 – Community Oral Health Promotion: Teeth Whitening (Bleaching) By Persons Other Than Dental Practitioners [Online] 2017 [Accessed October 2020] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Professionals/Policies/National-Oral-Health/2-2-8-Teeth-Whitening/ADAPolicies_2-2-8_TeethWhiteningByPersonsOtherThan.aspx
- Australian Dental Association. Teeth Whitening: Getting the best result for your smile [Online] 2016 [Accessed October 2020] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/Your-Dental-Health/Resources-for-Professionals/Resources-for-Teens-12-17/Teeth-whitening-the-best-result-for-your-smile/Teeth-whitening,-getting-the-best-result-for-your-smile.pdf.aspx
- Healthdirect. Teeth whitening [Online] 2018 [Accessed October 2020] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/teeth-whitening