Many of us want to have a lighter and brighter smile and doing some tooth whitening can be an effective and non-invasive way to achieve this.
There are several different ways to effectively whiten your teeth. Here is a guide to tooth whitening.
Tooth enamel varies in colour from person to person and the results will vary from person to person also. Enamel is classified into shades of yellow and grey and mixtures of both.
Tooth whitening removes the yellowish tint from enamel, leaving the teeth much whiter afterwards. For this reason, tooth whitening procedures work best on those with yellow shades but will still lift grey tones a few shades lighter.
Crowns and tooth-colored restorations (fillings) do not change colour with whitening. When thinking of doing any kind of whitening, we need to consider if there are existing crowns or restorations that are visible when smiling and talking as these will probably need changing to match the new enamel shade once whitening is done.
Whitening toothpastes are ineffective at changing the colour of teeth. They contain lots of abrasive agents that don’t whiten enamel and make teeth sensitive and don’t contain enough bleaching agent to chemically change the colour.
Whitening in Beauty salons/shopping centres and Pharmacy/supermarket home whitening kits are ineffective at shade improvement as they don’t contain enough bleaching agent. These products usually contain ingredients that dehydrate the enamel, giving a “chalky” white appearance. Many people are fooled by this until the teeth are rehydrated within 48 hours of finishing the whitening process when the enamel returns to its previous colour.
Tooth Whitening Options:
Here are the products that we would suggest, from lowest to highest percentage of whitening solution.
Take-home Whitening pens are an easy first step into whitening your teeth. These contain active whitening agents and are brushed directly onto your teeth daily tor a period of 5 days to slowly and gently brighten the enamel. This solution is easy and gives a subtle result using a 6% solution.
Another simple home solution is the Light-Activated home kit. These come with a pre-made set of whitening trays that are attached to an activation light. There are 3 tubes of 6% whitening gel with this kit. The gel is squirted into the trays that you bite onto. The light activates the solution and will switch itself off once the whitening session is complete for the day. The Light-activated home kit also contains a bonus Take-home whitening pen.
The optimum home solution is a Custom-made home whitening kit. Dental impressions are taken of the upper and lower teeth and from these, we make custom upper and lower whitening trays. These trays are made to hold the 9.5% solution directly onto the tooth and minimise any excess gel being wasted. Home kits have been used for decades as they are a predictable and gentle way to whiten teeth.
The ultimate whitening solution is the Professional Dental Tooth Whitening which is done in the dental chair. This is a 37.5% solution and is only available at a dental clinic. The professional whitening is done in a single appointment taking approximately 90mins. A protective barrier is painted on the gums and then the whitening gel is painted onto the teeth, and then activated by an LED light for an 8-minute cycle. Usually, 4 cycles of 8 minutes are completed, but this varies from person to person. Some people have some sensitivity after 3 cycles and elect to stop, and some have no sensitivity and do a 5th cycle at no charge. The results after the Professional whitening are best seen approximately 5 days after the appointment, once the enamel shade has settled. This option comes with a free top-up home whitening tube every 6 months at your hygiene appointment, so long as you keep up your regular appointments.
At Grandis Dental we like to combine the Professional Dental tooth Whitening and Home Custom Kit to give the best results. We regularly have this combination as our Product of the Month, so ask when you’re in next- you might find out that this is a more cost-effective option than you thought.
At Grandis Dental we only use Pola brand tooth whitening products. These are the only products available that are pH neutral, so cause less sensitivity and won’t give a false result by dehydrating the teeth. Pola is owned and manufactured in Australia and we proudly use their products.
For any further information, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on 08 64042899. We are happy to answer any questions.