How To Whiten Teeth? Our Dentist Explains

So, you want to know how to whiten teeth? In this post, we’re going to explain how teeth whiten, the various teeth whitening methods available, and what you might expect. So without further ado, let’s dive straight in…


Firstly, whitening toothpaste

Teeth whitening toothpaste is available in pretty much any pharmacy or supermarket. Unlike standard toothpaste, whitening toothpaste contains a compound called silica. Silica is in fact, the major constituent of sand and as you can imagine, it turns toothpaste from a cleaning paste to a gentle abrasive. During the act of brushing this gentle abrasive is rubbed over the surface of the tooth enamel. As it does so it removes any light surface staining found on the tooth enamel, such as discolouration caused by drinking coffee or smoking.

What whitening toothpaste can’t do is to remove ingrained staining beneath the tooth surface. To counteract this, some contain a pigment known as blue covirane. This can create an optical illusion once it’s been brushed on to the teeth, that makes them look less yellow.


Over-the-counter store-bought teeth whitening products

man with bright white teethA step up from teeth whitening toothpaste is the variety of over-the-counter whitening products. These range from whitening strips and gels to teeth bleaching kits. These are different from the former in that they use a type of bleaching agent – usually hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth rather than an abrasive silica paste.

And unlike abrasive pastes, most store-bought teeth whitening kits are designed to remove staining that has penetrated below the outer tooth enamel.


How to whiten teeth with teeth bleaching products – How they work

While there are many varieties of teeth whitening kits spanning many prices, store-bought whitening treatments are designed to be worn over the teeth or applied to the teeth for a certain period of time. This may be anything from 10-20 minutes to overnight, depending upon the product type.

The idea is that when it comes into contact with the teeth, the hydrogen peroxide penetrates the porous surface of the tooth enamel and over time, breaks down any ingrained staining, thus leaving your smile brighter and whiter. This can take anything from several days to several months to achieve depending upon the product.


Problems with store-bought teeth whitening kits

There are several issues with over-the-counter whitening products that can and do affect the degree of success.

Firstly and typically, they are a ‘one-size-fits-all’ product. As you can imagine, however, every person’s teeth are different. A bit like fingerprints, no two smiles are the same. Therefore when a person opts for teeth whitening strips, they may find that the bleaching agent doesn’t come into perfect contact will all of the teeth. This can create uneven whitening which can ruin a smile. The same can be said for products involving overnight trays. The gel may not come into perfect contact with the individual’s teeth because the trays don’t fit snugly enough. The end result may be similar.

The second issue is one of strength….

Because these are Do It Yourself products, safety dictates that the amount of bleaching agent contained within each product has to be less than 6%. Inevitably, the outcome will be dictated by how dark a person’s teeth are. While some people will notice a big change in the whiteness of their teeth, others may be somewhat disappointed with the end results.


How to whiten teeth with professional teeth whitening

If you want the crème de la crème of teeth whitening treatments with more assured results then you should consider professional teeth whitening.

how to whiten teeth at Burwood in-chairThis is the whitening treatment carried out chairside by your dentist or designed by your dentist and carried out by you in the comfort of your own home.The actual teeth whitening process works in exactly the same way as many of the store- bought products in that it uses hydrogen peroxide (bleaching agent) to penetrate the tooth enamel and lift any staining from within. However, there are several important differences…

Firstly, because the treatment is carried out by a registered dental professional it is permitted to use far more concentrated quantities of hydrogen peroxide – in some cases up to 35%. The result is a faster and safer treatment that can whiten teeth by multiple shades. When people opt for chair-side teeth whitening, for example, a whiter brighter smile can be achieved in as little as one hour.

Secondly, professional teeth whitening is a bespoke service designed just for you and your teeth.

  • Chair-side teeth whitening – the type performed in the dental practice –  is closely monitored so that your dentist can exact-match the desired tooth shade you want.
  • Take-home whitening involves the use of custom trays designed by your dentist for an exact match to the contours of your mouth and teeth. Consequently, whitening results are more even.


Finally, there’s the safety aspect…

Before any professional teeth whitening, your dentist will check your medical records and give you a thorough dental examination to ascertain that you are a good candidate. This is to ensure a safe and comfortable treatment.

On the contrary, when you choose to Do It Yourself, you may run the risk of inadvertently causing sensitivity issues to teeth that contain cavities.


Now you understand how to whiten teeth and the options available, why not call the team at Dental 266. We’re masters at creating beautiful smiles. So isn’t it about time you let us show you just what we can do for you? Don’t delay, book your teeth whitening consultation today!

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