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The aesthetic appearance of teeth often influences our confidence in conversation, when out in public, and even when going after that next job or position. If you are considering a teeth whitening treatment, you may be wondering, “How safe is teeth whitening?” 

 

When is teeth whitening safe?

Teeth whitening is safe when performed in accordance with the Dental Board of Australia guidelines and under the supervision of a skilled dentist. It can enhance the appearance of your smile and therefore improve your confidence. 

When you choose to pursue teeth whitening, a qualified dentist will assess the health of your gums and teeth to determine the cause of your tooth discolouration. Once you’ve discussed your oral health and your goals for your smile, your dentist can tailor-make a teeth whitening treatment plan for your specific needs. 

By crafting an individualised teeth whitening treatment, dentists minimise the risk of damage due to repeated overexposure to whitening solutions. A dentist can help you reach your aesthetic goals without damaging the long-term health of your smile.  

 

What conditions can teeth whitening treat? 

Teeth whitening involves the application of a whitening solution to your natural teeth. This means that teeth whitening is not used on crowns, bridges or implants. Teeth whitening treats the condition of discolouration. There are two primary types of discolouration

  • Extrinsic discolouration
    • Extrinsic discolouration occurs when outside substances stain your teeth.
      • Coffee, tea, red wine, other highly pigmented beverages, or foods with dyes can, over time, leave stains on your teeth. 
      • Metallic compounds can leave discolouring deposits on tooth enamel.
      • Dental plaque can become a home for bacteria which then stain the teeth. 
      • Smoking or chewing tobacco tends to leave yellow or brown stains near the gum line.  
      • Chewing leaf, a common practice in Asia, can stain the teeth. 
  • Intrinsic discolouration
    • Intrinsic discolouration originates from within the tooth. This could be the result of:
      • The use of certain medications, such as tetracycline, at a young age. This stains the teeth while they are still developing.
      • Ageing. Over time, everyday use wears down the enamel, allowing the dentin beneath to show through. As dentin yellows over time, this process results in an uneven yellowish colour. 
      • Tooth trauma, cavities, genetic disorders, or fluorosis (excessive fluoride exposure).  

 

Types of teeth whitening treatments

At Dapto Dentists, we offer Philips ZOOM! in-chair and take-home teeth whitening treatments. 

 

In-chair treatments

A patient undergoing in-chair Philips Zoom! teeth whitening at Dapto Dentists can see results in as little as an hour. A Zoom! treatment uses a specially-designed peroxide system to lighten discolouration on your teeth’s dentin and enamel. It bleaches away stains without harming your gums or permanent tooth structure. 

Your dentist will apply a whitening agent to the fronts of your teeth and shine a curing light on the whitening agent for 15 minutes. This step will be repeated 3 times.

Between each round, your dentist will check your progress.

While the Zoom! teeth whitening process only takes 45 minutes in the dentist’s office, from start to finish, the results are long-lasting.  

 

Take-home treatments

Your dentist might prescribe you a take-home whitening treatment. Your dentist will design a personalised whitening kit that fits your individual needs, taking into account the health of your enamel and your gums. 

In this kit, you will find customised whitening trays and a lower-strength whitening agent in the form of a gel. At home, you will fill the trays with gel and place them over your teeth. You will wear these trays for a few hours or overnight, depending on the specific treatment plan your dentist prescribed. You may start to notice a difference in the brightness of your smile after a few days. However, the full effects will only be seen after approximately 14 days. 

 

Is teeth whitening safe when using OTC treatments? 

There are a number of over-the-counter teeth whitening options available on the market today. Is teeth whitening safe with these treatments? 

You can’t assess the health of your enamel or your gums without the help of a dentist. It’s also challenging to determine the cause of discolouration without a dental exam. 

In the long-term, working with a dentist to meet your whitening goals is the safest and most effective option.  

 

Conclusion 

A bright, white smile can drastically boost your self-esteem, and confidence has positive effects on the rest of your life. If you’re interested in having an experienced dental team by your side throughout the entire whitening process, contact Dapto Dentist today via our online contact form or call our practice on (02) 4044 5520.