There are usually two main ways to whiten your teeth: at-home kits, or an in-chair procedure. So which one is the right one?
The answer is that there isn’t only one “right” method – your treatment will depend on you, your teeth, and your needs.
The Types of Whitening Methods
Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Take-home teeth whitening kits at Robina Town Dental on the Gold Coast involve a couple different steps:
- We will take moulds of your teeth and create custom-fitted trays just for you, which you can then pick up (along with a dental grade whitening gel).
- Each evening, you’ll need to fill your whitening trays with the gel.
- You’ll wear the trays for a certain period of time, usually for 45 mins depending on your circumstances.
This process generally happens over the course of two weeks. At-home teeth whitening has a number of benefits. For one, although our Gold Coast dental team will advise and supervise your whitening process, you’ll be able to control the process at home. You can choose a treatment that works for your schedule and lifestyle.
The home teeth whitening procedure is ideal for patients who would like to whiten their teeth on their own time.
In-Chair Dentist Teeth Whitening
You can opt for in-chair teeth whitening instead by visiting our Robina practice. This is performed in our practice and takes approximately 2 hours. Our dentist can provide a gel with more powerful bleaching agents (up to 38 per cent hydrogen peroxide) than what you can find in a store, and having a professional carry out the treatment can be the best way to ensure the products work as best as possible.
In-chair treatments consist of a gel that your dentist will apply to your teeth. He or she will also put another gel on your gums for protection to avoid any tingling or sensitivity. Once you're ready, an LED light will be shone over your teeth for up to an hour to assist the bleach. Results will be immediate. You will need to avoid foods and drinks that could stain teeth for the following 24 hours.
You may prefer to opt for several treatments to achieve the desired shade of white, but most people will only require one session for great results. Depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits, results may last for up to a year.
This type of teeth whitening treatment happens in one visit, in-practice. As a result, it’s a great solution for patients who would like to whiten their teeth more quickly or who do not want to make wearing the whitening trays part of their regular routine.
If you feel that you may be at risk of forgetting to use the at-home trays, or perhaps would like to speed up the whitening process for a special occasion, then in-chair whitening might be the right avenue for you.
With this home whitening you may require to use the home whitening trays to boost your in surgery whitening results though minimal time wearing these trays will be required.
REMEMBER both in-surgery whitening and at-home whitening does require home maintenance to keep these results white and bright.
Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening
What Causes Stained Or Discoloured Teeth?
Firstly, it's important to understand just what it is that causes stains and discolouration of the teeth. This may help you decide on the best whitening option for your teeth, and it can help you understand how to reduce this issue in future.
Most causes of tooth stains are extrinsic, which means that the discolouring comes from an outside source rather than from within the tooth itself. Much of this comes from your diet and lifestyle habits. For example, coffee, tea and red wine are all common causes of stains. If you regularly drink these hot drinks or enjoy a glass of red or two, the stains on your teeth could easily come from these sources. Other foods, including fizzy drinks, can also discolour teeth. Another major cause is that of smoking or chewing tobacco, which is known to discolour teeth over time. Finally, stains may be a simple result of poor cleaning techniques.
Other tooth stain causes are intrinsic, which means the discoloration comes from within the tooth. In this case, the dentin - part of the tooth - will darken or take on a yellow tinge. Common causes here are from too much fluoride in early childhood, the use of tetracycline antibiotics as a child under the age of eight, trauma, or the birth condition dentinogenesis imperfecta.
How To Tell If Your Teeth Are Suitable For Whitening
The best way to tell if your teeth are suited for any kind of whitening treatment is to talk to one of our dentists at Robina Town Dental. He or she will talk to you about the causes of the issue, and will be able to make an informed decision about which treatment option may work best.
Your dentist will also be able to inspect your teeth and gums to ensure they are in a good and healthy condition in order to receive treatment. Plus, as your dentist already knows you and your teeth, he or she will discuss specifics, such as whether or not you're likely to feel any sensitivity during whitening.
What About Whitening Kits Available At The Pharmacy?
There are products you can purchase yourself from a pharmacy such as whitening toothpastes, gels, strips, and trays. Toothpastes can help to remove surface stains, but don't usually contain bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide so are usually best to lighten your teeth by one to two shades.
Another over-the-counter option is whitening gels that you brush on with a 'pen', which are peroxide-based for a stronger whitening agent and can offer noticeable results when applied correctly. Whitening strips are a similar product that are coated with a peroxide gel, which you apply to your teeth twice per day and offer similar results to gels. These products are stronger than toothpastes and usually offer results that last for a couple of weeks.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening does come with risks, but they can largely be minimised with the right advice from our dentist. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical and it can have an adverse effect on the teeth or gums, which is why the Australian Dental Association recommends that any products with 6 per cent or higher of this agent are only applied by a trained professional.
The worst that most people will experience is a tingling sensation or sensitivity in the gums during or immediately following the whitening procedure. Should this happen, let our dentist know immediately - the symptoms should pass quickly or within a few days but he or she will be able to advise you further.
While rare, other side effects can include blistering of the mouth and gums or uneven coloured teeth. It's also possible that veneers, crowns and fillings won't whiten in the same way as your natural teeth, which can leave uneven results.
Talk To Us about Your Treatment Plan
White teeth have long been considered a sign of health and beauty, and as whitening treatments become more and more accessible for everyone, many people are trying new ways for a brighter, pearlier smile.
Many patients benefit from a combination of both at-home and in-chair whitening. However, in the end, the best way to determine the right treatment for you will be to consult with us. Based on your individual oral health and teeth, as well as your goals, we can tailor a specific treatment plan for a healthy, beautiful smile!
Currently, we offer a $150 smile promotion that offers these at home whitening trays complimentary with a comprehensive oral examination. See promotion details here.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening treatment at Robina Town Dental, please contact our friendly team on (07) 5575 9100.