Want to whiten your teeth, but not sure if it’s for you?
In this blog we cover:
- What is in whitening products
- How does whitening work
- Why dental consultation is best
The simple answer is – Yes, teeth whitening is safe. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) is in place to regulate the whitening industry, in relation to both dentists and over-the-counter treatments. All whitening products made available in Australia have to adhere to strict laws and regulations.
What is in whitening products?
Teeth whitening products have either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in them. When used as per the directions provided, it is perfectly safe. Over-the-counter options contain low concentrations of peroxide, which is why they are easily available on the market without dental consultation.
Only a dentist is able to use teeth whitening products with over 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% carbamide peroxide. Dentists have the knowledge and training to evaluate a patient’s oral health and determine if teeth whitening is safe for them to undergo and will address any oral health issues before starting the treatment.
These peroxide based formulations are the best option available for whitening. Some products call themselves ‘’all-natural’’ alternatives, which contain materials such as sodium chlorite or sodium perborate, that actually soften and dissolves the tooth’s enamel over time. The ADA has reported such treatments to the ACCC to ensure better consumer protection against misleading marketing tactics.
How does whitening work?
The whitening solution using peroxide penetrates the surface of the tooth and reacts with the colored molecule causing the stains and yellow discoloration. They will break down these molecules, reducing their concentration which delivers visibly whiter teeth.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits have low concentrations of peroxide, therefore they only have the ability to penetrate to very superficial depths. Whereas the higher concentrated solutions dentists are qualified to use are capable of soaking deeper into the tooth’s enamel so the whitening effects lasts for much longer.
Are there any side effects?
If you use it according to the instructions provided, you will not experience any long term side effects from teeth whitening. High concentrated amounts of peroxide used could potentially cause some short term side effects. This is why such products are only administered by a professional which minimizes any potential discomfort. While mild, these side effects may include:
- Irritated gums: the peroxide solution used could cause irritation to the soft tissues in your gums. Any discomfort should only be short lived.
- Sensitive teeth: when the peroxide penetrated the tooth enamel, it could irritate the nerve and cause sensitivity in your teeth. Toothpastes and tooth mousse can be used to help with the sensitivity, and are often recommended to be used in the lead up to the treatment, as well as after, to help relieve discomfort.
Whitening at the dentist is safe
Going to your dentist for treatment plans is the safest way to achieve your teeth whitening goals. They can ensure that the whitening agent is applied correctly and for the correct duration. These factors affect not only the result, but also your safety as improper use could lead to extreme sensitivity or worse – death of your tooth!
To find out more details about whitening treatments check our blog on different teeth whitening options.
Looking for safe and quality teeth whitening treatment in Queensland? Book an appointment and talk to our experienced team about our teeth whitening options today. Call us on 07 5465 7995 or book online.