If your teeth seem to have lost their lustre you may be thinking about how to whiten them safely. Numerous options are available for teeth whitening – from whitening toothpaste to in-chair professional teeth whitening treatment, but you may be wondering “is teeth whitening safe?”
Visit your dentist
If you are considering bleaching your teeth and want to know “is teeth whitening safe?” for your smile, visit your dentist for an oral assessment and an honest discussion about your oral health.
There are some risks associated with tooth sensitivity and damage to tooth roots, especially if you choose to use an over the counter product without professional supervision.
Not all stains can be whitened by teeth whitening products, and your dentist can provide guidance. If you have gum disease, exceptionally sensitive teeth or worn or damaged tooth enamel, your dentist may discourage whitening your teeth and discuss alternative ways to enhance your smile such as cosmetic bonding or veneers.
Determine why you have teeth discolouration
There are numerous reasons why your teeth may be discoloured. Lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking pigmented beverages such as red wine, colas, tea and coffee, age, genetics and even some medicines can all affect the colour of your teeth.
Professional teeth cleaning can remove surface stains and promote good oral hygiene. A professional cleaning may even be sufficient to brighten your teeth.
To whiten or not to whiten?
Your dentist can help you decide if bleaching your teeth is a good option for your unique smile. Teeth whitening is successful in 90% of patients, especially those whose teeth are yellow from ageing or that are stained from food and beverages.
Teeth whitening only works on your natural teeth, so you cannot lighten restorations like bonding, tooth-coloured fillings, crowns, veneers or dental implants.
If you have a lot of dental restorations, porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to teeth whitening.
How safe is teeth whitening?
If you are concerned and want to know is teeth whitening safe? Rest assured that hydrogen peroxide bleaching agents have been around for decades and are safe and effective when used by and under the supervision of a dentist. It is a low-risk procedure with little to no side effects.
Even if you have sensitive teeth, it is possible for you to have teeth whitening treatment. Your dentist will use a de-sensitivity gel containing potassium nitrate to alleviate any discomfort you may experience.
Why choose professional teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening can be performed by your dentist in the dental surgery or at home with a take-home kit. Although over the counter treatments have a lower upfront cost, they are typically less effective and require a longer treatment period. The risks of gum and tooth sensitivity are also significantly higher than with a professional whitening treatment.
Professional teeth whitening treatment provides quicker and more effective results because the bleaching solution is far more concentrated than over the counter products. Professional teeth whitening is also safer because the procedure is supervised by your dentist. It typically yields better results too because the gel is applied evenly and can be tailored to your specific needs.
In-chair teeth whitening at Dentistry on Solent
At our dental practice, we offer three professional in-chair teeth whitening treatments: Opalescence, Pola and Zoom. Each of these treatments can be completed safely in our surgery in less than an hour.
Dr Rai uses a rubber dam to cover your gums and lips to prevent irritation from the bleaching agent and fully exposes your teeth for an even application.
Dr Rai applies the whitening agent to your teeth and then uses a special light to activate the bleach and expedite the process. The high-intensity light breaks up and removes surface stains. After 15 minutes, the agent is rinsed off and the process is repeated twice more or until the desired shade is reached.
Our take-home kits are ideal for touch-ups if you notice a relapse in the brightness of your smile.
At-home teeth whitening kits at Dentistry on Solent
At Dentistry on Solent, we understand that not everyone has time in their schedule for another dental appointment and that is why we offer the convenience of dentist-supervised at-home whitening kits.
After an oral assessment, a customised tray is trimmed to fit perfectly over your teeth and along your gum line to ensure the bleaching gel is not in contact with your gums or other soft tissues in your mouth.
Dr Rai will instruct you on how to fill the trays with the bleaching agent. The whitening agent isn’t as strong as the bleach used in the practice, and the trays are designed to be worn while you sleep. In the morning, you simply rinse your mouth and repeat the procedure for 10-14 days or until you are happy with the results.
Whether or not you decide to lighten your teeth, good oral habits and regular dental cleanings and check-ups can keep your smile healthy and bright.
Whitening your teeth can motivate you to take better care of your oral health. For more information about our teeth whitening treatments or our other dental services, please contact us on (02) 9158 6137.