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
Yes, teeth whitening is safe. There are strict laws and regulations set by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) that is in place to regulate the whitening industry, that monitors the safety and standards of all whitening products available in Australia. These are in place in relation to both dentists as well as any over-the-counter products.
What is in whitening products?
Hydrogen peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide is the active ingredient in whitening products. When used as direct they are completely safe. Over-the-counter products contain very small concentrations of the ingredient, which is why they are readily available to purchase over-the-counter without any dental consultation.
Only a dentist can use teeth whitening products containing over 18% carbamide peroxide or 5% hydrogen peroxide. Dentists possess the education and years of training required to assess a patient and determine if it is safe for them to undergo any treatment, and will address any potential oral health concerns identified before commencing treatment.
It is crucial to understand that these peroxide based formations are actually the best option for whitening. Some products call themselves ‘’all-natural’’ alternatives that contain materials such as sodium chlorite or sodium perborate. While these are natural ingredients, they actually soften and dissolve teeth enamel over time! The ADA has reported such products to the ACCC in order to make sure consumers are protected from misleading marketing gimmicks.
How does whitening work?
The peroxide whitening solution will penetrate the surface of the tooth and react with the colored molecules that have caused the staining marks and yellow discoloration on your teeth. It will break these molecules down, reducing their concentration which will create visibly whiter teeth.
Over-the-counter whitening products contain small amounts of peroxide, which isn’t enough to penetrate more than just the very shallow depths of your teeth enamel. The higher concentrated peroxide used by qualified dentists have the ability to soak deeper into the enamel so the whitening effect lasts much longer!
Are there any side effects?
Used as directed, teeth whitening will have no long term side effects. Higher concentrations of peroxide used in the teeth whitening treatment can cause short term side effects, which is why they can only be administered by a professional to minimize any potential discomfort. These mild, side effects may include:
- Gum irritation: the peroxide used may cause irritation to the soft tissue of your gums. Any discomfort however, should be short lived.
- Tooth sensitivity: the peroxide that penetrates the teeth could irritate the nerves and cause sensitivity. Toothpastes to reduce sensitivity and tooth mousse will help, and these are often prescribed to use in the lead up to treatment, as well as after, to help relieve pain and discomfort.
Whitening at the dentist is safe
Visit your dentist for treatment for whiter teeth. This is the safest way to achieve your teeth whitening goals. They will ensure that the whitening product is applied correctly and for the right amount of time. These factors are important, not only for the result, but also for your safety. Improper use of the whitening agent or peroxide solutions used in treatment kits could lead to extremely sensitive teeth or worst-case death of your tooth.
To learn more about the whitening process check out our blog on the different teeth whitening options.
Professional teeth whitening treatment personalized to match your exact needs. Book an appointment online or call us on 3878 3889 to talk to our dentists about your options now!