Posted on: 01 March, 2022
If you're thinking about whitening your smile at home, the huge range of options to choose from can make it difficult to know where to start.
Whether you're interested in home teeth whitening kits, strips, gels, toothpastes or other treatments, your first stop should always be a consult with your dentist.
They can examine your teeth and gums to let you know whether teeth whitening is a suitable option and can give you the advice you need about the different treatments so you can make a fully informed decision.
Read this overview of the most common types of teeth whitening in Perth to get an idea of what they involve and what might be suitable for you.
DIY teeth whitening kits are available from registered dentists and over the counter in retail stores. These kits usually include trays that fit over the teeth and an application gel with an active bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
The application gel gets carefully poured into the trays and placed over the teeth for the recommended amount of time every day, with results usually being achieved in 1 to 2 weeks.
Using a take-home kit provided by your dentist can lower the risks of home teeth whitening, as your trays will be custom made to fit over your teeth, maximising contact and preventing the gel from spilling over and irritating the gums.
Another reason to see a dentist for whitening trays is that they can assess your teeth and gums to rule out any oral health issues that may be exacerbated with bleaching.
Our dentists at Mount Lawley Dental can provide Philips Zoom!® whitening kits for a brighter smile without causing teeth sensitivity. Custom trays should be worn at night and can take 1 to 2 weeks to reach optimal results.
Teeth whitening toothpastes may contain chemical agents or abrasives that scrub and polish teeth to remove surface stains, but they don’t contain bleaching agents that lighten the shade of teeth.
This means that results from whitening toothpaste will be less noticeable than from gels and trays, but dentists may recommend a whitening toothpaste to help top up or maintain your smile after another whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening strips are thin layers of transparent film coated in a whitening gel, which should be placed on the teeth for as long as instructed. Results may be visible in a few days.
As contact with bleaching agents is reduced compared to using a whitening kit, results from strips will be less dramatic. Only surface stains can be removed, which is comparable to professional cleaning and scaling during a dental visit.
An alternative to using custom trays, peroxide-based whitening gel may be applied directly to the teeth using a brush. This is usually done twice a day for up to 2 weeks.
Brush-on gels contain a stronger concentration of bleaching agents than whitening strips, but there can also be a risk of irritation to the gums, and saliva may sometimes break down the peroxide to make it less effective.
A more recent addition to the range of teeth whitening products, these rinses function like ordinary mouthwash – helping to reduce breath odours and plaque – while also containing whitening chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.
As whitening mouthwash is only in contact with the teeth for a short time every day, results can take longer and be less noticeable than alternatives such as whitening strips.
Like some whitening toothpastes, teeth whitening powders contain charcoal and other abrasive agents that scrub tooth surfaces to remove stains.
Whitening powders can remove surface stains but there can be a risk of damage to tooth enamel. These treatments are also not recommended if you have sensitive teeth.
More convenient and less messy than gels, whitening pens are intended to help touch up results from other teeth whitening treatments, as they are less effective at achieving results themselves.
If you choose a take-home whitening kit from Mount Lawley Dental, we provide Zoom! Touch-Up whitening pens to help you maintain your smile on the go.
As you can see, not all whitening treatments are made equal, and your dentist can explain more about the pros and cons of each option to help you decide what might be best for you.
Results from teeth whitening can vary from person to person, but you can improve your chances of a satisfying outcome by making sure your teeth are free from plaque and decay before you begin.
It's recommended to have a professional dental clean no more than a month before beginning a whitening treatment. This can help to remove some surface stains and plaque or calculus that will affect your results.
Teeth whitening treatments are not permanent and require ongoing touch ups and maintenance. You can help to keep your teeth white for longer by observing good oral hygiene and avoiding common sources of stains. Your dentist may also provide top-up syringes, pens or toothpastes to help you maintain a whiter smile.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. Your dentist can examine your mouth and check your medical history to determine whether you are eligible for these treatments or if you might benefit from other options.
They will also make sure you understand the possible risks of teeth whitening treatments and how these can be minimised. This can include teeth sensitivity and chemical burns if bleaching gel accidentally contacts the gums or is swallowed.
Most whitening treatments are designed to remove surface (extrinsic) stains only. If you have deeper (intrinsic) stains, these can only be treated by a dentist or may require an alternative treatment, such as veneers.
If you have any fillings, crowns or other dental restorations in your mouth, these will not be affected by teeth whitening, which only whitens natural enamel. If their surface has discoloured, you may decide to have them replaced to match your new, whiter smile.
If you want to know more about your options for home teeth whitening, book a consultation with our experienced cosmetic dentists at Mount Lawley Dental. We provide Zoom! home whitening treatments and can help you achieve the best possible results for your smile.