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Teeth Whitening

What is teeth whitening?

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Teeth Whitening explained

Dr. Sarah explains everything you need to know
about teeth whitening services at the dentist

Teeth whitening is an elective cosmetic dental treatment that involves placing a dental-specific bleach solution on the tooth surface for the manufacturer’s recommended period of time in an effort to make them brighter and whiter than their current shade.  Most people using teeth whitening solution can expect to change the colour of their teeth two to three shades whiter than the current colour.  Teeth whitening is most effective at changing the colour of yellow-brown stained teeth and slightly less effective on grey-black coloured teeth, however, with the right advice, guidance and teeth whitening solution suited to your needs, you can look forward to achieving great results that will enhance the look of your smile.  It is important to note that teeth whitening or teeth bleaching will only change the colour of the natural tooth structure (enamel), and will not alter the colour of existing dental fillings, porcelain and ceramic crowns, or acrylic dentures.  Teeth whitening will also not change the colour of certain discolourations deep within the tooth structure.

How much does teeth whitening cost?

  • DIY teeth whitening cost of kits purchased online or from a chemist or beauty salon. The cost of these kits can range from $70 – $150.
  • At-home teeth whitening cost of kits supplied by a dental professional. Dental practices will normally charge between $200 – $400 for home teeth whitening kits which include custom-made trays which help to increase your teeth whitening results.
  • In-office professional teeth whitening costs will be between $400 – $1000 depending on the method being used, time in the chair, and location of the clinic.
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AirSmile practice partners are experts at delivering teeth whitening solutions to their patients.  If you’re looking to improve the look of your smile, teeth whitening with one of our members might be the quickest solution to get the look you’ve been dreaming about.

To speak with one of our AirSmile dentist partners about which teeth whitening treatment will get you maximum results simply download the AirSmile app from Apple Store, Google Play or join online and search for a dentist near you that offers teeth whitening as part of their services.  When you’ve found an AirSmile dentist you love simply click BOOK, find a time for a teeth whitening consultation and you’re on your way to a brighter, whiter and more confident smile. 

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Understanding your condition is the key to making the right choices for you

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Teeth can become discolored for several reasons, mainly;

  • Age
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Trauma
  • Genetics
  • Infection
  • Medical History
  • Medications

Some teeth will stain more easily than others and an individual’s teeth will also respond differently to teeth whitening procedures.  The type of stain and the method used to treat discolored teeth will determine the result of any whitening treatment.

At-home whitening is the most cost-effective solution to whitening your teeth, however, the strength of the bleaching gel is not as powerful as the product dentists and dental professionals are licensed and trained to use.  Therefore, if you want to achieve maximum results and get the whitest teeth color possible you are best to have your teeth whitening treatment completed by a dentist.

Have a professional scale and clean prior to whitening to remove any stain and hard buildup on the tooth surface.  This will allow the teeth whitening solution to penetrate the tooth surface more easily

Attend the dentist prior to having any teeth whitening procedure to check for exposed areas that might be damaged from the teeth bleach solution. 

For maximum results and the brightest teeth whitening results, it is best to visit a dental practice to have your teeth whitened since they are trained to use the highest strength teeth bleach on the market and will safely guide you through the course of treatment.

Your teeth become porous after a teeth whitening session for a period of 24 hours meaning they will absorb coloring very easily, like a sponge.  It is recommended to avoid any food and drink that could stain a white t-shirt.  For example; coffee, red wine, curry, blueberries, and colored soft drinks.  

How often you do teeth whitening will depend on your age and lifestyle as these two factors are the main causes of stained teeth – and not have regular professional teeth cleaning at the dentist.  Some people pick up stains a lot faster than others based on what food and drinks they consume, smoking and other lifestyle habits, and their level of the oral hygiene care routine.  To maintain the whitest shade your teeth will naturally go when having teeth whitening done, it is suggested to have teeth whitening every 6 – 12 months.  The best way to keep your teeth at their brightest is to visit the dentist every six months for a professional clean and stain removal and follow this up with a few days of teeth whitening at home with a do-it-yourself teeth whitening kit.  

Patients can develop sensitivity ranging from a few hours of slight cold sensitivity to a 24 hour period of sharp ‘zinging’ pain shooting through individual teeth.  The level of teeth sensitivity and discomfort following teeth whitening treatments will depend on the health and condition of your teeth and gums, what percentage of teeth whitening bleach solution is used and the type of teeth whitening procedure you have.  Your oral health carers can recommend products that will help reduce sensitivity post teeth whitening to help manage any discomfort.  

Any sensitivity or discomfort should end within 24hours.  If symptoms continue please seek advice from a dental professional.

If you have areas of active diseases, such as decay (tooth rot), inflamed and bleeding gums, hypersensitive teeth, extensive dental treatment that won’t change color under a teeth whitening procedure or are pregnant or under age, a dental professional might refuse to offer any sort of teeth whitening service as it will risk the health of your mouth and cause a current condition to become worse.

Your teeth might be sensitive to cold air and cold water for a short period of time.  Speak with your dental professional on how you can minimise this.

Your teeth might have a mottling appearance due to dehydration of the tooth structure during the teeth bleaching procedure.  This white patching on the tooth surface will disappear within a few hours.

Your teeth will absorb colours from your food and drink over the following 24hours therefore, it is best to consume clear coloured foods only during this time 

The teeth will dull slightly from the intense white you will see straight after the teeth whitening solution is removed to the shade they will naturally maintain until the effects of the teeth bleach have worn off 

Teeth will only go as white as the natural tooth structure will allow.  Patients will get varying results with teeth whitening and no one can predict how white a patient’s teeth will go, or how long it will last.  

If you follow the instructions and advice from the manufacturer and your dental professional teeth whitening is a safe and easy procedure for patients.  There are some very important safety precautions you must be aware of if you decide you would like to whiten your teeth, which is why it is advised to seek support and consultation with a dental professional for all teeth whitening services.  

Some warnings for teeth whitening included;

  • Do not ingest teeth bleach or teeth gel material
  • Do not use teeth whitening products on diseased teeth or gums
  • Do not use teeth whitening products on exposed areas of dentine (second layer of the tooth)
  • Not recommended for people under the age of 18 years
  • Not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating 

Most discolouration is due to a build-up of extrinsic stain from the foods and drinks we consume.  The main culprits being soft drink, tea and coffee, red wine, highly coloured foods like beetroot and yellow curry and smoking.  A trip to the dentist or dental hygienist for professional teeth cleaning and polish is often all that is needed to bring the teeth back to their natural white colour.  

You might see results with the use of specialised teeth whitening toothpaste as they are designed to help remove surface staining with your daily brushing.  There are also some DIY recipes that can be found online that some people have found success with, however, these may come with the risk of damaging any fragile tooth structure if it is not a recommended and credible method.  

If the discolouration is deeper or the result of more intrinsic causes such as childhood illness, trauma, medication or infection, teeth bleaching, unfortunately, might be the only method to get the results of a bright white smile you’re after.

The teeth whitening gel used to alter the color of your teeth is a strong chemical bleach.  The soft tissue and gum can become extremely irritated and burn if the bleaching gel is left on the gum surface for too long.  To avoid hurting the gum remove any excess gel with a clean wet cloth as soon as the bleaching trays are in place.  If you notice any areas after you remove the trays where the whitening gel has been left on the gum and caused irritation or burn, vitamin E (gel from a capsule) is thought to be one soothing cure that can be placed directly and safely on the area to help to ease the burn. 

Unfortunately, the whitening gel will not change the color of any teeth fillings, crowns, or restorative work in the mouth.  It will only work on natural tooth structure.  Therefore, it is advised to have your teeth whitening prior to having any teeth fillings and work done so that any restorative treatments can be matched to the new white shade post-whitening.

Everyone wants a smile they feel confident to show off and teeth whitening is considered to be one of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance one’s smile.  Although teeth whitening is by far one of the least expensive services a dental practice offers it does come at a cost and sometimes this can be outside the household budget.  Therefore, most dental clinics now offer special teeth whitening deals and interest-free payment options so that no one has to miss out on getting the smile they deserve.  

A quick search on AirSmile will help you find a practice that offers both teeth whitening treatments and interest-free payment plans.  Search and book your teeth whitening treatment today! 

Teeth Whitening

Most commonly, teeth whitening is done at home using a do-it-yourself teeth whitening kit or in-office under the supervision of a dental professional. For maximum results, teeth whitening is best done at a dental clinic with a trained dental professional using a high-strength teeth bleach in a safe and supportive environment. 

The teeth whitening product is usually a peroxide – most commonly carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. They also have desensitizing products in the gel to make the process more gentle.

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