Anyone interested in teeth whitening need to choose between at-home teeth whitening products and professional teeth whitening treatments. However, the cost, results and risks involved in these two approaches vary greatly.
How to Choose Between At-Home or Professional Teeth Whitening?
As a North Sydney dentist, let me offer six considerations that can help you make the decision.
1. Before Your Teeth can be Whitened, They Need to be Healthy.
Your teeth and gums need to be in good condition before you commence any type of teeth whitening treatments. If you have a cavity, for example, and the teeth whitening material gets within that cavity, you may face excruciating pain. If you haven’t seen a dentist in ages, schedule an appointment before letting teeth whitening products anywhere near your mouth.
2. You Need to Know What You’re Treating.
This one should be a no-brainer: you want to brighten yellowing or browning teeth, right? But you may not know what exactly is causing the discolouration, and whether the stains are on the surface or inside the teeth. Both the cause and location of the stains affect the way in which they should be treated. Your North Sydney dentist can answer these questions for you and recommend a suitable teeth whitening treatment.
3. Teeth Whitening is Not Risk Free.
For most people teeth whitening poses little risk when done under the supervision of a dental professional. However, at-home treatments involve a considerable risk of applying the teeth whitening material incorrectly. For example, over-the-counter teeth whitening trays typically don’t provide a perfect fit for your mouth and can cause the teeth whitening gel to leak. This can result in blisters in the gums and mouth, or worse, irritation or bleeding in your stomach if the gel is ingested.
Teeth whitening strips, as another example, can slide out of place, irritate your gums and result in uneven patches of whiter enamel. Basically, the oxidising agents used in teeth whitening material are heavy-duty substances that can irreversibly damage your gums and weaken the enamel in your teeth. A trained dental professional is the best person to apply these substances.
4. Like the Packaging Says: Results vary.
There are few things more disappointing than purchasing an over-the-counter teeth whitening kit and dutifully using a teeth whitening tray or strips only to see no results. Most users of at-home teeth whitening treatments will see a one or two shade change at best. In contrast, an hour-long visit to the dentist can leave you with a smile that’s up to 10 shades brighter.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you whiten your teeth too much they may end up with a different shade from neighbouring crowns or composite fillings. This will result in a multicoloured and unnatural look. If you don’t want to take risks with your smile, seek the help of a qualified dentist.
5. Time Equals Money, And You Don’t Want to Waste Either.
While at-home whitening kits cost less than teeth whitening treatments overseen by a dentist, they also require a longer time commitment. Most over-the-counter teeth whitening products sold in Australia involve a treatment time of several days or weeks. Because professional teeth whitening gels are more concentrated than gels used in home kits, you see results significantly faster. Even just an hour-long visit can leave you with a smile that’s 8 shades whiter. This means you get maximum results with a minimum time investment.
6. Choosing Longer-Lasting Results Makes Sense.
Most over-the-counter teeth whitening kits promise results that last up to a year. A professional teeth whitening treatment offers results that can last up to 3-5 years providing that you follow the post-whitening care instructions. Using top-up kits specifically chosen for you by your dentist and avoiding staining foods and drinks such as red wine, coffee and tea help keep your new, bright smile looking its best.
Looking for a brighter, whiter and more youthful smile? Call Quality Dental at (02) 9922 1159 to book a Zoom Whitening appointment.