Are you thinking of getting your teeth whitened? If so, you may have asked around or done some research on the subject. Chances are you would have heard some things that are accurate and based on real experience, and others that are based on conjecture or hearsay. Whatever the case may be, this article hopes to demystify some of the popular myths surrounding teeth whitening while bringing to light the aspects that are true.

Let’s consider whether the following statements are true or false:

It takes a long time to see any whitening results: False
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Professional laser whitening treatments like the Zoom chair-side treatment can lighten up to eight shades in just one and a half hours

Although some whitening products – especially OTC home whitening kits – take longer than other methods to see any visible results, this is not true across the board. Professional laser whitening treatments like the Zoom In-Chair Whitening treatment can lighten up to eight shades in just one hour. That’s because the dentist-administered system uses a higher concentration of whitening agent with a catalytic light source to speed up the whitening process. Depending on the condition of your teeth and the extent of your discolouration, the Zoom whitening method can deliver highly noticeable whitening results in just a single one hour appointment.

Everyone can go for teeth whitening: False
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Not all types of stains may be removed by professional teeth whitening

There are many types of teeth stains and not all stains can be removed by professional teeth whitening. Extrinsic stains, which are those caused by consumption of certain foods and drinks, are generally easier to remove than intrinsic stains, which may be caused by trauma, genetics or ageing. Teeth whitening may not be recommended for some patients who have had prior restorative work done on their teeth like veneers or tooth coloured fillings. That’s because the restorative materials react differently to the teeth bleaching process as compared to your natural teeth. Hence the teeth whitening procedure may create an uneven shade between your real and restored teeth that will not be aesthetically pleasant.

Of course, the cosmetic dentist is the best person to assess your teeth’s condition and advise whether whitening is a suitable treatment for you.

You will need to adjust your post-whitening eating habits: True
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If you want your teeth stay bright and radiant for longer, a good cleaning regime is necessary and you may wish to avoid or greatly reduce certain foods and beverages that cause teeth discoloration

This is true if you want your teeth stay bright and radiant for longer.

In addition to a good cleaning regime, you may wish to avoid or greatly reduce certain foods and beverages that cause teeth staining. Basically, if the food or beverage would leave a permanent stain on white clothing, you should avoid them. You should also avoid drinks that are extremely hot or cold. Extreme and rapid temperature changes in your mouth can cause teeth expansion/contraction. This would in turn and make our teeth susceptible to picking up stains.

Examples of food/drinks to avoid: Berries, beets, gravy, soya sauce, pasta, sodas, low pH juices, coffee and tea.

Dentist-dispensed whitening kits are not the same as over-the-counter (OTC) products: True
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Dentist-dispensed whitening kits include a customised tray that conforms to your individual teeth structure, whereas over-the-counter whitening kits come pre-packaged with generic stock trays

The dentist-dispensed at-home whitening kits include a customised tray that conforms to the shape of your teeth. On the other hand, OTC whitening kits come pre-packaged with generic stock trays. This is important as different patients have different sizes and shapes of teeth. The purpose of the bleaching tray is to hold the whitening gel evenly on all your teeth, hence the better it adheres to the specific contours of your individual set of teeth, the better the results. Another benefit of the dentist-dispensed whitening kits is that it generally supplies a stronger bleaching gel than OTC products, which produces a better whitening effect.

If you wish to find out more about our Zoom In-Chair or take-home whitening kits please contact our client management team on (02) 9922 1159 or visit qualitydental.com.au