Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in Australia. As the name suggests, it brightens your teeth and removes discolouration and stains from the tooth surface. It can improve the appearance of your teeth to such an extent that your smile is almost magically transformed.
Whiter teeth are so highly sought after, that almost all dentists provide a variety of professional ‘in-office’ whitening treatments and take-home whitening kits for patients.
There is also a wealth of OTC (over-the-counter) whitening products available with some of the most popular including whitening strips, bleaching trays, and whitening toothpaste. In fact, in a survey carried out by Mordor Intelligence, 93% of Australian grocery buyers purchased whitening toothpaste in an average six month period.
But before rushing to your local store or visiting your dentist for whitening treatments, it’s worth reading a few teeth whitening facts that you may not be aware of.
5 Interesting Teeth Whitening Facts You May Not Know
- Teeth whitening was discovered by accident
You probably know how teeth whitening works, using hydrogen peroxide, but have you ever wondered how it was discovered that peroxide whitened teeth?
Well, it was purely by accident. In the past, dental patients were encouraged to rinse their mouth with mouthwashes containing hydrogen peroxide in a bid to combat gum disease. Over time, it was noticed that their teeth became whiter and that’s how teeth whitening came about.
- Teeth have pores
Yes you read that right! Although teeth appear at first sight to have a smooth dense surface they actually contain thousands of microscopic pores. It’s these pores that absorb stains from the various beverages and foods you consume. It’s also these same pores that open slightly during a teeth whitening treatment to enable stains from within to be lifted out. Once whitening has finished, the teeth naturally remineralise and rehydrate themselves, and the pores shut.
- Only a qualified dental professional can legally whiten your teeth
You should only ever get your teeth whitened from a dentist or a dental hygienist working under the prescription of a dentist. Why?
Because they have the experience and know-how to whiten your teeth effectively and safely.
Typically, the teeth whitening products they use contain higher amounts of hydrogen peroxide, so you can expect to see a better result.
Furthermore, should anything go wrong, and you experience extreme sensitivity, your dentist is there to monitor the treatment and take necessary reactive action if necessary.
- Custom fitted trays are crucial to good results
While most teeth whitening products contain similar ingredients, were you aware of the important role a custom-fitted whitening tray has to play in the whitening procedure?
When you purchase over-the-counter teeth whitening trays, they are manufactured to be a ‘one size fits all’ model. This means that in the majority of cases, they won’t fit the contours of your mouth properly and as a result teeth whitening is often uneven. It’s also possible for the whitening gel to leak out and burn the inside of your mouth, causing painful blisters.
On the contrary, when you visit your dentist for a take-home whitening kit, you’ll be issued with custom whitening trays which have been manufactured from an impression of your teeth and gums. Because they fit the contours of your mouth properly, every one of your teeth will receive an even and consistent coverage of the whitening gel, whether your teeth are straight or crooked.
- Dental veneers and crowns won’t change colour
The materials that are used to manufacture dental veneers and crowns are resistant to whitening treatments, since these only work on natural teeth. Since your dental restorations were coloured to match your natural teeth at the time, this is something you might want to consider before going ahead with teeth whitening.
You could end up with a mismatch between your newly whitened teeth and your restorations.
It’s also another reason to visit your dentist for teeth whitening as not only does he know how teeth whitening works, but he can also identify which of your teeth may not whiten and suggest an alternative treatment.
So there you have it – 5 interesting facts about teeth whitening you may not know!
If you’re considering teeth whitening then why not make an appointment with Randwick Smiles by calling (02) 8188 4625. We use Opalescence and Pola Day whitening treatments which come in the form of take-home kits enabling you to whiten your teeth at your own convenience. We recommend a consultation to see if teeth whitening is a suitable treatment for you and to discuss your best options.