How does a teeth whitening kit compare to professional teeth whitening? With the plethora of options available to the consumer, making a choice on teeth bleaching has never been more confusing. We take a look at some of the most popular teeth whitening kits in Australia and how they compare to a treatment in the chair. Whitening kits have popped into the market in response to the desire for brighter, whiter smiles. Whitening treatments now feature in everything from whitening strips, gels, and toothpastes to bleaching kits. Whitening salons have popped up everywhere. They all make shiny promises to lighten and whiten the shade of your teeth, and at a fraction of the prices offered by professional dentists. But how effective can they be for over-the-counter quality and how safe are they? To answer this question it helps to understand the mechanics of a teeth whitening kit and how the process works to whiten your smile.
Why Do We Need Whitening?
Yellowing teeth are a natural part of the ageing process. As we get older, our teeth lose their natural whiteness as the dentin inside the tooth becomes discoloured. For effective bleaching, the tooth whitening agent (bleach) should penetrate the enamel of your teeth. The whitening gel is applied to the surface of the teeth and left to work for a set period of time. Sometimes an LED or laser light is applied to accelerate the process. Whitening strips and toothpaste can only bleach the surface of your teeth and work on surface stains.
Why is this?
Over-the-counter kits typically only contain between 6% hydrogen peroxide or carbamide because that is all they are regulated to contain. Professional teeth whitening treatments carried out by your dentist can utilise hydrogen peroxide of up to 38%.
Understanding The Safety Element Of A Whitening Kit
It is essential that you have a dental assessment before trying any kind of teeth bleaching kit. This is so that your mouth can be checked for cavities and cracked enamel.
Because salons are not authorised to use bleaching agent with higher than 6% concentrations many of them perform multiple treatments per session to get their clients whiter teeth. With an at-home teeth whitening kit, customers are even less qualified to deal with any side effects.
Why Professional Bleaching Has The Upper Hand
A qualified dental practitioner can give you professional teeth whitening treatments and advice and their ability to assess you before a treatment usually means a recommendation that is best for you. A dentist will administer whitening treatments using custom-made bleaching trays and take the necessary precautions to avoid or reduce tooth sensitivity. He or she will be able to show you the level of whiteness you can expect and have the wisdom to let you know if it’s best to return for a follow-up treatment in a few weeks (rather than ply you with treatments in one sitting).
When An At-Home Bleaching Kit Is A Good Idea
As a top-up treatment
At-home bleaching can be done – if instructed by your dentist. Sometimes your dentist will administer in-chair whitening and then give you trays to take home afterward for top-up treatments to achieve your desired results.
As a take-home kit
Some dentists will do a dental assessment and then create trays that are moulded to the shape of your smile. The bleaching agent will be appropriate for your use as long as you follow your dentist’s instructions and do not over-bleach or exceed the wearing time.
Why Consumers Will Still Try A Teeth Whitening Kit
Despite the prevalence of good dental advice and not great reviews, there is still a lot of marketing nonsense in circulation. Patients buy into the idea of a cheap and easy solution, hoping it will yield the desired results. Ultimately, a professional teeth whitening treatment will probably cost you more in the short term and this could be off-putting. But, if you’d like to mitigate the risks and have your whitening expectations met for the best longterm solution, it is worth paying a little extra for a lot more for professionalism, value, and reassurance. It’s always best to speak to an expert. Contact our practice for the nearest available appointment or to find out more about our approach to whitening: 02 8188 4625