Is teeth whitening with peroxide safe?

Everyone wants a bright and dazzling smile, but the quest for whiter teeth should never cause a serious health concern for a consumer. Before commencing any whitening process, you should be aware of what’s involved and if there are any associated risks. Here’s an overview of how teeth can be whitened and what you should know before you get started.

There are two standard ways to whiten teeth. First is over the counter products from a supermarket or pharmacy – e.g. toothpaste, mouthwash and non-prescribed bleaching products.  Second is prescribed teeth whitening treatment from your dentist.

Whitening toothpastes, mouthwash and non-prescribed whitening products.

These products use chemical agents to brighten the appearance of teeth, but usually they do not contain peroxide. Using whitening toothpastes/mouthwash is the longest process for whitening and it has the lowest concentration of chemicals.

The best way to understand teeth whitening and choose a process that is right for you is to ask your dentist. After an oral examination, your dentist can recommend which product will meet your specific needs. Do not use an at-home teeth whitening kit if you have fillings, crowns or dark stains on your teeth without first consulting your dentist. Always use whitening products under the direction of a professional.

Teeth whitening from the dentist

You can visit your dentist for a professional teeth whitening service. Here, the concentration of peroxide can be higher. We offer the options of either a customized take home whitening kit, or if applicable, in chair laser whitening.

Dentist prescribed take-home whitening

Take home whitening involves two appointments. Firstly, an appointment is needed to assess the teeth and confirm if suitable for whitening. If so impressions are taken for your customized whitening trays. Once they are made you return to have them fitted and shown by the dentist how to use the whitening kit at home.

At home, you apply the whitening peroxide gel to your customised trays and wear them for approximately 30-45 minutes each day. This process is generally for two weeks or until ideal shade is reached.

This type of whitening is gradual however you get to decide what level whiteness you are most comfortable with.

In-chair laser whitening

Other components of a tooth-whitening service at your dentist may involve light or laser treatments.

One benefit to a whitening treatment at your dental clinic is time. In chair laser teeth whitening can take about an hour.  It involves multiple applications during the appointment of high concentration peroxide that is activated by the light/laser. Dentists also utilise barriers to protect your gums from the whitening agents. It is required that you continue for several weeks with an at-home whitening kit after this appointment to maximise the longer term results.

Bleaching changes the colour of your teeth by applying a product with some concentration of hydrogen peroxide. A common side effect of bleaching is tooth sensitivity, which usually subsides once bleaching ceases.

Our friendly reception staff will be happy to book you in to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist.  Call us to make an appointment today.

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