The Truth About Teeth Whitening: What Works And What Doesn’t

Over time it’s natural for teeth to start losing their shiny white brightness. Just like your favourite pair of white jeans, it’s not an unhealthy sign of neglect. Rather just an aesthetic fading of our teeth colour with wear over time.

While it’s not an essential part of your healthy dental care, returning your pearly whites back to their best colour creates confident smiles. And when your teeth look good, you feel good!

Teeth whitening using peroxide is a safe process that does not damage your teeth.  Provided that your teeth and gums are healthy, whitening your teeth doesn’t actually remove enamel.

The only ingredient that actually makes teeth whiter is peroxide. Any teeth whiteners that claims to whiten teeth without containing peroxide simply uses light or ingredients to dehydrate your teeth.

When teeth are dehydrated, it gives off an immediate appearance of whiter teeth. But once your saliva rehydrates the teeth, it returns back to its original colour. Therefore, without peroxide, the whitening effect only lasts a very short period of time.

While the teeth whitening with peroxide is a straightforward process, it does require a dentist in its application. The reason is that an important part of this process is keeping the peroxide gel away from your gums.

Whitening at the dentist involves professional kits that are custom made for you, ensuring that the peroxide gel won’t come in contact with your gums. There is no way to ensure an off-the-shelf whitening kit will keep the gel away from your gums.   

At home whiteners that claim to contain peroxide, are usually a very low concentration to be safer on gums for home treatments. However, this means the whitening effect will happen very very slowly – over the course of many months, if at all.

Whiten your teeth professionally

This safe and simple service is offered by our dental professionals at Whitehorse Dental. And surprisingly, it’s not very expensive.

We offer 2 different methods:

In-office Whitening   

  • Performed in dental chair
  • Takes 60 – 90 minutes
  • Very strong peroxide whitening gel which is activated by a light
  • The gums and skin inside the mouth are carefully protected by a series of barrier techniques which are carefully applied by the dentist

While our in-office whitening service offers much faster results, many patients feel their teeth become very sensitive during and after the treatment.  

In addition to this, the colour change from in-office whitening is not as long lasting because the teeth don’t have enough time to fully react with the whitening gel.  Normally, expect the whiteness to last about 6 months before you have to have it redone again.

Custom Tray Home Whitening

  • Custom made tray which fits your teeth
  • The trays are worn overnight during sleep with some mild whitening gel
  • Gentle and long lasting
  • Takes about 3 weeks

Custom tray home whitening is our preferred whitening method, as it is longer lasting and causes less teeth sensitivity.  

The chemical reaction between the tooth enamel and whitening gel takes time to occur properly.  Because trays are worn overnight over a period of weeks, the teeth have plenty of time to gradually react to the mild whitening gel.  

This results in a longer lasting whiteness with minimal sensitivity (most of our patients report zero sensitivity). In many people, the whiteness lasts for 2-3 years.  

Added to that, you’re in complete control over how white you want your teeth to become.  Simply whiten until you’re happy with the colour.

It’s important to know that there are many reasons for tooth discolouration.  Some will respond very well to whitening procedures while others do not.

The only person who can diagnose the reason for discolouration is your dentist.  Otherwise, you may invest in whitening treatment that will not work for you.  

So if you’re looking to give your smile that extra sparkle, call in and discuss your options with our dentists in Blackburn.

Image credit: ales_kartal.