An unguarded smile is one of the most powerful ways to connect with other people, but you might hold back if you’re self-conscious about stained teeth.
Over time, teeth become discoloured for any number of reasons, including:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Poor oral hygiene
- Certain drinks such as coffee, wine, tea and cola
- Some fruits and vegetables, like potatoes and apples
- Blood pressure drugs, antihistamines and particular medications
- High doses of tetracycline (an antibiotic) while teeth are forming before age 8
- Genetics: sometimes teeth are naturally slightly yellow
- Physical trauma to the teeth from a fall or accident
Many people are tempted to solve this problem themselves, by ordering an online DIY teeth whitening kit, or purchasing an over-the-counter fix.
We completely understand this allure.
After all, who wouldn’t want to brighten their teeth from the comfort of their home, at cheap prices too?
Unfortunately, this is often too good to be true. At best, you may feel disappointed with the results, but at worst, you can actually damage your teeth and gums.
Earlier this year, the BBC published an article warning people against online teeth-whitening kits. One investigation revealed that some DIY kits contain dangerous levels of bleach, which can burn gums and even lead to tooth loss.
This means you must be incredibly discerning about the DIY teeth whitening kits that you use.
If you have any doubts, please check with your dentist.
Certain teeth whitening strips can brighten teeth to a small degree (one or two shades), but it’s crucial that you don’t have any oral health problems before you try them. And they should only ever be used in moderation.
These clear adhesive strips are coated with a whitening solution that can be applied to teeth once or twice a day for a short duration of time (this varies depending on the brand). This article contains advice on the best approach to using whitening strips at home.
However, if you’re looking for a deeper professional whitening (up to eight shades lighter), this can only be achieved in your dentist’s chair.
Professional teeth whitening benefits:
What is professional teeth whitening?
Trained dental professionals can effectively remove stains and discolouration, making your teeth up to eight shades whiter after a single visit to the clinic (one hour is all it takes).
At Mona Vale Dental, we prefer to use Philips Zoom In-Chair Tooth Whitening, because it’s a safe and non-invasive way to get wonderful results. Even people with sensitive teeth have no problems with this treatment.
This cosmetic procedure contains higher levels of peroxide with desensitising ingredients, so it creates a whiter finish than over-the-counter options (while also protecting enamel and gums from the bleach). A special gel is applied to guard your gums (and any fillings or crowns) before the unique hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied.
A LED light is used to activate the whitening process, for faster results.
This treatment can be customised to your needs, so you get to choose the shade that looks natural on you (in case you’re worried about looking fake). People feel more confident about smiling when their teeth are whiter but still look realistic.
Is professional teeth whitening safe?
Yes, very much so! Clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a trained and accredited dentist not only gives you the whitest teeth, it’s also very safe.
It doesn’t hurt either, so you won’t need any anaesthetics or pain killers. Some patients may experience mild tenderness for a few days after the procedure, but this quickly dissipates.
Pregnant women should delay any tooth whitening treatment until after they’ve given birth and finished breastfeeding, to err on the side of caution.
Tooth whitening also isn’t suitable for people who have active dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease. These conditions must be addressed before whitening teeth, whether you’re getting a professional treatment or using a DIY kit.
How many treatments do you need?
One treatment is all that’s required to lighten your teeth by up to 8 shades (or less, depending on your preferences). You will notice the results straight away.
Results generally last for 18 to 24 months before fading slightly.
After this point, you can choose to get a top-up treatment, if you want to maintain the best results. Our White for Life program gives regular clients a free whitening boost when they come in for their six-monthly Hygienist appointments.
Even if you prefer not to do this, your teeth won’t revert back to their discoloured state. However, you must take care of them by brushing twice a day and limiting your intake of highly pigmented or acidic food and drinks (such as lemons, dark chocolate, tea, coffee and fruit juice).
What is the cost for Zoom in-chair treatment?
Costs vary depending on the extent of whitening that you require, but average prices range from $750 to $850 for the in-chair treatment.
Are there professional alternatives that can be applied from home?
At Mona Vale Dental we offer a Glo Professional Whitening Take Home Kit. Whiten your teeth easily and quickly in the comfort of your own home. This is a good alternative to our in-chair treatment
The Glo Professional Pro White technology is safe and effective. This professional system combines gentle heat and light acceleration technology with a professional strength whitening gel. There’s no sensitivity or discomfort at all! A built-in timer means you don’t need to watch the clock while wearing the device, you can just put it in and forget about it until the time is up. Clinically proven to get your smile 5 shades whiter in 5 days.
This at-home whitening system is effective on its own, even if you’ve never had any whitening treatments at the clinic. Glo is safe for crowns, bridges and veneers.
We offer health fund rebates and accept HICAPS, which means you only pay for the gap. There are also interest-free, extended and flexible payment plans that allow you to gradually pay for the treatment.
Free whitening top-up every six months for our regular patients:
Mona Vale Dental has launched the White for Life program for any patient who has had Zoom In-Chair Teeth Whitening with us.
What does this mean?
You can get a free whitening boost every time you come in for your six-monthly Hygienist appointments. There’s no extra charge, this is a free bonus that we include as part of your regular check-ups.
Top-ups aren’t necessary to keep your teeth white, but they’re recommended to help you maintain the best results.
Our experienced team has been treating patients in the Northern Beaches and surrounding areas for over ten years. Call us on (02) 9997 1100 to book an appointment or find out more.