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If you are considering undergoing teeth whitening treatment, you’re not alone. According to the ADA – teeth whitening is on the rise. The massive growth in whitening treatments is in part down to the surging popularity of relentless social media advertising and a host of celebrity endorsements aimed at the ‘selfie’ generation. In fact, in 2016, teeth whitening was named the biggest craze on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. So while the popularity of teeth whitening treatments shows no signs of abating, many people are left looking for answers to the question ‘how does teeth whitening work?‘  

The truth is that while most work in the same way, not all products are created equal, and therefore, results are likely to be varied. Let me explain…


Over-the-counter vs chairside whitening treatment

When you consider the plethora of over-the-counter teeth whitening products available, they all have one thing in common. By law, any cosmetic dental whitening product sold over-the-counter in Australia cannot contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide (bleaching agent). On the contrary, when you opt for chairside whitening treatments carried out by a dental professional in a clinic setting, they typically contain around 35% hydrogen peroxide. Under Australian law, only a dentist can use whitening products with bleaching agents higher than 6%.



So what does this mean for you?

To answer this question, we need to consider how teeth whitening works. Even though tooth enamel is the strongest material in the body, it is actually porous. Therefore, when a bleaching agent is applied to the tooth’s front surface, it not only lifts any surface stains but also penetrates the surface of the enamel, gently lifting any ingrained staining. The higher the concentration of bleaching agent, the quicker and more effectively teeth will whiten. 


So how quick is quick?

In some over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments, effectiveness varies from not at all to a couple of weeks, depending upon the product itself. In truth, over-the-counter whitening products containing minuscule amounts of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide are unlikely to show any significant results. Some products like teeth whitening toothpaste contain baking soda and are therefore more abrasive. This means that they may remove surface staining but won’t shift deeper ingrained staining.  

Now compare this to chairside teeth whitening, and by this, I mean whitening treatments carried out in a dental clinic by a dentist. Because treatments are carefully controlled and utilise considerably stronger concentrations of whitening agents, noticeable results can be seen in as little as one hour. Moreover, a dentist will give you a complete oral examination before moving ahead with treatment and, therefore, will ensure that it’s safe and comfortable to do so. Ultimately, patients undergoing chairside teeth whitening can expect significant differences in their smiles by up to 8 shades lighter in some cases.

cosmetic procedures teeth whitening brighton le sandsOf course, when people ask the question ‘how does teeth whitening work?‘ it’s immediately followed up with ‘how long does teeth whitening last?‘ In truth, this varies depending upon whether you smoke, the quantity of stain-inducing foods and beverages consumed, and whether you take specific medications – some medications are known to darken or discolour teeth. That said, on average, you can expect whitening treatments carried out by your dentist to last at least six months or more before needing a top-up treatment. 

As you can see, not all teeth whitening products are created equally and if you decide to buy over-the-counter, understand that results can be very hit and miss. What works for one person may not work for another. 

If you really want to ensure that teeth whitening works for you, you should probably speak to your local dentist skilled at restoring jaded smiles. They have the experience and the know-how to ensure teeth whitening works for you.

If you still aren’t convinced and would like to get a professional answer to the question ‘how does teeth whitening work? why not come and talk to the team at Bright-On-Bay Dental. Having rejuvenated hundreds of smiles, we’re happy to talk you through the teeth whitening process during a consultation so you can see if it really is for you. We’ll show you the branded products we use and tell you precisely what you can expect.

If your current smile is getting you down, then maybe it’s time for a makeover. Book your teeth whitening treatment now by calling us on (02) 9538 7028 or make an appointment online.





ADA – Teeth Whitening – Surging Popularity Brings Issues To Resolve

ADA – Latest Policy On Teeth Whitening in Australia 

Healthline – What Is The Hardest Substance In The Human Body?,closely%20on%20the%20hardness%20scale – Medicines That Stain Teeth