While is may seem more convenient to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home and in your own time, there are some important facts to first consider.

Safety of your dental health:

It is essential to have a consult and a clean with your Adelaide dentist prior to whitening as not everybody is a suitable candidate. At Dental Matters in Adelaide, we will check the initial shade of your teeth and more importantly to check for potential problems such as; tooth decay, thin enamel, sensitivity, recession, existing fillings or crowns, faulty fillings or crowns, oral diseases and other conditions.
They will also assess the cause of the discoloration (e.g. fillings, age, and diet) as everyone’s teeth are different and some will respond to whitening better than others. The discolorations can be either on the inside or outside of the tooth.

Internal staining can be caused during tooth development or due to an injury. These stains are more difficult to remove and sometimes bleaching is not an option.

External staining responds well to whitening, often these stains can be improved from a clean by the hygienist. Theses stains are caused from substance such as coffee, tea and smoking.

Existing fillings, veneers or crowns will not become lighter as they are plastic or porcelain. This is something to consider prior to whitening as they may become more noticeable afterwards and may need to be replaced.

Only qualified dentists and dental professionals are able to carry out these checks and then recommend suitable whitening treatment. The Australian Competition and consumer commission (ACCC) has put in place restrictions on the concentration of whitening agents in take home whitening kits to protect the public from potential injury caused by people with no formal dental training or experience attempting to whiten teeth.

The whitening agent is applied to stents and is worn for half an hour a night for approximately 2-4 weeks until the desired shade is achieved.

Usually the teeth will lighten 2-3 shades lighter than your natural teeth colour. The teeth temporarily become a little dehydrated and porous after whitening, to achieve the best result, for the next 24 hours after whitening dark coloured food and drink should be avoided such as; avoid coffee, tea, beetroot and curry.

The longevity of the colour change is hard to predict, generally it lasts for about 3-4 years, gradually returning to the original colour. The stents can then be used again down the track, and bleaching agent reapplied. The lightening can last longer if good oral hygiene is maintained through regular brushing, flossing and professional cleaning.

They will also assess the cause of the discolouration (e.g. fillings, age, and diet) as everyone’s teeth are different and some will respond to whitening better than others. The discolourations can be either on the inside or outside of the tooth.

Internal staining can be caused during tooth development or due to an injury. These stains are more difficult to remove and sometimes bleaching is not an option.

External staining responds well to whitening, often these stains can be improved from a clean by the hygienist. Theses stains are caused from substance such as coffee, tea and smoking.

Existing fillings, veneers or crowns will not become lighter as they are plastic or porcelain. This is something to consider prior to whitening as they may become more noticeable afterwards and may need to be replaced.

Only qualified dentists and dental professionals are able to carry out these checks and then recommend suitable whitening treatment. The Australian Competition and consumer commission (ACCC) has put in place restrictions on the concentration of whitening agents in take home whitening kits to protect the public from potential injury caused by people with no formal dental training or experience attempting to whiten teeth.

Some Teeth Whitening limits

  • Some people experience sensitivity during bleaching, this goes away after the whitening process. You can use sensitive tooth paste to reduce the discomfort.
  • People who already have sensitive teeth may not be suitable for whitening.
  • You may need to replace old fillings or crowns as they will not lighten and the colour difference may become more noticeable.
  • Some teeth may not whiten evenly.
  • Irritation of gums can sometimes occur if whitening agent is not placed correctly.
  • Sometimes the desired result is not achieved.