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Teeth Whitening Info

What is Teeth Whitening?

 

Teeth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discolourations of enamel and dentin by using either a hydrogen peroxide formula or carbamide peroxide formula which creates an oxidation reaction.


What causes tooth discolouration?

 

There are many causes of tooth discolouration. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, colas, red wine and tobacco. Nerve damage, trauma, old restorations can also cause discolouration and during tooth formation consumption of tetracycline or excessive fluoride may also discolour the teeth.


Is there anyone who can not whiten their teeth?

 

Teeth whitening products should not be used if you are under 18 years of age, are pregnant, have health problems, periodontal disease or gums that are in poor condition, overly sensitive teeth, wear braces, had recent oral surgery, decayed teeth, have roots that are exposed, have colitis, or have jaw problems.


How does it work?

 

The whitening gel is placed into your custom fitted tray, once inserted over your teeth the active ingredient in the gel starts to break down. Oxygen enters into the enamel and dentin which in turn breaks down the stain inside the tooth. The structure of the tooth is not changed, only the tooth colour is made lighter.


What is the difference between hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide?

 

There are 2 main bleaching ingredients. Carbamide peroxide (e.g. Whiter Smile Exclusive, Nite White, Day White) and hydrogen peroxide (e.g. Nite White turbo, Creat Whitestrips etc.). Comparatively, a 6% hydrogen peroxide is equivalent to approximately 18% carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down a lot quicker than carbamide peroxide formulas. Hydrogen peroxide has a very short life and is a lot stronger than carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is long acting and therefore carbamide peroxide formulas are usually designed to be worn for slightly longer treatments, dependant on strength.

 

Is whitening safe?

 

Yes! Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with custom trays using a carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide formula is safe for healthy teeth and gums. It is essential to follow the directions of use supplied for each product and not go past the recommended treatment duration. Most research available was initially done with a 10% carbamide peroxide concentration, however there is no literature that we have come across showing any structural changes or irreversible damage to the tooth structure whatsoever.


How long does it take?

 

Results can vary depending on the strength of the product and method. Some teeth whitening products can show dramatic results in just a few days, while others can take a couple of months. The majority of people will be able to whiten their teeth within 1-2 weeks. The more yellow versus gray color you have in your teeth, the better the bleaching. Grey enamel similar to that of Tetracycline (antibiotic) staining is more difficult to bleach and can take a few weeks to month to achieve a result depending on the severity.


How long do the results last?

 

Once you have whitened your teeth, your teeth should always be whiter than they once were. However, as we continue to eat staining food, drinks and substances, our teeth will start to stain again. To keep them white all the time we recommend maintaining your white teeth every 3-6 months by either using your gels and trays once or twice, or regularly using a teeth whitening toothpaste or whitening pen.


What is the shelf life and wearing time of bleaching gel?

 

All whitening gel should be stored in a dry cool environment. Generally the shelf life of most teeth whitening products is approximately 12-24 months, but can be as little as 3 months for some products. However, the potency of the whitening gel should still remain effective for a couple of months past this date. Hydrogen peroxide products tend to have a shorter shelf life due to the whitening gel being less stable. We assume that our customers will be using our products straight away, but If a product is within 3 months of its best before/expiry date this will be noted on the products page. Please email us at admin@whitersmile.com.au if you need to know the exact best before/expiry date on a specific product.


It is difficult to spread the gel in my trays. Do you have any suggestions for distributing the gel?

 

All you need to do is place a continuous line of gel half way up on the inner side of outer wall of the whitening tray so that it forms a rope line of bleaching gel which will not run or slump. When you place the tray over the teeth, the teeth will displace the gel to cover the tooth surface (i.e. the teeth will spread the bleach).

You can see where the gel covers the tooth and if it appears deficient in an area, you can merely touch the tray gently on the outside to move the bleach around. The gel consistency should be thick and viscous. By creating the gel with increased viscosity allows better retention of the bleach against the tooth surface and therefore more effective even whitening.


Can I whiten caps, crowns, fillings, or veneers?

 

Whitening will NOT whiten your crowns, caps, fillings or veneers. Whitening gel will only whiten enamel. However, if there are any external food or drink stains on these restorations they will come off. The actual colour of the filling, cap, veneer or crown will not be altered. Any restorations on your front teeth may need to be replaced after the whitening process is finished.

If mold material gets trapped underneath the wire or bridge, it can loosen your bonded retainer/bridge or you might have difficulty removing the mold from your mouth. You may want to rather get the molds done at your dentist if you have a bridgework.

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