The Fundamentals of Teeth Whitening

Lots of people are interested in teeth whitening in Maroochydore and we feel it’s something pretty conservative that you can do to brighten your smile overall. It is usually very effective and doesn’t involve drilling the teeth like porcelain veneers.

First of all, what stains teeth? It can be pretty surprising so read on…

What Stains Teeth?

The usual suspects:

  • tea
  • coffee
  • red wine
  • smoking

The surprise offenders:

  • herbal tea – especially green tea
  • berries
  • curries

The enamel of teeth is porous so lets in the stain. Over time, this stain can accumulate, yellowing the teeth.

How To Reverse Teeth Stains

Products from the chemist are either too weak or the trays don’t fit well and the peroxide burns the gums. The ‘whitening’ toothpastes work by abrasion which ironically can damage the enamel and make the teeth yellower if used long term.

And don’t get me started about what you can buy on the internet – the lights are a gimmick with no scientific evidence to support them and some of the ‘popular’ products you see on Facebook and

Instagram contain no peroxide! If there’s no peroxide, there’s no bleaching. Some of the products for sale do contain peroxide but only dentists are legally allowed to use the highest concentration (which is what works). Bleaching at the beautician is actually illegal!

So, how do you do it?

There are two basic types of whitening, tray (or take-home) whitening or in-chair.

I will focus on tray whitening as in-chair whitening makes people’s teeth extremely sensitive so we don’t often do it.

With tray whitening, we first check your teeth to make sure there’s nothing that might get in the way of a good result with your whitening. For example, fillings or crowns on front teeth won’t bleach so would potentially stand out after whitening and may need replacement. We can also give you an idea of how light your teeth may go depending on their initial shade.

If everything’s OK, we take moulds of your teeth and send these off to the lab to make the custom-fit trays. We also take some photos of your teeth.

A few days later, the trays are back from the lab and we will make sure the trays fit and show you how to use the whitening agent.

We generally recommend wearing the loaded trays an hour a night for 7-10 days.

Provided you follow our instructions, whitening doesn’t damage the teeth. Some people do experience sensitivity whilst whitening and shortly after but this tends to be tolerable. It’s worse in people who have very sensitive teeth to start with so we can work with you to address this sensitivity before bleaching. We also give you products to use during whitening that help.

As teeth will stain again, you do need to periodically ‘top-up’ your whitening – maybe just session before a special occasion every 6 months. You will usually have some bleach left over from the initial program.

To get started on your teeth whitening journey, please give us a call to book an appointment!

For more dental information, read our previous blog on How Often Should I Visit The Dentist!

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