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Teeth whitening myths and facts
When it comes to teeth whitening, there’s a lot of information out there. Everyone wants a sparkling white smile, but there is rampant debate about the whether or not you need to see a dentist for professional teeth whitening.
To help us straighten out fact from fiction, we spoke to Dr Rouel Vergara DMD, principal dentist at New Leaf Dentists, who helped us dispel a few myths about teeth whitening.
MYTH: Teeth whitening kiosks are the same as dentists
You might have seen some teeth whitening salons and kiosks in your local shopping centre. But it’s important to note that while they do offer teeth whitening treatments, those treatments are not required to be administered by a certified dentist.
The teeth whitening industry isn’t heavily regulated, which could mean that the person who is providing your treatment might not be qualified to check for things that can affect your treatment, such as cavities. “I highly discourage treatments that are done in kiosks by non-dental providers,” says Dr Vergara. “It’s important to put your safety first, and the best person for the job is still your dentist.”
FACT: You should see a dentist to whiten your teeth
As we’ve established, professional teeth whitening is best done by your dentist. There are a number of factors that can affect your teeth, especially considering the sensitive nature of teeth whitening.
“There are so many risks that teeth whitening procedures carry,” agrees Dr Vergara. “Sensitivity, gum irritation or even nerve damage are some of the common side effects of teeth whitening procedures. Having it done by a professional dental health provider minimises those risks.”
MYTH: Lasers and lights are the most effective way to whiten your teeth
“Clinical studies have proven that using lights does not make any difference with the overall results of the procedure,” says Dr Vergara. “The Council of European Dentists (CED) recently issued an advice to the public that lights have no proven benefit and may result in many adverse effects...When it comes to teeth whitening, it is all about chemistry and efficiency of the material being used.”
So if you’re wanting a gleaming smile minus the lasers and lights, it’s best to go for an in-office teeth whitening treatment. At 40 percent hydrogen peroxide, Opalescence Boost is the strongest chemically activated in-office product on the market and doesn’t require a light. The product is mixed by your dentist just before application to ensure fresh chemistry and good results.
To find your local Opalescence supplier, simply enter your postcode at Opalescence.com.au and get ready to flash those pearly whites.
FACT: Chemically-activated teeth whiteners can last longer than others
We’ve established that using lights and lasers to whiten your teeth isn’t always the way to go. When it comes to long-lasting results, Dr Vergara recommends a chemically-activated teeth whitening treatment.
“Chemically-activated or self-activated teeth whiteners are peroxide-based materials that actively break down stain molecules found on teeth, without the need to use an external source like lights or lasers,” explains Dr Vergara. “Because you don’t use light or any external source to activate the material, teeth are kept hydrated during the procedure and provides patients with a realistic, longer lasting whiter shade.”
To find out just how effective chemically-activate teeth whitening is, we sent bh’s Grace to try the Opalescence Boost for herself.
“I’ve always wanted to get my teeth whitened but I’d heard that it made your teeth sensitive so I was a bit hesitant. Dr Vergara and the New Leaf Dentists team were so lovely and made me feel so comfortable going into the appointment. After establishing the results I was after, Dr Vergara used a shade chart to find out what shade my teeth currently were. I then lay back and relaxed while Dr Rouel applied the Opalescence Boost formula over my teeth, which he then proceeded to top up every five minutes for 20 minutes. I was surprised because I felt no pain and sensitivity whatsoever! After 20 minutes we removed the formula and repeated the process again and it was pretty much just as comfortable as the last time. During the last five minutes I did feel a slight ‘zing’ in one of my bottom teeth, but because we were almost done, Dr Vergara decided to just remove all the formula so it wouldn’t get any worse... and it didn't! Once the procedure was over, I rinsed my mouth and Dr Vergara brought up the shade guide to compare my teeth. I couldn't believe it – my teeth actually were a whole five shades whiter! After the appointment, I used a two-week take-home kit that Dr Vergara created for me, which I have now completed. I honestly could not be happier with the results! I now feel so much more confident smiling and would recommend this treatment to everyone as the results really are so visible.”
Are you surprised by these myths and fact about teeth whitening? What do you think of Grace’s results?