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Teeth Whitening: How It Works and What You Should Know

If you have never tried teeth whitening before, this article will fill you in.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on December 12, 2023

Young Person With Perfectly White Teeth

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In the pursuit of a dazzling smile, teeth whitening has emerged as a sought-after cosmetic procedure, promising individuals a brighter and more confident expression.

As the popularity of these treatments continues to rise, it becomes imperative to navigate the landscape of potential risks and side effects associated with the quest for whiter teeth.


Potential Risks and Side Effects of Teeth Whitening


Teeth whitening procedures have gained significant popularity in recent years, promising a brighter and more confident smile.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with these treatments.

One of the most common side effects of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity.

This occurs when the bleaching agent used in the whitening process penetrates the enamel, leading to temporary discomfort or even pain.

While tooth sensitivity usually subsides within a few days after the treatment, it is advisable to consult with a dentist to ensure it is properly managed.

In some cases, teeth whitening treatments can also cause gum irritation or chemical burns.

This occurs when the whitening agent comes into contact with the gums during the procedure.

Symptoms may include redness, soreness, or swelling of the gums.

It is essential to follow the instructions provided by the dentist or teeth whitening professional to minimise the risk of these side effects.

Additionally, individuals with pre-existing dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, or tooth decay may experience heightened sensitivity or discomfort during the whitening process.

Therefore, a thorough dental examination prior to teeth whitening is recommended to avoid exacerbating existing oral health conditions.


How to Maintain Teeth Whitening Results


One key factor to maintaining teeth whitening results is practising good oral hygiene.

This involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a whitening toothpaste and flossing regularly to remove any plaque or stains.

Additionally, using a mouthwash specifically designed to help maintain the whiteness of your teeth can be beneficial.

It is also important to avoid smoking or consuming foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine.

Another way to prolong the results of teeth whitening is to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Doctor Ahmed Wahba at Hills Dental Implant Centre explains that professional cleaning services help to remove any surface stains or discolouration.

It’s also a great opportunity to get professional advice on maintaining the whiteness of your teeth, as well as any specific recommendations based on your dental history and needs.

By staying consistent with your dental appointments and following your dentist’s instructions, you can better ensure that your teeth stay bright and white for longer periods of time.


Factors to Consider Before Undergoing Teeth Whitening


Before undergoing any teeth whitening treatment, it is important to consider certain factors to ensure it is the right choice for you.

One crucial aspect to think about is the current condition of your dental health.

If you have any ongoing dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, it is recommended to address these concerns before proceeding with teeth whitening.

This is because whitening agents can potentially irritate or worsen existing dental problems.

It is always best to consult with your dentist to evaluate your oral health and determine if teeth whitening is suitable for you.

Another factor to consider is your expectations and desired outcome.

While teeth whitening can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth, it is vital to have realistic expectations.

Teeth whitening treatments may not produce the same results for everyone, as individual factors like the natural colour of your teeth and the presence of stains or discolouration can affect the outcome.

It is recommended to have a discussion with your dentist about the expected results and whether they align with your desired outcome.

Understanding the limitations and potential outcomes of teeth whitening can help you make an informed decision before undergoing the treatment.


Cost and Accessibility of Teeth Whitening Options


Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure that can enhance the appearance of your smile.

However, before undergoing any teeth whitening treatment, it’s important to consider the cost and accessibility of different options.

The cost of teeth whitening can vary depending on the method you choose and your location.

In general, professional teeth whitening done in a dental office tends to be more expensive than at-home whitening kits.

Additionally, the accessibility of teeth whitening options can also vary.

While professional whitening treatments are widely available, they may not be easily accessible to everyone due to factors such as location or financial constraints.

When considering the cost of teeth whitening, it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits against the investment required.

Professional teeth whitening treatments performed by a dentist can offer faster and more dramatic results compared to at-home kits.

However, they can come with a higher price tag.

On the other hand, at-home whitening kits are generally more affordable, but they may take longer to achieve noticeable results.

Accessibility is another important factor to consider.

While professional teeth whitening is readily available in many dental practices, it might not be accessible to everyone due to factors such as living in a remote area or financial limitations.

At-home whitening kits, on the other hand, offer a more accessible option as they can be purchased online or in stores without the need for a dental appointment.


What are the potential risks and side effects of teeth whitening?


Teeth whitening may cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.

It can also lead to uneven whitening and temporary discolouration of the teeth.

It is important to follow the instructions provided by your dentist or the product manufacturer to minimise these risks.


How can I maintain the results of teeth whitening?


To maintain the results of teeth whitening, it is recommended to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly.

Avoiding foods and beverages that may stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, can also help.

Additionally, scheduling regular dental cleanings can help remove surface stains and maintain the brightness of your smile.


What factors should I consider before undergoing teeth whitening?


Before undergoing teeth whitening, it is important to consider the overall health of your teeth and gums.

If you have any oral health issues, such as cavities or gum disease, it is recommended to address those first.

It is also important to have realistic expectations about the results of teeth whitening and discuss your desired outcome with your dentist.


How much does teeth whitening cost and how accessible is it?


The cost of teeth whitening can vary depending on the method chosen and the dental professional providing the service.

In-office teeth whitening, performed by a dentist, can range from $500 to $1,000.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products, such as whitening strips or gels, are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from $20 to $100.

These products are widely accessible and can be purchased at drugstores, supermarkets, and online.

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