How does tooth whitening work?
Teeth bleaching has its name because of the ingredient used called Hydrogen Peroxide. In Australia, we have specific rules that indicate only dental practitioners may provide whitening products to patients which contain more than 6% of Hydrogen Peroxide. When getting in-chair whitening done by a dental practitioner, we in Australia are allowed to use higher concentrations of this ingredient which can effectively permeate into the tooth enamel. Weaker concentrations only effect the surface of the enamel.
What is the difference?
The difference between home whitening kits and getting whitening by a dentist can vary. Often dentists that do whitening in the chair contain light activation. Both at home and in chair contain the same ingredient (hydrogen peroxide), however in-chair systems usually use products that release a higher level. Many dentists now have take-home trays for patients who want to their whiten their teeth. The main difference is that dentists usually take a mould of the patient's teeth and have a tray of their mouth made specifically for the patient to avoid the ingredients going onto the gum, causing burns.
What should you do before?
It is important to know that teeth whitening will not change colour of crowns, caps, or fillings as it only has an effect on natural teeth. It would be a good idea to get a check-up before undergoing any whitening as it is much known to cause sensitivity.
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