When teeth whitening doesn’t work it isn’t usually the bleaching agent but rather unrealistic expectations by the user or a less than satisfactory way a product has of holding the whitening gel to the teeth. So to avoid any further confusion, let’s answer the question “how does teeth whitening work?” And more importantly, why some teeth whitening treatments are better than others. 


Here’s the most important thing about the teeth whitening process you should know and it’s this…

Provided that the bleaching agent is an active peroxide and is applied to the teeth for a sufficient period of time then it’s impossible for it not to lift staining when it comes into direct contact with teeth. 


If you look at the hundreds of teeth whitening treatments and products available they only differ in terms of the percentage of bleaching agent contained within and possibly flavour. A product containing 4% hydrogen peroxide should work equally as well as professional teeth whitening containing around 35% bleaching agent. The difference being the time and the number of applications needed to achieve an adequate level of whitening.

Professional laser teeth whitening treatments, for example, can deliver a significantly whiter, brighter smile in as little as 1 hour. Whereas a teeth whitening kit you buy over the counter may take multiple applications and several weeks to achieve similar results.  

So now you know why some teeth whitening treatments work better than others, let’s now answer the question of how does teeth whitening work?”


Teeth Whitening – The process explained

treatments how does teeth whitening work waterfordWhen a whitening agent is applied to the surface of the teeth it penetrates the porous tooth enamel and seeps into the layer beneath (dentin). Oxygen molecules from the bleaching gel latch onto the molecules causing the stain discolouration and disperse them.

As a result, the stain is no longer visible and the natural colour of the tooth shines through. This is exactly the same process whether you are undergoing professional teeth whitening treatments administered by your dentist or you are using an over-the-counter teeth whitening product purchased from your local pharmacy. The only difference is time. That’s how teeth whitening works in a nutshell. 


So why go pro?

We’ve already stated that there are a plethora of teeth whitening products available for you to buy so why would you go to your local dentist for teeth whitening treatment?

One of the biggest problems with teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity. More often than not this is caused by people applying whitening agents to teeth that are either already sensitive or have cavities.

When you visit a dentist, they will always give you a full dental examination to ensure your teeth are in good condition before administering any form of whitening treatment. Not only is it faster (remember, only dentists are allowed to provide bleaching agent levels above 6%) but it’s also safer.


If you feel like it’s time to brighten up your smile, we invite you to talk to our experienced team at Total Care Dental Studio. We use only proven and reliable products like Opalescence and Zoom to give you the whiter, brighter smile you need in a safe and controlled way.

Schedule an appointment online or call us on (07) 3186 8517 today.

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