Why Teeth Whitening is Best Left to the Professionals

The pearly white Hollywood smile is a much sought after look and as dental practices and technologies have evolved, it’s become possible for most people to achieve a whiter, brighter smile. However, the popularity of professional teeth whitening practices has given rise to a whole host of other whitening products and services which don’t employ the skills of a qualified dentist. At home whitening kits, salon treatments, and supermarket products such as whitening strips and toothpaste are examples of the kinds of consumer grade products and services promising white teeth at budget prices. However, the results that these alternative methods produce tend to be a far cry from what can be achieved in a dentist’s chair and come with a whole host of hidden costs. This week, we take a look at some of the key reasons why if you want to whiten the colour of your teeth, it’s best done in the dentist’s chair.

It won’t be effective

A 2005 Choice study on whitening toothpastes found that they were essentially an ‘expensive waste of time’ after testing 20 brands on over 700 participants. Whitening toothpastes generally work by using some sort of abrasive to physically scrub the stain off the tooth surface. This can of course damage the surface of the tooth but most brands use abrasives in such minute amounts that they are unlikely to do any damage (or have any effect for that matter)

It won’t produce results comparable to what can be achieved by a dentist

Most at home whitening kits use bleach to alter the colour of the tooth surface. However, due to Australian regulations, DIY kits can only contain 6% hydrogen peroxide, whilst most dentists offer a power bleaching solution that can contain up to 38% hydrogen peroxide. Naturally, the more concentrated the bleach, the better the result. DIY kits can usually only get your teeth 2-4 shades whiter, whereas a professional treatment by a dentist can make your teeth up to 10 shades whiter.

You can hurt yourself

The reason that there are regulations surrounding the concentrations of bleach in alternative whitening treatments is that bleach can irritate your teeth and gums. Bleaching not only increases tooth sensitivity, but if improperly applied can result in irritated gums and lips. In addition to this, pregnant women and people with gum diseases are advised against using any type of whitening treatment as the effect of swallowed bleach on the fetus is unknown in the case of pregnant women and in the case of gum disease, you risk inflaming the affected area.

It gets expensive

Whilst the cost of a once off treatment in the dentist’s chair might look expensive compared to alternative methods, it’s the only way to get guaranteed results with minimal side effects. To achieve the same results with a take home kit for example may require repeat treatment which can result in greyish teeth and increased sensitivity, not to mention become expensive.

Your staining may not be treatable in this manner

There are lots of different factors which cause staining and teeth whitening can only remove surface stains caused by factors such as diet and smoking.  Deeper stains caused by poor health when the teeth were developing, certain medications and ageing generally can’t be treated by whitening. It’s best to check with your dentist to identify what type of staining you have and whether it is treatable.


Eden Rise Dental offer a range of cosmetic dentistry services at our Berwick clinic including professional teeth whitening. Book your consultation in with us today by calling 9702 6111.