I’m sure you’ve heard the joke about the man who went to the doctor and said, “Doc, I have yellow teeth, what should I do?” The doc replied “Well, you could always wear a brown tie.”
All jokes aside, if you’ve looked in the mirror recently and noticed that your pearly whites are more of a bland magnolia then you’re definitely not alone. In fact according to one survey 75% of Australians wish they had whiter teeth. What’s more, constant images of A-list celebs flashing their beaming white smiles are a regular reminder of how ‘less than perfect’ our own teeth are. Add to this the fact that Australians already spend a whopping $100 billion a year on looking good and it’s easy to see why teeth whitening products and services are more popular than ever.
So the question on everyone’s lips (well…teeth) is “How does teeth whitening work” and more importantly… “Does it work on yellow teeth?”
Let’s answer the first question…
Teeth whitening systems work in one of two ways. Firstly they utilise a bleaching method such as those found in
• In-office teeth whitening
• Teeth whitening take home kits; and…
• Over-the-counter products such as teeth whitening strips
or through non-bleaching methods such as teeth whitening toothpastes
Teeth bleaching systems use either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in varying concentrations to remove both surface and deep stains, while teeth whitening toothpastes use mild chemicals or abrasive polishing agents. It’s worth mentioning however that most ‘whitening’ toothpastes should be viewed with a good dose of scepticism. While their abrasive nature can remove slight tooth staining, the jury is still out on whether or not they can actually whiten teeth. Not good news if you’re looking to lighten the shade of your yellow(ish) smile.
Okay, so what about teeth whitening strips? After all, they do actually ‘bleach teeth’, and at somewhere between $25 and $50 per box, they offer great value for money, right?
Well, yes and no!
Because these manufactured strips are designed to simply stick on your teeth, they’re not guaranteed to fit your teeth perfectly. As a result and on average, only 80% of your tooth is ever whitened. While that’s okay if you’re after a quick touch up, if you’re looking to whiten genetically yellow teeth or enhance the shading of your teeth and don’t want to look like a zebra when you smile, then there are probably better options available.
At-home teeth whitening – The real deal…..well almost!
A considerable step up from teeth whitening strips are take-away kits you purchase from your friendly dentist. These consist of a set of custom-made trays which hold a measured amount of peroxide gel. The idea is that the patient takes them home, fills the trays with the gel and wears them either during the day, or at night, for several weeks. At home teeth bleaching kits will set you back anywhere between $250 and $500 and will take on average 2-3 weeks to work; but work they do! On average patients consistently see 4-6 shades lighter, although this will differ from one user to another with some seeing more and some less.
So far we’ve looked at teeth bleaching kits that take anywhere from several weeks to months to occur, but what about if you really don’t want to wait that long? Is there anything that can whiten up your yellowing teeth faster?
In-office teeth whitening – The crème de la crème
What! A treatment that can whiten teeth in less than a lunch hour? It’s true!
Carried out chairside in the dental practice a stronger peroxide gel solution is carefully applied to the teeth which is then activated with a light pen. After 10 minutes the gel is washed off and the process repeated until the desired shade is reached. The whole procedure takes a little under an hour. Most patients find the results pretty much instantaneous although the whitening process can continue for a few days after the treatment. However if you’re wondering at this stage “How much will laser teeth whitening cost?”, the answer is somewhere between $500 and $1000 bucks. For anyone looking to achieve a brighter whiter smile in super-quick time, it still offers good value for money.
So there you have it…everything you need to know about how to whiten yellowing teeth. However, before you rush out to bag your Hollywood smile, here are a few things you really need to know…
Teeth whitening doesn’t work miracles
While most teeth whitening methods will whiten teeth, they aren’t designed to remove deep ingrained staining from years of smoking and coffee drinking. In this instance, you might want to speak to your dentist about other cosmetic options such as dental veneers.
It mightn’t be for you
Teeth whitening gels can be pretty powerful. After all, that’s why they work! However this means that if you already have sensitive or decayed teeth, the teeth whitening process may cause more damage than good. For this reason, we advise patients considering any type of tooth whitening methods to come and talk to us here at Evergreen for a check-up prior to going ahead.
No pain no gain!
We’re not gonna lie… a degree of tooth sensitivity is commonplace during and immediately after the teeth whitening process. The good news is that this sensitivity usually disappears within a few hours. We’ll also supply you with a de-sensitising paste which you can take home and use.
And the million dollar question…
How white will my teeth really get?
Everyone’s teeth are different. While some lighten up really quickly, others might not brighten to the same extent. However this is what we do know…95% of people who undergo teeth whitening will notice a change in their tooth colour. Here at Evergreen we give you the best opportunity to experience whiter teeth with our combination of zoom in office teeth whitening and take home treatments. Call us today on (02) 8074 3849 and with our current promotion on Zoom professional teeth whitening, we’ll give you the smile you really want and save you money too!
Ask your dentist about pain management options if this is a concern for you.