Over time your teeth become discolored due to your diet, lifestyle, and general wear and tear. Teeth whitening is a safe, effective, and common procedure to remove stains and lighten your teeth several shades for a brighter smile. If you have ever wondered: how does teeth whitening work? We have the answers to all your teeth whitening questions.


The Science Behind Teeth Whitening

There are two types of staining that occurs on your teeth. Extrinsic discoloration appears on the surface of your teeth and can be removed at regular hygiene cleanings.

Intrinsic stains penetrate the layers of enamel and dentin and require professional teeth whitening treatments. The strong outer layer of your teeth is called enamel and is composed of tiny rod-like structures giving it a mildly porous texture. When you consume pigmented food and drinks, use tobacco products, or have poor oral hygiene, these pores absorb the colors causing yellow or grey stains.

To remove these stains especially formulated bleaching gels are needed that can penetrate the enamel. The two most commonly used active ingredients for whitening treatments are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. The compounds bind with the stain molecules to break down and disperse them through a process called oxidation. 


How Does Teeth Whitening Work at Dental Spot?

At Dental Spot, we offer different whitening treatments from trusted brands Opalescence, Pola, and Colgate. After your initial consultation, we will make a treatment recommendation depending on the level of stain removal needed.


  • In-Chair Professional Teeth Whitening

For severe discoloration, we recommend our in-chair Opalescence treatment. The entire procedure takes approximately one hour and dramatically lightens your teeth several shades. In addition to bleaching agents, Opalescence teeth whitening treatments contain potassium nitrate and fluoride which helps to remineralize teeth, lower sensitivity, and reduce the risk of cavities.

Your dentist rinses and air dries your teeth before applying a protective resin dam to the gingiva to minimize soft tissue sensitivity. The concentrated bleaching gel is applied directly to the teeth, left for 15 minutes, then removed. The dentist checks the resulting shade of your teeth and may reapply the treatment if more stain removal is required.


  • At-Home Teeth Whitening Systems

If you have mild staining or want a touch up between dental visits, you may benefit from one of our at-home teeth whitening kits. We offer the Pola brand at-home whitening system which uses customized trays and precise doses of bleaching gel to gradually whitening your teeth from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

The Poladay formula has a high water content that ensures a neutral pH, while the highly viscous gel stays on teeth and minimises gum exposure. It also contains fluoride to protect tooth enamel. 

To use the Poladay system, place a small drop of teeth whitening gel in each of the compartments of the mouth tray. Insert the tray into the correct position and wipe away any away gel that spills over the sides. Leave the tray for 30 minutes, remove and rinse under clean water. Brush your teeth as usual. 

how does teeth whitening work in Croydon

Patients typically see results between 5 and 14 days. For faster results, we also offer Poladay CP which uses 35% carbamide peroxide to achieve whiter teeth in just 15 minutes per day. 


The Risks of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Professional teeth whitening is preferable to over-the-counter products as it is more effective and safe. While store-bought teeth whitening kits may offer a more affordable way to achieve a whiter smile, there are some risks involved which can seriously affect your oral health. 

As OTC products are not prescribed and monitored by a dentist, they typically contain a lower concentration of bleaching agent. Unfortunately, this can lead many people to assume that if they leave the bleaching agent on longer they can achieve professional results in a shorter time. Increased exposure to whitening gel leads to tooth enamel erosion leaving your teeth highly sensitive and vulnerable to decay.

Other tooth whitening kits contain abrasive particles which can irritate gum tissue and cause inflammation potentially leading to gum disease. 

Store-bought kits are also less effective than in-chair whitening or professional take-home kits and require consistent, repeated treatments. This may end up costing you more over the long-term than investing in professional teeth whitening. 


How to Maintain Your Whiter Smile

Professional teeth whitening can last from a little as six months to as long as three years depending on the level of care you put into maintaining your smile. 

Avoid dark coloured beverages and foods such as red wine, coffee, chocolate and cola, as the pigment can restain your teeth. Quit smoking to avoid tobacco stains, and maintain a proper oral health routine that consists of twice-daily brushing and flossing, and rinsing once per day with mouthwash. Whitening toothpaste can be a great stain-prevention method to maintain your pearly smile. 


Get a Personalised Teeth Whitening Plan at Dental Spot

At Dental Spot, we believe that everyone deserves to have a beautiful smile. Our in-chair cosmetic teeth whitening treatment is a fast and effective way to remove stains,  brighten your teeth and boost your confidence.  

To find out more about the teeth whitening options we have to offer, contact us on (02) 9158 6115 or book an appointment online.

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