What Is Take-Home Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening falls under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry. Because it is an inexpensive and effective option for improving your smile and boosting confidence, teeth whitening, particularly take-home teeth whitening kits, are growing in popularity.
At Boon Dental, we offer our patients the choice between in-chair whitening treatments that we perform in our clinic and take-home kits that you can use day or night. Take-home kits are the preferred option for many people who can’t always make it to a dentist appointment in person. You don’t need to travel, and they can easily fit into your busy schedule.
What’s the Best Option?
There are several types of take-home teeth whitening kits to choose from. When selecting a take-home whitening kit, always purchase from a reputable vendor like your local dentist or a verified dentistry website.
Some whitening products marketed as “all-natural” or “safer alternative” can actually be more harmful than others containing peroxide bleaching ingredients. These products include sodium chlorite and sodium perborate, which can cause lasting damage. Other unregulated products may contain higher concentrations of bleaching agents than Australian regulations permit. Therefore, you must purchase through your dentist or a verified supplier.
With all that said, let’s look at the take-home teeth whitening options you can get from a trusted dentist.
Whitening Toothpaste and Rinses
Whitening toothpaste and rinses are a practical option for removing surface stains from your teeth. However, they do not provide a complete whitening, so they are best used after an in-chair dental whitening to maintain the procedure’s results.
There are two additional types of whitening toothpaste. The first removes surface stains and plaque using abrasives like charcoal or silica, and the second contains bleaching agents for a stronger whitening effect.
You can apply whitening strips to the surface of your teeth for the directed amount of time. Whitening strips that contain hydrogen peroxide can effectively lift stains with noticeable results after a few days of use, depending on the strength.
Paint-on or Brush-on Formulas
Paint-on or brush-on formulas (also called teeth whitening pens) contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that you apply to your teeth before bed each night. This option typically requires less effort, and whitening results will become visible after several weeks.
It’s best to purchase at-home trays from your dentist. Your dentist can provide you with a higher-quality bleaching agent, along with a custom-fitted tray (similar to a mouthguard) shaped to your teeth.
You can fit trays to your teeth at night before bed by applying the whitening agent to the tray and then slotting the tray over your teeth. The whitening agent then sits against your teeth at night. Having a custom-fitted tray made by a dentist helps prevent leakages onto your gums that may irritate them and cause minor discomfort.
Is It Safe?
The dental whitening procedure is safe, thanks in part to Australian laws and regulations from the Australian Dental Association. Current laws and regulations prevent take-home whitening kits from having more than 6% hydrogen peroxide and 18% carbamide peroxide. This prevents lasting dental injuries from occurring when dental professionals are not present.
If you require a more thorough dental whitening, you may need to speak with your dentist about in-chair whitening, as this involves higher concentrations of bleaching agents that cannot legally be found in take-home kits.
And although the peroxide bleaching agents are safe to use, it’s essential that you first consult with your dentist on whether whitening treatments are appropriate for you. It would be best to get a dental examination first to see whether you have gum disease, cavities, or anything else that whitening agents could aggravate.
Is the Result the Same as Teeth Whitening at the Dental Clinic?
When comparing take-home teeth whitening kits with in-chair whitening at a dental clinic, you can view the two as serving different purposes. In-chair whitening procedures involve whitening agents with higher peroxide concentrations. They can achieve a more dramatic effect and remove more stains in less time than take-home kits.
However, an in-chair whitening may not be necessary if your teeth only have minor, superficial stains that can be easily removed with an at-home kit. Take-home kits are also great for complimenting in-chair procedures as they preserve the results of the procedure.
Finally, if you only want to lighten the tone of your teeth without a completely white look, then take-home kits may be better. Take-home kits that are slower allow you to monitor the tone change over time to find the colour that works for you, rather than a complete whitening.
Take-home teeth whitening kits are an effective way to improve your smile and the aesthetic of your teeth when you cannot make it to your dentist’s clinic for an in-chair whitening. Take-home whitening kits are also great at complimenting in-chair whitening so the results last much longer.
Because there are many products to choose from in stores and online, you need to buy from either your dentist or a verified vendor. This will ensure that you receive safe products that comply with the Australian Dental Association’s regulations.
Contact us here if you want more information about our range of take-home teeth whitening options and an examination to see if this treatment is right for you. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest dental information and advice.