What is Teeth Whitening and When Should I Do It?

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Teeth whitening is a cost-effective and popular treatment that can help improve the appearance of stained and discoloured teeth. 

What Is Teeth Whitening?

The process involves bleaching teeth to remove surface stains and help to brighten their colour. While there are numerous over-the-counter solutions like teeth whitening strips, the safest and most effective way to brighten your smile is through professional teeth whitening from a dentist experienced in cosmetic dentistry

A dentist tooth whitening treatment uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to whiten teeth safely. These bleaching products penetrate the tooth enamel, reacting with the molecules that cause tooth staining, removing them, so teeth look visibly whiter. Only dentists can legally use concentrated whitening gels and solutions, providing the best teeth whitening options in Perth.


Why Should I Consider Teeth Whitening?

It’s worth considering teeth whitening if you have noticed your smile looks dingy and teeth appear discoloured and stained. Tooth discolouration can occur if you like tea and coffee, red wine, or soft drinks. Teeth can also become discoloured if you eat and drink a lot of acidic food as the acids weaken tooth enamel, so highly coloured foods and drinks can penetrate and stain the enamel more easily. Smokers will often have discoloured teeth due to nicotine staining. Sometimes teeth are stained because of dental fluorosis, where teeth are exposed to excess fluoride while they are still forming. This can create lacy white flecks over teeth or even brown or black stains. Another reason for tooth staining is tetracycline use while teeth are still forming. As you age, teeth naturally become darker because tooth enamel can gradually thin as it is exposed to acids, a condition called acid erosion. As the tooth enamel thins, it allows more of your natural tooth colour in the dentine to shine through. Dentine tends to be darker and can be yellow or greyish.


Different Teeth Whitening Systems

There are various tooth whitening systems available, including over-the-counter teeth whitening kits and teeth whitening strips. 


Over the Counter Whitening Options

Whitening gels are applied to tooth surfaces, typically twice a day for two weeks and can lighten teeth by one or two shades. Whitening strips are coated with a peroxide gel and are applied to the outer surfaces of teeth, again, twice daily for two weeks and achieve similar results. Over the counter, tray-based whitening kits have trays that fit over teeth containing carbamide peroxide, a stable form of peroxide suitable for home use. These are worn for several hours each day or overnight and can brighten teeth by up to two shades, providing results after a few days.


Dentist Teeth Whitening Systems

In-office teeth whitening includes systems like Zoom teeth whitening and PolaOffice. These well-known systems are safe and used worldwide and provide excellent and predictable results. Both companies also make custom home whitening kits, and these can be a little less to purchase if you are concerned about the cost of teeth whitening in Perth. However, both in-office and custom kits are very affordable.


What Happens During Teeth Whitening? What to Expect Afterwards?

A dentist will need to carefully examine your mouth before your professional teeth whitening, and we recommend this even if you have regular dentist checkups. Teeth whitening is best for people with good dental health, and it’s essential they make sure your teeth and gums are strong and healthy and that you don’t have any untreated dental problems like tooth decay or gum disease. If you try whitening an unhealthy mouth, the outcome can be uncomfortable or worsen any existing dental issues. Another reason for checking your mouth beforehand is to make sure treatment will provide the results you desire. For example, any existing restorations like porcelain crowns, bridges and veneers and white fillings will not change colour during treatment. 

Once the dentist is sure you are suitable, they can discuss their teeth whitening recommendations, depending on whether you would like to whiten your teeth more quickly or prefer to whiten slowly in the comfort of your own home. Sometimes a custom home whitening kit can be more suitable for people with especially sensitive teeth, and where it’s preferable to whiten at your own pace, taking a break for a day or two if you do experience any tooth sensitivity. We can also adjust the strength of the whitening gel prescribed for home use, using a lower dosage that will be more comfortable. 


Pros of Professional Teeth Whitening

You only have one set of adult teeth, and they deserve regular check ups. Opting for a professional whitening treatment will ensure your precious teeth are not damaged. A dentist can customise your treatment to fit your needs, such as adjusting the strength of products used to reduce the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity. Professional strength whitening products achieve better results and can help to lift even deep-seated stains that would be impossible to bleach with over-the-counter kits. 


Are There Any Alternatives to Teeth Whitening?

Yes, other treatments can help lift the colour of your teeth. The simplest is professional teeth cleaning. Removing plaque and calculus and gently polishing your teeth removes some slight surface staining and is also excellent for maintaining good oral health. 

Another option is using a whitening toothpaste, although the results will be subtle. Choose whitening toothpaste with fluoride to help protect your teeth. 

Finally, some teeth will not respond to teeth whitening treatments, such as internal stains that aren’t penetrated by the bleaching gels. In this case, we may suggest covering these teeth with dental restorations such as crowns or veneers. These can be made and fitted after bleaching the rest of your teeth, so they blend in perfectly with your whiter smile. 


Our Teeth Whitening Procedure

Tandara Dental offers two different teeth whitening systems. The first is our PolaOffice in-office treatment using high-quality professional-strength hydrogen peroxide gel applied to teeth to gently and quickly remove stains from tooth enamel. We may wipe off and reapply the gel several times during treatment, and your teeth will be several shades brighter. There is no need to light activate the gel to get excellent results.

Alternatively, we supply teeth whitening kits that are custom made for home use. These kits have teeth whitening trays made to fit precisely over your teeth using an impression of your mouth. We supply the correct strength of carbamide peroxide whitening gel, a very stable form of peroxide suitable for home use. You are shown how to fill the trays and insert and remove them. You can choose to wear them for a short while each day or to leave them in overnight. You will start to see results within a few days, but it usually takes two weeks or more to complete this treatment, by which time your teeth will be several shades lighter.



After you have brightened your teeth, it can be wise to avoid highly coloured foods for the first few days, especially after an in-office treatment. This is because the tooth enamel is initially slightly more porous and more able to absorb stains. People also want to know about teeth whitening frequency and how often they can top up the results. Usually, teeth whitening will last for a year or more, depending on your lifestyle habits. Some people may want to have annual teeth whitening in Gosnells, and by following our teeth whitening recommendations, we can make sure you can safely maintain a bright white smile.

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At Tandara Dental Centre in Gosnells, we’re happy to discuss all of your care options with you, so that you can choose the one that’s best for your smile. Contact us today to schedule!