Teeth whitening treatments explained: costs, results and differences
There are lots of new and novel smile brighteners, including mobile teeth whitening and dinky DIY blue lights. It’s all fun, but what actually works?
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Below we break down the different teeth whitening options on the market and put a new whitening treatment to the test.
But first, what about if I have veneers?
Unfortunately, whitening products will not whiten the shade of existing crowns, veneers, or fillings. However, it can remove any stains on the restorations or whitening can be done on the lower teeth to match the shade of the veneered upper teeth (or vice versa).
Toothpastes, strips and kits
These relatively affordable at-home options can help remove stains, maintain brightness or freshen teeth a touch – just don’t expect miracles. “Most do-it-yourself options need to be used for up to two weeks and contain low concentrations of active whitening ingredients, so the results are limited,” says cosmetic dentist Dr James Malouf. “Avoid very abrasive toothpaste, which can wear down enamel if overused. And take care with mouth guards which, if not fitted properly, can cause uneven whitening or gum sensitivity.”
The most expensive whitening option but regarded as most effective is professional dental whitening, like Zoom Whitening. After a check-up and clean, your dentist applies the highly concentrated solution and may activate it with a blue light. In one hour you’ll walk out with whiter teeth. Contrary to popular myth, “peroxide does not compromise enamel,” says Dentist Dr Mark Nieh. “However, it does penetrate the tooth surface to oxidise stains and may irritate the nerve tissue, making teeth sensitive temporarily.”
Your dentist can custom-make a bleaching tray for you to use at home. “We can match the gel to your lifestyle, whether you prefer overnight wear or one-hour daytime wear,” says Dr Nieh. “It takes 1-2 weeks for results but it’s our preferred method because it’s precise and it works. It’s also cost-effective, convenient, and usually sensitivity-free.”
There’s been a rise in whitening clinics (not to be confused with trained dentists). The premise is based around convenience, results and making the teeth whitening experience enjoyable AKA less dentist-y more spa-like. The Whitening Co., which recently launched in Auckland, features reclining dental chairs complete with privacy curtains, pillow, blanket, bluetooth headphones and a handy phone holder for the ultimate relaxing experience.
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Here at The Whitening Co's Professional Teeth Whitening Studio, we can whiten up to three people's smiles, all at once! Every detail has been considered, right down to phone chargers on each seat, headphones with only the most powerful of bass and sound clarity, and a beauty station for any touch-ups afterwards. Come in and leave smiling, and buy a White Kit while you're there. What's there not to love? c/o The Whitening Co
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But does it really work?
The Whitening Co. uses 12 percent hydrogen peroxide gel. According to the website it’s a common, safe and effective treatment for whitening natural teeth.
We sent bh’s Maily along to test out the treatment. Check out her review and before and after photos below...
The Teeth Whitening Co in Mount Eden is a boutique studio kitted out with luxe décor. Instead of a clinical dental clinic, the boutique feels more like a trendy day spa.
First, they apply a mouth guard to keep your teeth visible, then little cotton pads are placed between your teeth and cheeks for extra comfort, and then a layer of gum protector is applied to ensure no whitening agent will lighten your gums. Special glasses are popped on, then it’s just a matter of laying back and relaxing with the white the light in front of your teeth.
To be honest it was so relaxing I could have fallen asleep. After 2x 25 min sessions you walk out the door with brighter, whiter teeth! I could really notice a difference.
I had a little sensitivity later on that evening but nothing a few painkillers couldn’t tame, plus you are given a de sensitising gel to take home.
bh's Maily received The Confidence Package ($299), which takes 60 minutes. The package is perfect for those new to teeth whitening as its designed to maximise immediate results, including two formula applications in one sitting.
Cost: From $299
Have you tried teeth whitening before? What option do you like the sound of most?