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Teeth Whitening: The Journey Towards a Bright Smile

Every month we receive enquires from patients on teeth whitening. Before you start on teeth whitening, you need to know if your are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening.

Is everyone suitable for whitening?

Teeth whitening is not recommended in children under the age of 16. This is because the pulp chamber, or nerve of the tooth, is enlarged until this age. Teeth whitening under this condition could irritate the pulp or cause it to become sensitive. 

Individuals with sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums and/or defective restorations should consult their dentist prior to using a tooth whitening system. Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product.

It is advisable that teeth whitening is done only on patients with healthy teeth and gums. This mean that there should not be any gum problems and that the teeth should be decay-free or otherwise there will be irritation to the gums and teeth. In addition, before whitening is done, the teeth should be plaque/tartar free so that the whitening gel can be in contact with the teeth directly. As such scaling and polishing needs to be done.

Teeth with uneven discoloration may not yield optimum effect with whitening as it will result in patchy teeth. Also, whitening will not work well on crowns and teeth with fillings.

There are two modes of whitening: Home Kit Whitening and Chair Side Whitening.

For home kit whitening, a customised tray is made which fits nicely over your teeth. You have to wear the whitening solution either over night when you sleep or wear it as per manufacturer's instructions over a period of 2 weeks. The whitening solution come in different concentration depending on how white or light you want your teeth to be.
As for chairside whitening, LED or LASER is used to activate the whitening gel over 3 cycles of about 20 minute per cycle in the dental office. Your teeth will become whiter or lighter in shade after 1 hour of chairside whitening. The result is instantaneous as compared to home kit whitening

So which works better? In fact we recommend that both actually work well and it depends on just how fast you want your teeth to be white. Is the whitening effect permanent? How long your teeth remains white depend on your diet. If you tend to eat and drink lots of colored food/ drinks or even smoke, the effect will not last long.

Do email us if you have any queries for whitening.

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