"I can't get whitening because I have sensitive teeth"
The minor temporary sensitivity you may experience when getting your teeth professionally whitened is different to sensitivity from hot and cold. Using the Philips in-chair Zoom whitening system the treatment can be adjusted to people with sensitivity issues. General sensitivity can be caused by a number of oral health issues so please consult your dentist to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment. The good news is that sensitivity can be reduced with de-sensitising products applied prior to and post-whitening.
"I have to quit coffee to get pearly whites"
The good news is you don't have to give up your daily brew if you want to have your teeth whitened or use whitening products. Over time the regular consumption of coffee or tea will stain the tooth's external layer of enamel. A regular clean at the dentist will remove this type of staining, however stubborn stains will dissolve with a professional whitening treatment. To maintain your brightness post-whitening regular brushing is key and you can always have a top-up whitening when needed.
"I have fillings so I can't get my teeth whitened"
Interestingly some people believe that you can't have your teeth whitened if you have fillings. Thankfully this isn't the case! Your fillings won't be affected by whitening agents or magically change colour with a treatment. If you want to create a seamless white smile you can have your existing fillings replaced with white fillings.
"My teeth are different colours so whitening won't work"
Every tooth colour is unique thanks to the thickness and translucency of the tooth's enamel and the internal composition of the tooth. It's completely normal to have colour differences across your smile and shouldn't hold you back from getting your teeth whitened. Teeth whitening will lighten both the yellow or darker internal dentine and any staining or discolouration on the external enamel. By lightening the tooth's colour and removing staining we can create greater uniformity in colour.
Whitening is bad for your teeth
Teeth whitening is the least invasive, safest and cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. However not all whitening products are created equal and it's important to follow the instructions of the specific product. Over the counter whitening products contain a lower concentration of the whitening agent than professional products. This can lead to over-use to achieve the desired shade of white. As these products can be quite abrasive this can damage the tooth's enamel. While it is a little more costly, in-chair teeth whitening treatments, such as Philips Zoom, can achieve up to eight shades lighter in one treatment and are supervised by a dental professional.
Written by Dr Cronin, Philips Zoom Ambassador and Cosmetic Dentist at Quality Dental, North Sydney.