Teeth whitening is a bleaching procedure that restores the natural tooth color and oxidizes or removes stains on teeth. There are several products available to use at home, which you can buy over-the-counter (OTC) at the drugstore, such as whitening strips and mouth trays, which use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth.
However, there are also many professional treatments for teeth whitening in Singapore performed by cosmetic dental clinics like Smile Point Dental Center (https://www.smilepoint.com.sg/). Examples include laser bleaching and in-office therapies using oxygenating gels.
Which Teeth Whitening Products Can You Use?
Teeth whitening products range depending on the strength of bleach and how often you can use them. Some of the typical options you have for teeth whitening in Singapore include;
- Home-use whitening products: Products that you can buy over the counter (OTC) at a drugstore, such as whitening strips and mouth trays. These contain low levels of hydrogen peroxide, usually between six and 20 percent. Also, they are typically used for short periods of time, perhaps an hour or less each day. When buying home-use products, check the label to make sure they fall within the accepted range for safety and effectiveness.
- Professional treatments available from your dentist: Treatments performed by a dentist may involve stronger concentrations of hydrogen peroxide that typically last longer than OTC products which makes them more effective at lightening teeth. Also, professional treatments may involve exposing teeth to infrared or laser light which can help speed the whitening process.
- Custom-made bleaching trays (trays that you make at home): You take an impression of your teeth and send it to the lab where they custom fit a tray for you. Then, you wear the tray for several hours a day while watching TV or reading a book. These tend to be stronger than OTC products and require more time but give better results.
- Bleaching strips: These are small adhesive strips containing about 10 percent hydrogen peroxide and adhere to teeth over time, similar to wearing trays. This is not as effective as using other types of whitening products.
- Wipe-on products: These are products to use right before an event, such as a wedding or high school reunion, and contain higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide than other whitening treatments. They often come in a wipe or gel that you apply and leave on for about 30 minutes. Check the label to see how powerful they are because mouth ulcers and tooth sensitivity can occur if they’re too strong.
The Risks and Benefits of Teeth Whitening
There are also some potential risks involved with teeth bleaching. Basically, you will need to know this beforehand so you can make an informed judgment. Some of the risks your dentist will want you to be aware of include;
- Teeth sensitivity: Some people experience a short-term increase in tooth sensitivity due to the bleaching process. However, this usually returns to normal after a few days following bleaching.
- Gum irritation: Bleaching may lead to gum irritation or mucosal injury because it removes a thin layer of enamel that protects gums from food particles and bacterial plaque along the gum line. Also, bleaching products contain less-than-recommended amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which increases the risk of gum irritation.
- Tooth discoloration: Sometimes tooth whitening can cause teeth to become slightly or extremely discolored after treatment. This happens because when hydrogen peroxide removes stains from your teeth, it also removes natural tooth structure in the process. If this occurs with home-use products, you can use them again for touch-ups after talking to your dentist. But if you notice any unusual color changes with professional treatments, contact your doctor immediately because more serious conditions could be causing it. Also, don’t try using stronger bleach than recommended because that may lead to more significant damage.
So, does teeth whitening damage teeth? Well, the answer is, teeth whitening treatments shouldn’t damage your teeth. The key here is finding the right teeth whitening treatment for you and using the treatment or products under the guidance of an experienced cosmetic dentist.
How to Safely and Effectively Whiten your Teeth at Home
If you decide to use a home-use product for teeth whitening in Singapore, please talk with your dentist first because they can tell you how to get the best results. Also, follow these instructions for effective whitening:
- Apply the bleach only where needed, not on enamel surfaces that aren’t stained. Keep the product away from gums and lips when applying by using a cotton swab or brush. Never apply inside your mouth—it should never touch gum tissue or lips.
- After applying the bleach, rinse your mouth out thoroughly. Then spit out excess product (don’t swallow it even though hydrogen peroxide is found in many common household products) and follow with a moisturizing treatment to protect the enamel.
- Always remember that bleaching is not for everyone, especially children under 13 because their teeth are still developing. Also, if you have oral or gum disease, it may be inadvisable because of your increased risk of complications.
The Cost of Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments in Singapore
If you decide on getting professional teeth whitening treatment in Singapore, ask your dentist about the costs upfront, so you know what to expect. It will likely cost more than doing it yourself, but this way, there will be no hidden fees when you get there.
Teeth whitening treatments range from $50 to $1,200 depending on the treatment, where you live and how much work needs to be done. The average price for one visit is $329 but can range from $149 to $850. On average, you will need about two visits for results.
To ensure that you find the best dentist for teeth whitening in Singapore, it’s also a good idea to do some research online first. Write down the names of three or four dentists in your area and make an appointment to visit each one. Describe your goals during the initial consultation with each dentist, including how white you want your teeth to be, any concerns you have about this process, and what results you’ve seen from other people who underwent similar treatments.
At Your Appointment: You will need to provide accurate dental and medical histories before undergoing teeth whitening treatment like x-rays, photos of your teeth, periodontal charting (measuring depth of periodontal pockets), recording tooth decay history, measurements; for over/underbites; occlusion, etc. The dentist may also take impressions of your upper and lower arches for study models for future use, as well as digital scans (CT scans) of your teeth.
When choosing a dentist, make sure they are certified and have completed at least two years in an accredited dental program. Make sure you like and feel comfortable with this person because they will be responsible for keeping your mouth safe during treatment. The dentist should also be able to provide references from previous patients who have undergone similar treatments; ask about their satisfaction level and if any complications occurred
Even though there are risks of complications, teeth whitening treatments are generally safe and shouldn’t damage your teeth. Your dentist should be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening based on your medical history, what work needs to be done, how well you can handle pain/discomfort, and what your cosmetic goals are.
At Smile Point Dental Center, we offer affordable teeth whitening treatments for you to brighten your smile. Get in touch with us now to schedule a consultation with an experienced dentist. Call: +6564751028.
Smilepoint Dental Holland Village
43 Jln Merah Saga, #01-64 Chip Bee Gardens, Singapore 278115
+65 6475 1028