Teeth Whitening Systems – What Are Your Options?

Many people desire a whiter and brighter smile, and there are several ways to achieve this. Getting the correct information is important to help you get the best outcome, the safest possible way. 

It is tempting to look in the supermarket isle to find a teeth whitening treatment, but will it really work? 

There are also lots of whitening teeth systems that you can buy online, but the question is are they safe and will they get results? 

Having your teeth assessed by a qualified and registered dental professional is pretty important. We know what to look for, we can determine why your teeth might be discoloured and we know what works and how to do it safely. Additionally, if you have fillings, veneers, crowns or darker teeth that have been affected by root canal treatment or trauma bleaching will not change the colour of these areas. Gums that have shrunk or receded may also result in nasty pain and sensitivity if you use whitening products. 

You may not be satisfied with the natural colour of your teeth, or your teeth may have become stained over time due to things like coffee, tea or red wine. 

There are 2 types of staining. Extrinsic and Intrinsic. Which type you have, determines which teeth whitening system will work for you. 

Extrinsic staining is caused by darker particles sticking to the OUTER surface of your teeth. Things like coffee, tea (especially green tea), red wine and smoking can lead to this situation. This can be removed with a thorough clean from your dentist that will essentially polish off the stains.  

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The use of whitening tooth pastes from the supermarket can also help, but these are not recommended in the long term as they are mildly abrasive and contribute to excessive wear of your precious enamel. This is especially true of charcoal products. 

They also do not contain any peroxide which we will discuss as the most important ingredient for white teeth. 

Intrinsic staining or discolouration is all about the internal shade of your teeth. In these situations, whitening tooth pastes simply won’t work. The whitening teeth system required needs to include PEROXIDE to make improvements. 

Effective teeth whitening treatments using peroxide can be broken down into 3 categories. 


One size fits all at – home bleaching 

These can be effective and are typically the most affordable. This is either a tray that you fill with bleach, or preferably a strip that is coated with bleach gel. The strip versions will result in less bleach going where is shouldn’t and will hold it in close contact against the front surface of the tooth only. These are typically worn for an hour. TO be effective the bleach concentration needs to be one that only professionals are allowed to supply. Some systems use a light, which is not proven to make any real difference to the overall result. 


Custom at – home bleaching – RECOMMENDED 

This whitening teeth system is proven to get the best and most lasting results and is the most affordable in the long run. After careful assessment, moulds of your teeth are taken and customised trays are fabricated just for you. You then need to apply a small amount of the peroxide gel and wear the trays for about an hour a day.

For most people 7-10 days in a row is required to get a good outcome. The custom trays result in less bleach irritating your gums, and less chance of swallowing excess gel. You can also buy refills of gel more affordably when you run out. Sensitivity is a common side effect with all whitening, but it is not permanent and can be treated simply 

As with all teeth whitening treatments, the results are not permanent, meaning you will need to top up your smile for 1-2 sessions every few months to maintain your results.  So, the only downside is that it takes longer and requires commitment to achieve your smile goals. 


Instant professional whitening 

This is where a dental professional uses a VERY HIGH concentration peroxide gel to rapidly change the colour of your teeth in about an hour. Due to the high concentration, results happen quickly but some additional precautions are required. The main on being that a special barrier must be placed over your gums to protect them from being severely irritated by the gel.

Many people also report acute pain and sensitivity during and in the days following this type of treatment. Those systems which use lights or lasers don’t necessarily make any difference to the outcome. It is typically the most expensive, but the end result is often similar or worse than the low- and slow approach of the take home options. As previously stated, your teeth will always fade back, meaning you will need to bleach again if you want to keep your white smile. 

It is a good option for a quick fix, but we do not think it is the best for long term results. 


If you choose to buy your whitening teeth system online please be careful. You may not get a product that contains effective ingredients and you might actually get something that causes damage.


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