If you've decided to whiten your teeth, you may have heard of power bleaching treatments. Like over-the-counter kits and salon treatments, this process whitens your teeth but often shows more dramatic results, as the bleaching content is higher than the norm. Where can you get power bleaching products?
Over the Counter Kits and Salon Treatments
In Australia, the government regulates home whitening kits and the treatments used by beauty salons. This protects you by ensuring that there are limits on the amounts of harmful chemicals that you, or beauticians, can use on your teeth. For example, you shouldn't be able to buy whitening kits or have salon treatments that contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide and 18% carbamide peroxide, according to CHOICE.
Warning: According to the Australian Department of Health, you should not use any home or salon whitening treatments that exceed the 6/18% peroxide mix. If you do find products or treatments that have a higher peroxide content, you should report the supplier to your local Department of Health or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
While these limits are there to protect you from potentially toxic chemicals, they do have a downside. The amount of peroxides in approved products may make your teeth a little whiter, but they won't necessarily give you the dazzling smile you were looking for. If a home kit or a salon treatment promises a power bleach, the chances are you'll have to use multiple applications to get really white results.
Tip: To avoid side effects when you whiten your teeth, make sure to follow any instructions given in a home kit or by a beautician in a salon as closely as you can. Don't be tempted to keep bleaching to try to get whiter shades. According to CHOICE, too many treatments may damage the enamel on your teeth and may even make your teeth look slightly blue rather than whiter than white.
Power Bleaching at the Dentist
If you're looking for a better bleach than that given by an over-the-counter kit or salon treatment, you'll have to go to a dentist. According to CHOICE, dentists are allowed to use whitening treatments that contain more peroxides. For example, your dentist may be able to use a whitening treatment that contains up to 38% hydrogen peroxide compared to the 6% allowed in a home kit or salon treatment; power bleach results in a surgery may also be enhanced by the use of light or heat during the procedure.
Tip: Dentists are allowed to use higher concentrations of peroxides because they will assess your teeth and their suitability for bleaching before they proceed with treatment. In some cases, dentists may be able to give you a more concentrated treatment to use at home rather than an in-surgery treatment if they feel you and your teeth can handle higher peroxide levels.