Teeth Whitening WARNING: Choose a Registered Dental Professional

In the pursuit of whiter, brighter teeth, bleaching should NOT be undertaken by untrained hands.

The WA branch of the Australian Dental Association has been warning the public that having your teeth whitened by your hairdresser, beautician or other unqualified person can go horribly wrong and lead to permanent damage to teeth and mouth. We agree.  Whilst whitening is perfectly safe when carried out by a registered dental professional, an untrained person could cause permanent damage to teeth and gums.

In some countries it is against the law for teeth whitening to be carried out anywhere outside the practice of dentistry.

Not so in Australia.

Many people had reported to the ADA that they had been injured by teeth whitening and at Smile Forever Dental we have had numerous clients ask us to assist when things have gone wrong. Side effects reported include chemical burns to the soft tissues, ulceration, slow healing, pain and bleached gums. In a few cases swallowing some of the bleaching agent has caused an irritation and even bleeding in the oesophagus and stomach. When disappointing outcomes include unevenly coloured teeth, in a dental practice there are additional steps that can be undertaken to improve the colour results.

Teeth whitening has become very common, but it is a serious process that really should be undertaken safely by qualified dental practitioners.  The procedure involves applying oxidising agents such as hydrogen peroxide, so it is of utmost importance that a trained professional undertakes this for you or supplies recommended products that have been approved for use at home. Parents with children as young as 11 are seeking teeth-whitening advice, and some young patients using do-it-yourself whitening kits that could damage the natural development of tooth enamel.  Whitening kits should carry warnings that they are unsuitable for children under 18 because they be too abrasive for young teeth and potentially damaging.

At Smile Forever Dental we also share the concern about the variety of outlets in shopping centres, beauty clinics and local salons offering teeth whitening. Some of the kiosks in a retail centre have no running water, no way of washing hands and no disinfecting of materials going in the patient’s mouth. This opens the opportunity for infection.  The lack of adequate training of those administering the procedure means they are not equipped to deal with an adverse reaction and if there is an anaphylactic response to the chemicals, there could be a real tragedy on their hands.

The Dental Board of Australia released an interim policy stating that teeth whitening/bleaching is an irreversible procedure and that any products containing more than 6 per cent concentration of the active agent should be used only by a registered dental practitioner with education, training and competence in the procedure.

Bleaching agent’s etch the tooth’s surface and during the process some people experience a “bubbly” sensation on the surface of their teeth or sharp pain inside a tooth. In the days following the treatment, some people may experience an ache in their teeth and heightened sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink.  If you have recession or toothbrush abrasion it is recommended that you do not have teeth whitened as sensitivity can be particularly uncomfortable and last a long time. There are alternative ways to sort out these issues, including minor surgery for the recession and enamel veneers to improve the look of visible teeth.

Teeth whitening can last a little longer than six months, and it is vitally important to go to a registered practitioner where you are sure of infection control standards and where proper materials are available.

Before making the decision to whitening teeth through this process if you have stained teeth from smoking or other causes such as coffee, tea, red wine or curries you may find that the stains can be polished off with a professional scale and clean.

At Smile Forever Dental we use proven products that minimise risks with all the procedures we offer. We really care about our clients and research the best products and methods available to achieve results safely.  Ask us for information about our procedures and why we recommend them. We strive to provide the best dental treatment available using the latest techniques, most up to date equipment and best dental materials. We are known for our down to earth and completely transparent approach.

Read the ADA Warning via ABC News:


We would love to see you to advise you about the best procedure and products to meet your needs.

Keep smiling,

Jason Condello 

Dental Surgeon – Smile Forever Dental

P> 9321 3071 W> www.smile-forever.com A> 2/55 Colin St, West Perth, WA 6005

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