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The teeth whitening questions you should be asking
The answer that made us change our minds about teeth whitening
Teeth whitening is not just supermodels and reality TV stars, and the result doesn’t have to look crazy (remember Ross in Friends?) or damage your teeth. Always go the professional in-chair route, says Emma King, head of marketing at Zoom Whitening, which is one of the safest options. Zoom also costs less than you imagine and lasts a lifetime with the right care. Emma answers more of your top questions.
CAN I JUST USE AN OVER-THE-COUNTER HOME WHITENING KIT?
Over the counter and non-approved home whitening products can remove surface stains, but in the long run damage your teeth, explains Emma. “These products are usually very acidic and abrasive and can cause severe damage to the teeth and gums”, she adds, “but The Philips Zoom professional whitening products change the internal colour using hydrogen peroxide and are applied as an alkaline gel and not an acid, meaning no damage to the teeth”.
WHY ZOOM WHITENING OVER OTHERS
Zoom Whitening is the No.1 patient-requested professional whitening brand in the U.S, and it is an increasingly popular choice here in South Africa too. The entire process is geared towards health, safety and comfort. You’ll have a consultation with an oral hygienist before your whitening session so they can determine the health of your gums and teeth.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CHAIR
Zoom whitening clinicians discuss your potential end result and customise your treatment plan especially for you. “I offer free whitening consultations so I can assess the health of the teeth and gums and decide on a treatment plan that would work best for both the patient and their teeth. This will help to ensure we achieve maximum whiteness with as little sensitivity as possible” says Emma.
The in chair procedure takes approximately an hour, and consists of anything from 1-4 fifteen minute sessions of bleaching in the chair. The appointment will include impressions of your mouth so that custom bleaching trays can be made for you to use at home immediately after the in chair procedure, and for maintenance once a month. Emma does her best to prevent sensitivity rather than deal with it afterwards. For this reason she divides the full procedure up into 2 in chair appointments of 2x15 minutes each, but you can definitely do more than that on one day. A hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to the teeth and a special LED light accelerates the bleaching process enabling you to achieve up to 8 shades whiter in just 45 minutes to an hour.
IS IT REALLY SAFE? AND WHAT ABOUT THE PAIN?
In short, yes, and virtually painless. Zoom Whitening is approved by International Dental Associations to ensure no damage to the teeth. The Gel consists of hydrogen peroxide, which is antibacterial, as well as desensitising and remineralising ingredients. Vitamin E oil is placed on your lips before placing the cheek retractor, and the gums and any areas that may possibly cause sensitivity on the teeth are covered by a special block out material.
Zoom Whitening products with Relief ACP (amorphous calcium phosphate) not only don’t cause damage: they actually give you greater lustre and protect your enamel.
“If a person achieves maximum whitening result and continues to just keep on bleaching for weeks on end, that’s when you can cause damage,” says Emma.
DOES MY LOCAL DENTIST OFFER ZOOM WHITENING?
In Cape Town, from Blouberg to Noordhoek and Green Point to Stellenbosch, there are over 30 dentists that offer in-chair Zoom Whitening treatments. If you’re unsure you can pop your dentist a phone call or check online via zoomwhitening.co.za.
I HEAR PEOPLE SAY IT IS LIFE CHANGING?
Zoom Whitening has been used by everyone from Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, to cricketer Herschelle Gibbs and SA actor Siv Ngesi. Emma is proudest of the effect it has on people’s lifestyles. Most of the smokers that have sat in Emma’s chair end up quitting the habit. That is how life-changing teeth whitening can be. “Whiter teeth make you look younger and healthier”, adds Emma. “It makes the irregularities in the mouth, like crowding, seem less obvious.” You won’t believe what a difference it can make for your confidence.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I BUDGET FOR THE TREATMENT?
The Philips Zoom Whitening LED Light treatment, prices start from R5,500. If you want something slightly cheaper, Zoom’s Dash in-chair treatment, which requires no LED light, starts from around R4,000. There are also Zoom take-home options, which are an affordable option you can discuss with your dentist.
WHAT ABOUT THE AFTERCARE OF MY TEETH POST-PROCEDURE?
It’s important you combine the in-chair whitening treatments with the customised take-home kits your dentist will prepare for you. If you want to treat your teeth with the Day White bleaching ampoules it could take anything from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the strength of the gel, and the sensitivity of your teeth. The easiest time to do this is just before you go to bed.
The Nite White whitening gel is the lowest strength bleaching gel which you can leave on for about six to eight hours, so you could even treat your teeth as you sleep.
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