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We hear of advertisements promoting free teeth whitening, but why is it free? or cheap? or on group-discount?”.

Teeth whitening should not be treated lightly (no pun intended). Bleaching involves harsh chemicals, will not treat certain types of teeth staining, and thus not suitable for everyone. To advertise FREE or CHEAP teeth whitening with every exam/clean/x-ray etc has to be a marketing tool to get patients through the door. One must wonder if the advertiser is desperate for patients? What if every single patient that do go in for their clean, enticed by a free whitening treatment, get told they are not suitable? Then technically the advertising clinic does not have to perform any free service. Would you trust them still if they tell you that you’ll need a different type of bleaching treatment that will cost $299 more? (special price for today, of course).

Or worse, the clinic offering the $19 teeth whitening is not a dental clinic, but a beauty salon, or a hip new “smile bar/lab/pop-up” with the absence of dental professionals and total disregard for oral health.

Whitening should be closely monitored and managed. Patients will experience varying degrees of teeth and soft tissue sensitivity, and may experience “colour rebound”, when a large proportion of the tooth turning whiter is due to dehydration. As the tooth rehydrates after bleaching, tooth color ‘rebounds’ back toward where it started. If not done conservatively, patients will be left with very porous, sensitive teeth, with minimal colour improvement and no doubt, future problems.

If teeth whitening is something you are wishing to do, get assessed in a dental environment, and seek a practitioner with the right intentions.

For all the facts about teeth whitening in Australia, visit the ADA’s website here