Dental professional and oral health therapist Maria Lucas.

The teeth whitening market is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period from 2020 to 2025.

In fact, it will grow by US$840.38 million, according to a recent report by Technavio.

esprit editor Michelle Ruzzene caught up with dental professional and oral health therapist Maria Lucas to find out more about teeth whitening tips and trends.

Teeth whitening is so popular now – what do consumers need to be aware of when looking at choosing a whitening product/service?

With society’s constant quest for better aesthetics, youth and confidence, it’s no surprise that achieving a whiter, brighter smile is a priority for many. However, with a range of products on the market, ranging from internet sourced home devices to professional dental treatments, it is important for consumers to understand what they are purchasing. Consumers also need to keep in mind that the teeth whitening industry in some respects is relatively unregulated so they must be aware that there are products and treatments available on the market that may not be reputable or in the wrong administrative hands. Any over the counter products (like those from pharmacies or supermarkets) available in Australia are TGA approved and have up to a maximum of 6% hydrogen peroxide concentration. Those who provide treatments available at beauty salons or mobile teeth whitening businesses are also only allowed to offer up to a maximum of 6% hydrogen peroxide. The consumer must be aware of these laws because a higher strength of peroxide in the hands of a non-dental professional may have severe adverse outcomes. Dental professionals are allowed to use concentrations above 6% hydrogen peroxide, as the use of such products is classified as a restricted dental act. Whilst there is a place for all these products and treatments on the market, consumers should be encouraged to ask questions and seek advise from their dental health care professional also.

How important is it to visit a professional?

Visiting a dental healthcare professional is important for all individuals as this is the only way to accurately diagnose a variety of dental problems. In fact, many dental problems can often begin as painless or barely noticeable until the problem is so advanced that it becomes symptomatic. Before any type of teeth whitening procedure, I would recommend that all individuals seek the advice of their dental professional. Unfortunate consequences could occur if any type of whitening or bleaching products is applied to a customer with an underlying medical or dental condition that has not by taken into consideration.

Editor Michelle Ruzzene undertaking a whitening treatment with Maria Lucas.

How should people maintain their whitening regime at home?

Maintenance is an important part of any teeth whitening procedure and I encourage all my patients who undergo a Philips Zoom whitening treatment to regularly use the product that has been advised to them by their dental health professional. One of my preferred maintenance products is the use of Philips Zoom NiteWhite 16% Carbamide Peroxide gel in a custom made delivery trays uniquely designed for the patient. Patients can wear these for two to four hours or overnight, and I recommend that this be done every six to eight weeks. Philips Zoom maintenance touch up pen is also a great product when you’re on the run (I also keep one in my handbag.) As always, reducing coffee, tea or red wine intake and increasing water consumption will help to keep teeth white and bright.

Are there any risks to teeth/gums by whitening?

All teeth whitening procedures carry risks but when completed by a reputable and trained professional, the risks associated with these types of procedures are minimal. A registered dental professional can only do Philips Zoom in office whitening treatments and the best precautions are taken to ensure that teeth, gums and soft tissue linings of the mouth are always protected. Transient sensitivity is the most common side effect but with the help of Philips ACP Relief Gel, this is drastically reduced. Patients should be fully informed about the procedure and/or associated risks and consent should always be obtained.

Maria Lucas is also a master trainer and co-founder at the Institute of Aesthetic Teeth Whitening, or IATW. This is an educational company that aims to provide quality teeth whitening educational material to both dental and non-dental professionals, while recognising the permitted scope that both disciplines must practice in. It is no surprise that an industry divide exists between both dental and non-dental professionals so at IATW, the core values are built around breaking down these barriers and coming together as a community with the customer (client and/or patient) always being the priority in every situation. At IATW, it’s about making the most comprehensive teeth whitening educational material accessible to all individuals.

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