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Common Whitening Questions

Sensitivity & Side Effect Questions

Common Ordering Questions

Common Whitening Answers


What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discolourations of enamel and dentin by using either a hydrogen peroxide formula or carbamide peroxide formula which creates an oxidation reaction.

What causes tooth discolouration?

There are many causes of tooth discolouration. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, colas, red wine and tobacco. Nerve damage, trauma, old restorations can also cause discolouration and during tooth formation consumption of tetracycline or excessive fluoride may also discolour the teeth.

Is there anyone who can not whiten their teeth?

Teeth whitening products should not be used if you are under 18 years of age, are pregnant, have health problems, periodontal disease or gums that are in poor condition, overly sensitive teeth, wear braces, had recent oral surgery, decayed teeth, have roots that are exposed, have colitis, or have jaw problems.

How does it work?

The whitening gel is placed into your custom fitted tray, once inserted over your teeth the active ingredient in the gel starts to break down. Oxygen enters into the enamel and dentin which in turn breaks down the stain inside the tooth. The structure of the tooth is not changed, only the tooth colour is made lighter.

What is the difference between hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide?

There are 2 main bleaching ingredients. Carbamide peroxide (e.g. Whiter Smile Exclusive, Nite White, Day White) and hydrogen peroxide (e.g. Nite White turbo, Crest Whitestrips etc.). Comparatively, a 6% hydrogen peroxide is equivalent to approximately 18% carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down a lot quicker than carbamide peroxide formulas. Hydrogen peroxide has a very short life and is a lot stronger than carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is long acting and therefore carbamide peroxide formulas are usually designed to be worn overnight for 7 -10 nights (dependent on strength). However, due to the high strength of gel in our Whiter Smile Kits, our gel should only be worn for 15-60 minutes per day.

Which product should i choose?

It all depends on your preferred treatment method (whitestrips, trays, toothpaste) and teeth/gum sensitivity levels to decide on which strength whitening gel to choose. Please visit our "product comparison" page to see all the different kit variations.

Is whitening safe?

Yes! Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with custom trays using a carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide formula is safe for healthy teeth and gums. It is essential to follow the directions of use supplied for each product and not go past the recommended treatment duration. Most research available was initially done with a 10% carbamide peroxide concentration, however there is no literature that we have come across showing any structural changes or irreversible damage to the tooth structure whatsoever.

How long does it take?

Results can vary depending on the strength of the product and method. Some teeth whitening products can show dramatic results in just a few days, while others can take a couple of months. The majority of people will be able to whiten their teeth within 1-2 weeks. The more yellow versus gray colour you have in your teeth, the better the bleaching. Grey enamel similar to that of Tetracycline (antibiotic) staining is more difficult to bleach and can take a few weeks to month to achieve a result depending on the severity. The duration of treatment for each specific product is listed separately on each product page.

How long do the results last?

Once you have whitened your teeth, your teeth should always be whiter than they once were. However, as we continue to eat staining food, drinks and substances, our teeth will start to stain again. To keep them white all the time we recommend maintaining your white teeth every 3-6 months by either using your gels and trays once or twice, or regularly using a teeth whitening toothpaste or whitening pen.

What is the shelf life and wearing time of bleaching gel?

All whitening gel should be stored in a dry cool environment. Generally the shelf life of most teeth whitening products is approximately 12-24 months, but can be as little as 3 months for some products. However, the potency of the whitening gel should still remain effective for a couple of months past this date. Hydrogen peroxide products tend to have a shorter shelf life due to the whitening gel being less stable. We assume that our customers will be using our products straight away, but If a product is within 3 months of its best before/expiry date this will be noted on the products page. Please email us at hello@whitersmile.com.au if you need to know the exact best before/expiry date on a specific product.

The wearing time for our home whitening kits is based on the strength of bleaching gel.

Concentration / Formula Sensitivity Level Usage Tube Size Applications
Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Peroxide Free High Sensitivity Up to 60 Minutes / Day 3cc Tube Approx 6
Under 10% Carbamide Peroxide High Sensitivity Up to 60 Minutes / Day 5cc Tube Approx 10
10 - 20% Carbamide Peroxide Average Sensitivity Up to 60 Minutes / Day 10cc Tube Approx 20
3 - 6% Hydrogen Peroxide Average Sensitivity Up to 60 Minutes / Day Overnight in some products
Dentist Administered Only
20 - 30% Carbamide Peroxide Average Sensitivity Up to 60 Minutes / Day Dentist Administered Only
30 - 40% Carbamide Peroxide Low / No Sensitivity Up to 30 Minutes / Day Dentist Administered Only
40% + Carbamide Peroxide No Sensitivity Up to 15 Minutes / Day Dentist Administered Only
6% - 10% Hydrogen Peroxide Average Sensitivity Up to 60 Minutes / Day Dentist Administered Only
10% + Hydrogen Peroxide Low / No Sensitivity Up to 30 Minutes / Day Dentist Administered Only

The above is designed to be used as a guide only. Some products require different usage times so it is important to visit the individual products page for more accurate information. 1% hydrogen peroxide is equivalent to approximately 3% carbamide peroxide.

It is difficult to spread the gel in my trays. Do you have any suggestions for distributing the gel?

All you need to do is place a continuous line of gel half way up on the inner side of outer wall of the whitening tray so that it forms a rope line of bleaching gel which will not run or slump. When you place the tray over the teeth, the teeth will displace the gel to cover the tooth surface (i.e. the teeth will spread the bleach). You can see where the gel covers the tooth and if it appears deficient in an area, you can merely touch the tray gently on the outside to move the bleach around. The gel consistency should be thick and viscous. By creating the gel with increased viscosity allows better retention of the bleach against the tooth surface and therefore more effective even whitening.

Can I whiten caps, crowns, fillings, or veneers?

Whitening will NOT whiten your crowns, caps, fillings or veneers. Whitening gel will only whiten enamel. However, if there are any external food or drink stains on these restorations they will come off. The actual colour of the filling, cap, veneer or crown will not be altered. Any restorations on your front teeth may need to be replaced after the whitening process is finished. If mould material gets trapped underneath the wire or bridge, it can loosen your bonded retainer/bridge or you might have difficulty removing the mould from your mouth. You may want to rather get the moulds done at your dentist if you have a bridgework.

Sensitivity & Side Effect Answers


Does teeth whitening cause sensitivity or any side effects?

All bleaching gel causes some degree of tooth sensitivity. This is sensitivity to hot and cold fluids and even air can cause discomfort. This is normal and an expected side effect. Some of the brands of bleaching gel contain desensitising agents which claim to reduce post bleaching sensitivity. If your teeth do become sensitive, you can try doing your treatment every second day or reduce the treatment duration. Sensitivity should disappear completely within 1-3 days after completing the treatment. Don't be concerned as bleaching does not need to be done consecutively. You will get to the same whitening point, it will just take a little longer. Gum irritation can also occur, especially if you overfill your whitening trays. You will notice that your gum will become white. If this occurs it will disappear in a short amount of time after you stop treatment. You can also place vitamin e oil on the affected area. For those who do suffer from extra sensitivity, using a product containing potassium nitrate as the active ingredient is highly recommended and will help. Our range of desensitising and remineralisation products which can be seen on our "tooth conditioning" page.

During bleaching my gums were burning, leaving my gums white. Is this due to overfilling?

Either your trays are covering the gum area or you overfilled the trays. All you need is either to place a smaller droplet in each tooth or a bleach line midway across the inner outer wall of the tray. The gums will return to normal in a few hours and the whiteness will disappear. You should avoid any further bleaching until your gums are fully healed and avoid any hot and spicy foods till then. Next time use less whitening gel and use for only half of the recommended time and then increase the time on subsequent whitening periods. Using a remineralisation product after your treatment will also help reduce the burning and shorten the amount of time for your gums to heal. Our range of desensitising and remineralisation products which can be purchased through our "Oral Care Products" page.

Common Ordering Answers


What are your shipping methods?

Once your parcel has been posted, the following can be used as a general guide on how long delivery may take.

Australian orders

  • Regular Post - 3 to 5 business days
  • Express Post - next business day and second day delivery for certain country locations (Recommended)

International orders

  • Air Mail - 7 to 14 business days
  • Express Post International - 5 to 7 business days
  • Express Courier International - 3 to 5 business days

Shipping rates are calculated automatically from the Australia Post website and are based on the orders weight.

What are my payment options?

We can accept the following payment methods. Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Direct Deposit, Money Order (AUD funds only). To pay via Direct Deposit or Money Order, during our secure checkout process select 'Other' as your payment option. Money Orders should be made payable to "Whiter Smile" and a print out copy of your invoice included in your envelope. Once complete, please send to: 

Whiter Smile
PO BOX 500
Marleston SA 5033

Our Direct Deposit details will be shown during checkout. If you need our bank details again, they are available by request by mailing customer service at hello@whitersmile.com.au.

How long does it take to receive my order?

Most orders in Australia are sent within 24 hours. On some occasions delays may be experienced and shipment may be delayed. To ensure product quality, we make sure all gel (dependent on product) is sent fresh from the factory. Because of this we ask that you allow up to a total of 10 days for delivery from the time you place your order.

How do I know if my order has shipped?

All orders are posted within 24 hours and as soon as your order has been shipped, we'll email you shipping confirmation. The email address you provide during checkout is the one we use for any order updates. On the rare occasion a confirmation email may not arrive. However if you have made payment (and received either a PayPal or eWay receipt), we have received your order and your order will be posted. Please email us at hello@whitersmile.com.au if you would like us to double check.

How do I track my order?

In your shipping confirmation email you should receive a tracking number which can be tracked via the Australia Post website. If your tracking number did not appear, do not your worry and your package has still be sent. If needed, you may contact us at hello@whitersmile.com.au to confirm your tracking details. Please include your order number and full name associated with your order and a customer support representative will assist you within one business day.

What happens if I don't get my order when I expected to receive it?

If your parcel has not arrived within the estimated time frame, do not worry because it could just mean there has been a delay in Australia Post being able to deliver it. Because of this, please allow a couple more days for delivery just in case that is the situation. If your parcel still has not arrived after another couple of days, please visit / phone your local post office to see if they have your parcel. Just provide them with your name and say that you have been waiting on a package that has not arrived and if they could check if they have it – more than likely it will be there! In the unlikely event that that parcel is still nowhere to be seen, we can help track its location as long as it was sent via Express Post, and will make sure that you receive your order as quickly as possible. For orders sent via Regular Post, because online tracking is not available, unfortunately it is not possible for us to track its whereabouts. Please refer to our Lost Parcels Policy for more information.

What happens when a product is out of stock?

We do our best to make sure we keep all items in stock, but cannot always predict when an item will become highly sought after or when a shipment to our warehouse will be delayed. When an item becomes out of stock, it will either be unavailable to purchase through our store, or may be able to purchase through back order if the new stock is expected to arrive soon. In rare instances a product may be sold which is already out of stock, then an email will be sent immediately to the customer about their order.

What if I have a problem with my order?

We make every effort to ensure that your order is correct and arrives in excellent condition. If you do find a problem, please contact us immediately via email at hello@whitersmile.com.au. Include your order number and full name associated with your order and a customer support representative will assist you within one business day. When you receive your order, please inspect the item for any damage that may have occurred during shipping. If the product has been damaged or broken during shipment, please email us to receive instructions on how to obtain a replacement. Please make sure you keep all boxes, packaging materials, and damaged items for inspection.

What is your refund policy?

Due to the nature of our products results vary greatly person to person depending on the type of conditions or stains the users has. It may take a number of months to completely rid tough stains and therefore we are not able to refund purchases unless the product is defective. Please refer to our Returns Policy for more information