Teeth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, is a cosmetic dental procedure used to improve the appearance of one’s smile by removing stains from both the enamel and dentin layers of the teeth. This is because the active ingredient in the whitener breaks apart discolored molecules, essentially dissolving stains. With a single whitening treatment, teeth can end up 5-10 shades brighter. It’s effectiveness, as well as its affordability and ease of treatment, makes professional teeth whitening the most popular cosmetic dental treatment.
Did You Know?
In-office whitening treatments use a stronger concentration of whitener than over the counter whitening treatments. This ultimately results in more dramatic results that appear almost instantly after one dental appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?
You may be a candidate for teeth whitening if you have teeth that are dull or discolored and are free from tooth decay and gum disease. While teeth whitening generally works well to remove stains from foods, beverages, tobacco, and poor oral hygiene, it can also improve the appearance of stains association with aging in some cases. To determine whether you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening, schedule a consultation with your cosmetic dentist today.
What can I expect when having my teeth whitened?
When having your teeth whitened, the first step is to have them cleaned to remove excess plaque and ensure a smooth application of the whitening agent. Then your teeth will be isolated in order to protect your gums. Although the whitener agent works well for whitening your teeth, it can cause gum irritation.
To begin the whitening procedure, the whitener will be applied to the surface of your teeth by either being brushed on or with the use of whitening trays. It will remain in place for anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the type of whitener and your desired treatment results. The final step is to rinse the whitener off the teeth.
What can I expect after having my teeth whitened?
After having your teeth whitened, you will likely notice a difference. However, the whitener continues to break down stains for up to 24 hours after application and the final results cannot be seen until this time. Because of this, your dentist will recommend avoiding foods and beverages that can stain your teeth for these first 24 hours.
In the days following your teeth whitening appointment, you may experience some minor gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. Both are considered to be normal and should fade within a few days. Depending on your treatment plan, your dentist may also provide you with take home whitening trays to continue the whitening process at home.
You can expect your whitening results to last anywhere from six months to three years. There is such a wide range because the lifespan of your whitening results is highly dependent on your personal habits. Things like tobacco use and consuming highly pigmented foods and beverages shorten the lifespan of your results, while good oral hygiene and regular teeth cleanings can preserve the results for longer.