You've noticed your friends and perhaps movie stars get the results they desired from teeth whitening - but how does the procedure really work? Our dentists in Napanee explain how the teeth whitening process can brighten your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Our teeth naturally grow darker as we age. This gradual change in shade may be a side effect of lifestyle factors such as drinking dark beverages like coffee, alcohol or tea, smoking, taking certain medications and general wear and tear from years of use.
Peroxide-based bleaching agents are used in professional teeth whitening treatments to lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the appearance of surface stains. Oxygen acts on the tooth enamel as the peroxide breaks down, creating the whitening effect.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Our Office
Many patients choose to have professional teeth whitening done in their dental office, since the dentist can typically complete the full process in one or two sessions.
During your in-office whitening treatment, the dentist will begin by placing a rubber shield over your gums to protect them from the whitening solution.
The next step is to use a small brush-like applicator to apply the bleaching solution on your teeth, then leave the solution to work on your teeth for 15 minutes under a low heat lamp. A hygienist will then clear the solution and repeat the application process.
The teeth whitening process usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. While one session may be sufficient, you might require more treatments depending on your specific needs, to achieve the whitening effect you desired.
Professional Teeth Whitening At Home
Look up “how to whiten teeth” online and you’ll soon find a wide range of at-home teeth whitening options. While these present one alternative, they are not quite as strong or as effective as the teeth whitening kits at our Napanee dental office.
The teeth whitening solutions we offer come with custom whitening trays and specific instructions about how to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. Plus, you’ll have your dentist to supervise the process, and your teeth whitening cost may be somewhat less than with the in-office solution.
To begin, you’ll first need to visit the dentist so an impression of your teeth can be taken in order to create the custom whitening trays to fit your smile. You’ll use these trays at home to apply the whitening solution yourself.
Once your trays are ready, you will return to the dentist’s office to confirm they are a good fit. Next, you’ll be sent home with the trays, the whitening solution, and clear instructions from your dentist.
At home, you’ll wear the trays for about 30 minutes every day for approximately 2 weeks, until you achieve the desired level of whiteness. Then, you can use the whitening solution to touch up your smile every 6 months or so.