Tooth whitening is a dental procedure involving a bleaching agent to make your teeth several shades brighter. Over time, your teeth may develop stains due to colored foods and drinks such as berries, coffee, tea, red wine and soy sauce. Your teeth’ enamel also wears out as you age, exposing the yellow dentine. Discolored teeth and unsightly may affect your self-confidence and overall appearance. Fortunately, Fadwa Robb DDS can help you transform your smile after one whitening session. Here is more for you to learn about teeth whitening.
What does in-office teeth whitening involve?
First, you need to consult with your dentist to ensure that the procedure is safe for you. Tooth whitening involves the application of strong chemicals to your teeth, meaning your teeth need to be suitable for the process. Although the procedure is generally safe when a specialist performs, teeth whitening may not be ideal if you have cavities, exposed tooth roots, worn-out enamel, and gum disease.
You may need to fill the cavities and treat the gum disease before bleaching. Since whitening mainly involves the use of hydrogen peroxide, individuals allergic to this chemical may not be eligible for the procedure. Tooth whitening procedures may also not be safe for pregnant women and people with prosthetics such as crowns and veneers. If you don’t have any of these inhibiting factors, your dentist may allow you to proceed to the next step, which is mouth preparation.
Preparing the mouth
The whitening product contains hydrogen peroxide, which can irritate your gums, lips, and tongue. For this reason, dentists use a dental dam to protect your gums, allowing only the teeth to get in contact with the chemical. A gum protector may not be the most comfortable thing to wear, but it protects your gums from inflammation. Cheek retractors also help keep your lips and cheeks away from hydrogen peroxide. Once the dental dam and retractors are in place, you are safe for the next step, which is applying the bleaching treatment.
Bleach treatment application
Next, the dentist applies a whitening product directly on your teeth’ surface. The gel has a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than most over-the-counter whitening products. It, therefore, offers more noticeable results in a short period. Although you can whiten your teeth at home, you may not get the desired results, and you put yourself at risk of chemical burns.
After applying the whitening product, you wear a pair of protective glasses, and the dentist uses laser energy to speed up the whitening process. After treatment, your teeth may feel sensitive, but this is usually temporary and only lasts for two hours.
How to maintain the results
While teeth whitening can help you make your teeth several shades brighter, it does not prevent them from staining in the future. For this reason, you need to limit foods and drinks that stain your teeth. These include black tea, carbonated beverages, red wine, sports drinks, and berries. Following oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing can also help you maintain the results. Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for professional cleaning.
If you need to whiten your teeth, schedule a session with your specialist today at Madison Dental Partners.