If you’ve ever gone to the dentist or know common facts about dentistry, you would know what people talk about when they talk about professional teeth whitening. Over the years, many at-home whitening options and products have surfaced. This has made the process more accessible for people who cannot afford a dentist or are looking for quick methods with less commitment. What is less commonly known, however, is that these at-home whitening tools can rapidly damage your teeth and wipe away the protective layers that make them strong and long-lasting.
With cosmetic dentistry rising in demand over the last decade, teeth whitening has become an in-demand dental procedure. According to Sunstar Global, 41% of the global population considers whitening the most desirable dental treatment. To keep you informed, Brock North Dental is here to shine a light on how professional teeth whitening works and the process involved in brightening your smile.
What is Teeth Whitening?
If you’ve ever wondered how teeth whitening works, it’s simpler than you probably thought. Teeth whitening is a process in which a dentist bleaches your teeth to make them whiter, lightening the color by several shades. It’s an efficient and safe procedure that involves peroxide solutions like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. The bleaching solution penetrates the enamel and causes a chemical reaction that dislodges particles that stain and make your teeth yellowish. The peroxide helps to remove discoloration and change the color of dentin.
What Happens During a Whitening Procedure?
Usually, teeth whitening is a process that takes time to complete. Your dentist may ask you to return a couple of times before deciding you are the right candidate for the procedure. They will explain possible complications and what to expect based on your expectations, make you sign a consent form, and obtain a starting shade using a shade guide. After cleaning your teeth, your dentist will use high-concentration hydrogen peroxide using a rubber dam.
When your dentist decides you are ready, your teeth will be exposed under a light in short bursts of 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, your dentist might also decide you are a candidate for at-home tray whitening. This procedure uses custom trays to deliver the peroxide to the teeth and is still the most popular whitening procedure used by professional dentists.
At-Home Whitening Treatments
The biggest problem with DIY whitening products is the need for more research behind them. Though they have proven to work on certain occasions, they can cause teeth sensitivity and irritation to the soft tissue surrounding them. Some home whitening kits don’t contain enough products to be effective. According to the Canadian Dental Association, the long-term effects of at-home teeth whitening solutions still need to be further studied.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
A professional tooth whitening done by a licensed dentist with the right equipment and whitening solution is perfectly safe. Not only will your dentist examine you to determine whether or not you are a viable candidate for whitening, but they will also examine your dental history and tailor the proper treatment for you.
How long do whitened teeth last?
The whitening effect lasts for up to two years. We may recommend a touch-up treatment every two years to restore discoloration and improve the whitening process.
What Causes Teeth to Stain or Decay?
You’re probably aware that not brushing will likely result in decaying and stained teeth, but other causes of yellowing teeth and stains are:
- Coffee and teas
- Red Wine
- Dark sodas like Coca Cola
- Poor dental care, like inadequate brushing and flossing
- Candies and sweets
- Some acidic fruits
Who should get their teeth whitened?
As mentioned above, your dentist will decide whether you are the right candidate for a teeth whitening method. It’s usually indicated for all types of tooth stains.
- Patients with stains due to aging, genetics, and foods and drinks.
- Patients with healthy teeth without fillings or restorations.
- Patients with healthy gums.
- Patients without any periodontal disease.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
Though teeth whitening is a perfectly safe procedure with careful professional supervision, some patients may experience common side effects after or during a procedure. These side effects include:
- Gum sensitivity because bleaching agents are strong chemicals that can cause irritation and pain.
- Tooth sensitivity because the bleaching ingredient penetrates your enamel and triggers some nerve sensitivity. It might cause an irritating sensation in your tooth.
- Tingling sensations as a side effect of the bleaching agent.
- Increased sensitivity to hold and cold that subsides over time. Your dentist might provide you with special toothpaste to decrease this symptom.
What to do After a Teeth Whitening?
Whitening aftercare is simple. It involves taking care of your oral hygiene and avoiding substances that may stain your teeth again. Your dentist will recommend the following:
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid dark sodas and liquors.
- Limit other stainers like coffee and tea.
- Brush three times a day and keep up with your regular flossing.
Most importantly, keeping up with your dental cleanings and appointments can save you from the headache of future tooth stains.
Visit Brock North Dental for a Teeth Whitening!
Our whitening cosmetic dental services are done by dentistry professionals with decades of experience overseeing all kinds of patients. If you are in the Pickering, Ontario, area, we’d love to hear from you. If you think you are a candidate for whitening, get in touch with us today!