How is teeth whitening done?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered if your smile could be just a little brighter? You’re not alone.
Even though the way we feel when we're laughing with friends or grinning for the camera leaves a lasting impression on both ourselves and other people, years of eating poorly, smoking, and consuming foods and drinks high in pigment like red wine, coffee, or tea may have taken their toll. Thankfully, professional teeth whitening might be helpful.
Types of Teeth Whitening Procedures
It may surprise you to know there are different types of teeth whitening procedures. They include:
One of the most effective teeth whitening procedures is completed in a dental office. Your dentist’s gel has much stronger whitening agents that can produce more effective results than over-the-counter products. In-office whitening involves the following steps:
- After cleaning your teeth, your dentist will perform an oral exam to look for tooth decay, gingivitis, or fractures that may have to be corrected before your teeth can be whitened.
- The dentist puts a cheek retractor in your mouth, then paints your gum tissue with a hardening resin or liquid rubber dam to prevent any irritation the bleaching gel could cause.
- Bleaching gel is applied and stays on for 15 to 30 minutes before being washed off. Fresh gel is used for another 15 to 30 minutes.
- Your dentist may shine a light on your teeth to start the bleaching process.
- Your teeth are checked intermittently to make sure they are whitening properly. More bleach may need to be administered.
- Your cheek retractor is removed after a final gel application, and your dentist will take a first shade change measurement. Your “true new colour” should emerge after about two days.
- Depending on whether the desired whitening occurred, you may need to follow up with more in-office treatments or try take-home whitening trays.
Take-Home Whitening Trays
Take-home whitening trays offer the cost-effectiveness, convenience and comfort of whitening your teeth at home. They are a good option if dental teeth whitening is not covered by your insurance plan or if professional in-office teeth whitening is cost-prohibitive.
To make custom-fitted trays, which take one to two weeks to create, you'll first need your dentist to take an impression of your teeth. Over the course of two weeks, you'll place the trays in your mouth and wear them for an hour each day. When compared to over-the-counter alternatives, people typically experience better results at the end of the process.