You may have seen the result of teeth whitening in your friends, family or even movie stars, but how does this procedure actually work? Here, our Saskatoon dentists share some information about how the teeth whitening process actually brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth will naturally grow darker as we age. This gradual change in the colours of our teeth can be a side-effect of lifestyle factors like drinking coffee, tea or dark sodas, as well as smoking or taking certain medications. All of this combines with general wear and tear from years of use.
Professional teeth whitening treatments use peroxide-based bleaching agents to lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the appearance of surface stains. As the peroxide breaks down, oxygen acts on tooth enamel and creates the whitening effect.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Our Office
Professional teeth whitening in the dental office is a popular treatment for many patients, as we can usually complete the full process in one or two sessions.
During your in-office whitening treatment, the dentist will start by placing a rubber shield over your gums to protect them from the whitening solution.
After this, a dentist will apply a bleaching solution to your teeth with a small, brush-like applicator. The solution will remain on your teeth for about 15 minutes under a low-power heat lamp. Your hygienist will then clear away the solution and repeat this process.
Teeth whitening treatment usually takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. For some patients, one session may be enough, but depending on your specific case, you may require more treatments to achieve the whitening effect you had in mind.
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 Saskatoon dental office.
The teeth whitening solutions offered at our dental office come with customized whitening trays and specific instructions about how to whiten your teeth from the comfort of your own home. On top of this, you will have your dentist guide you through the process (which may be a bit less expensive than the in-office treatment option).
To start, you will need to visit your dentist so they can take an impression of your teeth in order to create customized whitening trays to fit your smile. You will be able to 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.