One thing that many people want is sparkling white teeth that they are proud to show off. But, coffee, tea, wine, other dark beverages, and smoking can all start to darken the color of your teeth over time.
Of course, maintaining a good oral hygiene routine can help reduce the impact of these staining things. But, you may still be feeling like your teeth are no longer as white as you’d like them to be. The good thing is, professional teeth whitening is available at your dentist’s office and can be highly effective in getting the results you are looking for.
If you are like many people, you may have questions about teeth whitening. There is professional in-office whitening, take-home kits, and multiple different kinds of over-the-counter products.
So, in this article, we’ve put together some of the top FAQs and answers about professional teeth whitening at the dentist to shed some more light on this cosmetic dental treatment. Let’s take a look:
Teeth Whitening FAQs and Answers:
How does teeth whitening work exactly?
Stains will start to appear on your teeth when darker colored molecules adhere to the tartar, plaque, and the direct surface of your teeth known as the dentin (another interesting tooth fact to know). Regular dental cleanings do help remove stained plaque and tartar, but can still leave the stains on the dentin layer. This is where professional teeth whitening comes in.
During this treatment, a safe bleaching solution is applied to the teeth. This solution combines with carbon found in the dentin and oxygen from the air to break apart any staining molecules that are stuck on your teeth. Sometimes a safe UV light is also used to help enhance the activity of the bleaching solution.
How long does in-office teeth whitening take?
The in-office teeth whitening process takes roughly an hour in total. First, before applying the solution, the dentist will usually give you more specific information about the teeth whitening process and answer any questions you may have. Then, the actual teeth whitening usually takes around 45 minutes to complete.
What kind of solution is used to whiten teeth?
There are a variety of different whitening solutions that can be used depending on what your dentist determines is best. The different solutions that are used can include Carbamide Peroxide, Carbamide Peroxide with Potassium Nitrate Fluoride, and Hydrogen Peroxide.
Does professional teeth whitening hurt?
In-office teeth whitening can cause some sensitivity to the teeth and gums, resulting in mild pain. Most patients experience little to no sensitivity, while other patients, especially those who already deal with teeth sensitivity, may need to reduce the strength and the amount of time for the whitening to prevent uncomfortable sensitivity.
Your dentist can advise you of ways to avoid sensitivity with teeth whitening. A certain type of whitening may be suggested. Or, the dentist may recommend a special toothpaste for use before and after the treatment. If you do start to experience tooth sensitivity after a whitening treatment, an over-the-counter pain reliever will usually help reduce the symptoms.
How quickly will I see results?
The good thing with professional teeth whitening is you don’t have to wait long at all to see results. You can expect your teeth to be noticeably whiter immediately after the treatment.
Exactly how much whiter will my teeth be?
In general, teeth will usually be around eight shades whiter than the initial shade before treatment. But, the exact degree of whiteness will, of course, depend on the level of staining present on your teeth before the whitening is done. The natural mineral content of your teeth also impacts the whitest possible shade you can safely achieve.
Does in-office whitening damage teeth enamel?
A major benefit of having professional teeth whitening done by your dentist (versus at-home whitening kits) is that it significantly reduces the risk of damage to your tooth enamel and gums. It also ensures legitimate whitening products from reputable vendors are being properly applied to your teeth. In-office whitening by your dentist also reduces the chances of tooth sensitivity or root damage.
How often should I have professional teeth whitening done?
To protect your gums and tooth enamel and gums, it is recommended that you do not have in-office whitening done more than once a year. After having a professional whitening treatment done, you can ensure it lasts by following a healthy diet, avoiding teeth-staining drinks and food, not smoking, using a straw, and keeping up with regular dental cleanings.
If you are diligent in proper maintenance, in-office whitening results can last up to a year. You can also maintain whiteness at home with custom whitening trays as needed. Dentists recommend that you do not use at-home teeth whitening treatments more than once every three to six months.
Your dentist can give you a more definitive idea of a whitening schedule that would be best for your teeth.
Should a dental cleaning be done before or after teeth whitening?
Definitely before. The best teeth whitening results will come on teeth that are free of tartar and plaque. So, staying on top of your regular dental cleanings is not only important for your oral health but will also ensure the best possible results when it comes to teeth whitening. If it is time for a teeth cleaning, you can schedule your cleaning and whitening treatment on the same day. In that case, the cleaning will always be done before whitening.
Will professional teeth whitening work on veneers or bridges?
No. Whitening treatments will only work on natural teeth. It will not change the color or shade or veneers, bridges, or any other non-natural tooth restoration that is usually made of porcelain. The whitening solutions have no effect on porcelain.
Trust a Professional For Effective Teeth Whitening
It’s not uncommon to have questions about teeth whitening or wonder what you need to know beforehand. Hopefully, with the answers we’ve provided above, you have a little more clarity on this dental treatment. When it comes to brightening the color of your teeth, opting for in-office professional teeth whitening will ensure it is done properly and you get the best results that will last the longest.
If you have more questions about whitening your teeth or want to schedule an appointment, we’re here to help. Contact our caring and experienced team here at Radomile Family Dental Care in Drexel Hill, PA today!