You’ve seen movie stars and your friends get great results from teeth whitening – but how does the procedure actually work? Our Burnaby dentists shed light on how the teeth whitening process brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Our teeth naturally darken with age. This gradual colour change can be caused by lifestyle factors such as drinking dark beverages such as tea, coffee, or alcohol, taking certain medications, smoking, and 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.
They will then use a small brush-like applicator to apply the bleaching solution to your teeth. Under a low-heat lamp, the solution will be allowed to work on your teeth for 15 minutes. The solution will then be cleared and the application process will be repeated by your hygienist.
This process 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 Burnaby dental office.
Our teeth whitening solutions include custom whitening trays as well as detailed instructions on how to whiten your teeth at home. Furthermore, your dentist will supervise the process, and the cost of teeth whitening may be less than with the in-office solution.
To begin, you’ll first need to visit the dentist so an impression of your teeth can be taken in order to create custom whitening trays to fit your smile. You’ll 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.