You've seen celebrities and friends get great results from teeth whitening, but how does it work? Our dentists at Scarborough explain how teeth whitening brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Our teeth naturally get darker as we age. This gradual colour change can be a side effect of lifestyle factors such as drinking dark beverages like tea, coffee or alcohol, taking certain medications, smoking and general wear and tear from years of use.
Professional teeth whitening treatments lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the appearance of surface stains by using peroxide-based bleaching agents. When peroxide breaks down, oxygen reacts with tooth enamel, causing whitening.
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 left to work on your teeth for 15 minutes. The solution will then be cleared, and the application process will be repeated.
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 Scarborough dental office.
Our teeth whitening kits include custom whitening trays and detailed instructions on how to whiten your teeth at home. Furthermore, you'll have your dentist oversee the procedure, and the cost of teeth whitening may be less than the in-office option.
To begin, you’ll first need to visit the dentist so an impression of your teeth can be taken to create the 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.
You'll wear the trays at home for about 30 minutes every day for about 2 weeks, or until you reach the desired level of whiteness. The whitening solution can then be used to refresh your smile every 6 months or so.