You've seen movie stars and your friends use teeth whitening to great effect, but how does it work? Our dentists at Calgary explain how teeth whitening brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
As we age, our teeth naturally darken. 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 bleaching agents based on peroxide to lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the visibility of surface stains. As the peroxide degrades, oxygen reacts with the tooth enamel, causing 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 procedure typically takes 1 to 2 hours. One session may be sufficient for some patients, but depending on your specific case, you may require additional treatments to achieve the desired whitening effect.
Professional Teeth Whitening At Home
If you Google "how to whiten teeth," you'll quickly discover a plethora of at-home teeth whitening options. While these are an option, they are not as strong or as effective as the teeth whitening kits available at our Calgary dental office.
Our teeth whitening solutions include custom whitening trays as well as detailed instructions on how to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own 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 need to go to the dentist to have an impression of your teeth taken so that custom whitening trays can be made to fit your smile. At home, you'll use these trays to apply the whitening solution yourself.
When your trays are finished, you will return to the dentist's office to ensure they fit properly. Your dentist will then send you home with the trays, whitening solution, and detailed instructions.
At home, you'll wear the trays for 30 minutes every day for about 2 weeks, or until you reach the desired level of whiteness. Then, every 6 months or so, you can use the whitening solution to touch up your smile.