Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure used to lighten the color of your teeth. This safe and effective procedure can lighten them by several shades.

Whitening treatments are an effective way to remove both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth stains, with results often evident after just one in-office appointment; for more dramatic changes, multiple applications may be necessary.

Preparation for Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is an excellent way to transform the appearance of your smile, whether at the dentist’s office or at home, with dramatic results that may surprise even experienced dentists. There are a few steps you should take beforehand in order to achieve maximum effectiveness from any teeth whitening process.

As the first step of any teeth whitening procedure, a consultation will need to take place with your dentist. At this appointment, they will evaluate the condition of your teeth for tooth decay or any signs of oral health issues that could impede successful bleaching procedures and give advice as to how you can keep a healthy mouth after the procedure is finished.

At your consultation, your dentist will also discuss what shade of white you wish to achieve for your teeth. Select an option that complements the current hues found within your natural tooth shade range and fits within that spectrum of shades that currently exists on them.

Once your decision has been made, your dentist will begin preparations for your whitening session. This typically includes applying a special gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in order to penetrate more effectively into your teeth and decrease future sensitivity issues.

Your dentist will apply whitening gel directly onto each front-side tooth to avoid irritation to any other parts of your mouth such as gums or cheeks.

After applying whitening solution to your teeth, your dentist will activate it using a laser light and allow the bleaching agent to break down and dissolve stains on them.

Laser light activated whitening solutions will bleach each individual tooth to remove stains for a brighter smile, often taking two to three sessions lasting approximately an hour each time.

Prevent whitening appointments by flossing and brushing daily before your whitening appointment. This will keep your gums and teeth free from food debris and plaque that could potentially cause abrasions during the procedure, and reduce any risk of gum or tooth sensitivity that may arise in the weeks leading up to it.

Your dentist will then provide you with a tray tailored specifically to the shape and size of your teeth, designed to hold in place the whitening gel without it spreading onto gums, tongue or cheeks during treatment.

To achieve optimal results, it’s necessary to wear the trays for at least an hour a day for one month – they are made from materials which will be comfortable on both gums and tongue.

Once your teeth whitening process has been completed, you’ll receive instructions on how to use the trays with the whitening gel for at least twice daily application for up to a month – either twice or four.

Teeth Whitening Treatment

Many individuals are becoming more conscious of the aesthetic value of a whiter smile, leading to increased demand for teeth whitening products and professional treatments at dental offices. But many factors influence whether a given treatment will work effectively for an individual; such as age, starting color, staining factors, lifestyle habits and starting color.

The most widely practiced type of teeth whitening involves applying bleaching agents at a dentist’s office, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide solutions, to your teeth in order to achieve your desired shade. Once applied, this typically takes 30-60 minutes until it begins taking effect, although certain products offer light activation options as well.

Your dentist will use a shade chart to accurately gauge your current tooth color and discuss how much lighter it might become after bleaching treatment. This will allow them to determine how long it should take and the cost associated with treatment.

Prior to beginning any whitening procedure, your dentist will perform a cleaning to eliminate plaque or tartar accumulation from your mouth. This step is especially important if your smile has darkening pigmentation as plaque can reduce effectiveness of whitening agents used.

Your dentist will apply the whitening gel using a mouth tray and may cover it with a rubber shield to protect gums. He or she may reapply the product several times over time until your desired shade has been achieved.

For optimal results, it’s crucial to avoid foods and beverages which cause stains on your teeth post-treatment, including tobacco use, drinking red wine or coffee, curry consumption and dark-colored sauces that stain teeth. Such activities will diminish the efficacy of any whitening treatments you undergo.

Once the whitening has been completed, it’s crucial to maintain an optimal oral hygiene routine, including brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Achieve this goal through healthy diet and limiting acidic food and beverages consumption as another means of guarding against future staining of teeth.

Your dentist will likely recommend that, depending on the method you select, re-whitening every six to 12 months using either a professionally prescribed whitening gel or over-the-counter product.

Some individuals may experience temporary sensitivity during the whitening procedure; it should dissipate within several days. This is most likely to happen with in-office bleaching where higher concentrations of bleach are used.

After your whitening treatment has been completed, avoid any acidic, highly-tonified or sugary foods or drinks as these could increase sensitivity in your teeth. Your dentist can suggest an effective home-care regime to keep them protected and healthy during this period.

An affordable whitening system should fit within your budget and you should check with your dentist whether whitening may be covered by insurance.

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