14 Jan Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is the process of making the teeth appear whiter. This can be done using at-home methods such as whitening toothpastes or over-the-counter whitening strips or gels, or professionally in your dentist’s office. However you choose to whiten your teeth, having an oral exam prior to whitening is important, to ensure that any tooth discoloration is not being caused by a separate dental condition that requires attention by your dentist. Regular cleanings and checkups are a great preventative step in making sure your teeth stay healthy and white.
Professional teeth whitening services provided by your dentist use higher-concentration bleaching gels than are typically available over-the-counter, which makes them more effective. These bleaching gels, containing either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, help to break surface stains on the teeth into smaller pieces, making your teeth appear brighter.
For your safety, your dentist will cover your gums and the roots of the teeth with a protective barrier, and a retractor will hold back your lips and cheeks while your dentist applies the bleaching gel. Typically the gel is left on for about an hour, after which the results should be immediately obvious.
Not everyone should get teeth whitening. The current methods of teeth whitening are not a cure-all, and depending on the health and color of your teeth, they may not respond well to the process. It’s important to consult your dentist about these issues. In addition, some people may experience sensitivity in the teeth during or after the procedure. This is typically temporary and doesn’t need to be a permanent deterrent to whitening procedures.