Everything You Need to Know About Professional Teeth Whitening

professional teeth whitening

Did you know that a sticky film containing bacteria is on your teeth? This is more commonly referred to as plaque.

Plaque contributes to gum disease and tooth decay because bacteria will attack tooth enamel. Not only do you have to worry about cavities, but plaque can negatively impact the look of your teeth.

With proper oral health and professional teeth whitening, your smile can look brand new again. Keep reading to learn the facts about professional teeth whitening.

How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?

Professional teeth whitening is fairly simple and can be done with a bleaching or non-bleaching product.

Bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. This agent removes surface stains and deep stains on your teeth.

Bleaching products work by using peroxides to break down stains on the teeth into smaller pieces. The yellowish teeth color becomes less concentrated which makes your teeth appear whiter.

Whitening products with bleach make your teeth lighter than their natural shade.

Treatments for teeth whitening can last up to a year depending on the method of treatment and other factors. At-home options tend to last for a few months while professional in-office options last longer.

Teeth Whitening Options

Your dentist can recommend the best teeth whitening option for you. There are in-office whitening visits and at-home whitening options to choose from.

In-office whitening is the professional method of teeth whitening completed by a dental team. It takes about an hour to complete.

The team will apply a tooth whitening gel to the teeth which will contain peroxide. This is the safest and most effective form of teeth whitening that dentists will recommend.

They can use protective barriers to keep the whitening gel from getting on your gums, lips, and tongue. Some dentists create molded whitening trays after your visit so that you can follow up with whitening at home.

At-home whitening is another option for people wanting whiter teeth. These are cost-effective options that are easy to use and apply from the comfort of your home.

At-home whitening products contain less peroxide than the products that dentists use so they are less effective. The common at-home whitening options are:

  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening rinses
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Whitening pens
  • LED whitening kits

If you don’t want to try in-office teeth whitening, ask your dentist if they recommend any at-home whitening products.

What Causes Teeth to Darken?

Intrinsic staining and extrinsic staining are two types of discoloration each with its own cause.

Intrinsic staining is darkening from within the tooth that can happen over time due to various factors. Trauma, medications, and age are common reasons for intrinsic staining.

Extrinsic staining is staining on the outside or surface of the teeth. This staining is commonly caused by foods or drinks that are pigmented. Tea, red wine, soda, coffee, and smoking are the most likely culprits.

Side Effects of Teeth Whitening

Because in-office teeth whitening is high-strength, it can cause side effects in some individuals. The most common side effect is increased sensitivity to cold during or after the completion of the treatment. Other side effects include:

  • Sore throat
  • Gum discomfort
  • White patches on the gum line

If the whitening product gets through your enamel, it causes sensitivity. It will get to the soft layer of dentin below it and irritate your tooth’s nerve.

Symptoms are temporary and usually disappear within a few days. Persistent side effects should be discussed with your dentist.

In-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments are safe as long as you follow the directions given by the dentist or the product label for over-the-counter whitening treatments.

It’s important not to overuse whitening products because they can increase negative symptoms like gum irritation, sensitive teeth, and irreversible enamel erosion.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?

Only your dentist can tell you whether or not teeth whitening is right for you. For most people, it is safe if they are experiencing mild to moderate discoloration.

Those troubled with brown or gray shaded stains cannot use teeth whitening as a correction method. Professional teeth whitening is not effective in the following scenarios as well:

  • For people with fillings, crowns, caps, dental bonding, or veneers on their front teeth
  • For people with dentures
  • Discoloration as a result of an injury or medication

Whitening is a complex process in patients with sensitive teeth, worn enamel, tetracycline staining, and grinding of teeth. In some cases, professionals can still whiten your teeth so consult your dentist.

What to Do After Teeth Whitening Treatment

After Mona Vale teeth whitening treatment, there are certain things you can do to make your whitening last longer.

As usual, you should brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and regularly floss. Keep up with oral health, which includes scheduling dentist checkups at least twice a year.

During checkups, the dentist will polish and clean your teeth to reduce a buildup of plaque and keep your teeth as white as possible. They can recommend an electric toothbrush that does a better job of removing plaque.

Try to reduce your intake of drinks and foods that are known to cause stains. After consuming these products, rinse your mouth out with water to avoid the stain-causing agents from foods and drinks.

No matter what you do after Northern Beaches teeth whitening, following the instructions of your dentist is most important.

Go to a Dentist Practice in Mona Vale

Now that you know everything about professional teeth whitening, you can decide if the treatment is right for you.

Although there are at-home methods you can try, the best option to get rid of stains and keep your teeth white is to choose in-office teeth whitening. After the treatment, follow your dentists’ recommendations to maintain white teeth.

Don’t have a dentist currently? Check out our professional dentist practice in Mona Vale. Contact us today to schedule a teeth whitening appointment.

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