You've seen stars and friends get excellent results from teeth whitening. But how does this procedure work? Here, we shed light on how the teeth whitening process brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Our teeth naturally darken as we age. The colour change can be caused by drinking dark beverages (such as coffee, tea and alcohol), taking certain medications, smoking and general wear and tear.
Professional teeth whitening uses peroxide-based bleaching agents to lighten your teeth's colour and reduce the appearance of surface stains.
Teeth Whitening at a Dentists' Office
Professional teeth whitening in a dental office is popular with many patients. The full process can generally be completed in one or two sessions.
During an in-office whitening treatment, the dentist will begin by placing a barrier over your gums to protect them from the bleaching agent.
Next, they will apply the teeth whitening treatment to your teeth. This solution will work on your teeth for 15 minutes under a low-heat lamp. The solution will be cleaned from your teeth and this process will be repeated.
Generally, the treatment will take between 1 and 2 hours. For some patients, one session is enough, but depending on your case more treatments may be required.
Teeth Whitening At Home
Googling "how to whiten teeth" will produce a range of at-home teeth whitening options. While these can be one alternative to in-office treatments, they aren't as effective as teeth whitening kits provided by a dentist.
Dentists offer teeth whitening solutions that come in custom trays and with instructions on how to safely whiten your teeth at home. Your dentist will be able to walk you through the process and, compared to in-office whitening, you may save some money.
To start, you'll need to visit a dentist to have an impression taken of your teeth. They will create custom whitening trays for your smile.
After confirming that your trays fit your smile, you'll be sent home with them, the whitening solution and instructions from your dentist.
Once home, you will wear the trays for half an hour every day for about 2 weeks, until you achieve your desired whiteness. You can use the whitening solution to touch up your smile every 6 months or so.
Both in-office and at-home teeth whitening options are safe, effective ways to lighten the colour of your teeth and brighten your smile.
Ask a dentist about any questions you have about the professional teeth whitening process.