How Does Teeth Whitening Work in a Dental Office?

How Does Teeth Whitening Work in a Dental Office?

Team General Dentistry

In-office teeth whitening is the most efficient way to brighten your smile. Your dentist can remove years of stains in just one or two sessions. You'll be excited to share your smile with the world.

In-office teeth whitening is a safe and easy process that requires only a few visits. This blog will provide a step-by-step description of the process and share some frequently asked questions.

How In-Office Teeth Whitening Works

Step 1: Choosing Your Shade

The first step is to consult your dentist and discuss your desired results. They will help you choose the ideal shade that looks refreshed but natural.

Step 2: Cleaning and Polishing

The dentist uses finely ground pumice to polish your teeth and prepare them for the whitening gel. Cleaning the teeth produces the most even results.

Step 3: Applying Whitening Gel

The dentist will provide a retractor to protect your lips, tongue, and gums. They will coat the front surfaces of your teeth with a carbamide peroxide gel.

Carbamide peroxide is chemically similar to hydrogen peroxide. This substance temporarily opens the tooth's pores and penetrates to break up stain molecules. The dentist leaves the whitening solution on the teeth for a short period to allow it to work.

Step 4: Rinsing

After approximately 15 minutes to half an hour, the dentist carefully rinses your teeth. Depending on the level of staining present, they may repeat the procedure.

Step 5: Fluoride Treatment

After rinsing the final gel application, the dentist applies a fluoride varnish to your teeth. Fluoride helps to reseal the pores in your teeth and combat sensitivity.

How to Keep Your Teeth Whiter Longer

Visit your family dentist at least twice yearly for professional cleanings and practice excellent oral hygiene.

Avoid the following as much as possible:

  • Starchy food
  • Staining foods and beverages like dark chocolate, red wine, berries, and coffee
  • Tobacco use

If you have starchy or brightly pigmented food or drinks, brush your teeth as soon as possible.

At-Home Professional Whitening

Dentists also offer at-home professional whitening if you want a more gradual effect. Your practitioner will send you home with a less potent version of the whitening gel used in the office and a custom-made tray.

You will fill the trays with the special whitening gel and wear them as prescribed, either during the day or at night. When your treatment is complete, you will have results approaching the brilliance of in-office whitening.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

Is over-the-counter whitening as effective as professional whitening?

You can find over-the-counter whitening products in almost every store. While the major brand products are typically safe, they may not be as effective as professional whitening. Over-the-counter whitening takes many months and repeated applications to produce maximum results.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Teeth whitening is safe when supervised by a professional. It does not damage enamel or cause permanent side effects.

Be careful with teeth whitening solutions purchased online. They may be too strong to use without dental supervision, leaving you with extreme sensitivity and gum burns.

Call Wilson Park Dental

We can help boost your self-confidence while brightening your smile. Please call our Rapid City, SD, office at 605-343-9352 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Haave.