Everything You Need to Know About Whitening Your Teeth

June 28, 2021

A big, pearly white smile is alluring, charming, and attractive. It gives us the confidence to speak to others and flash our beautiful smiles. A white smile is synonymous with a healthy smile, which is why professional teeth whitening is such a popular cosmetic treatment.

Curious about how dentists whiten your teeth? Learn more below!

How to Keep your teeth healthy with nutrition

How Do Dentists Whiten Teeth?

During an in-office teeth whitening appointment, your dentist is going to use a bleaching solution, either made up of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to dissolve stain compounds in the outer layers of your teeth. 

Here is how they do it. 

  1. The current shade of your teeth will be recorded.
  2. A pumice will be used to remove any plaque on the surface of your teeth.
  3. Gauze may be inserted to keep your teeth dry.
  4. A retractor will be inserted into your mouth to move your lips, cheeks, and tongue out of the way of the whitening solution.
  5. Your gums will be covered with a barrier to protect it from exposure.
  6. The front surface of your teeth will be coated with the whitening solution.
  7. A curing light or laser will be used to activate the peroxide.
  8. Depending on the whitening solution being used, your dentist will either re-apply the solution or leave you alone for the next 30-60 minutes.
  9. You will be asked to rinse once the time is up.
  10. You may be given a fluoride application to ease tooth sensitivity. 

If the desired shade was not reached within the first appointment, you may need to schedule additional appointments.

You will be asked to avoid foods like coffee, tea, tomatoes, beets, grapes, candies, tobacco, and red wine for the next 24-hours. 

How Long Will The Whitening Last For?

If you are able to maintain excellent oral hygiene, an in-office professional whitening can last anywhere from 1-3 years. 

Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?

If you are planning on making the switch to a whitening toothpaste, it is a good idea to keep expectations in check.  While whitening toothpaste does work to make your smile brighter, it will not change the natural color of your teeth.

Instead, it will work to dissolve the extrinsic or surface stains on your teeth that are caused by items like red wine, soft drinks, coffee, and tobacco. 

So, if you keep consuming these items, your toothpaste is unlikely to yield serious results. You can expect about one shade brighter with proper oral hygiene.

How To Prevent The Discoloration of My Teeth?

The best way to prevent tooth discoloration is by honing in on healthy habits that promote excellent oral hygiene. 

For instance, if you know you are going to consume heavily pigmented foods or drinks, brush or floss soon after. If that’s not possible, consume water with these foods and swish it around so that you can dislodge any particles that would stain your teeth.  You can also use a clean reusable straw to prevent liquids from staining the front of your teeth.

If you are worried about stains between the teeth, make sure you are flossing daily, either with traditional string floss or with a water flosser.

You may also choose to use a whitening mouthwash or toothpaste to help minimize the buildup of stains. 

Finally, modify your lifestyle habits. This may mean cutting back on drinking items like coffee, red wine, and soft drinks, or it may mean choosing to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. 

As you modify your habits, try to keep a toothbrush on hand to help remind yourself to be proactive about your pearly whites. 

If you’d like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment with us, please schedule your appointment here.

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