When it comes to teeth whitening, many people think that the actual whitening itself is the only thing that will give you a dazzling smile. However, the at-home care after your teeth whitening is just as important. One of the easiest ways to keep your teeth white is to avoid certain foods and beverages that…
What to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Treatment
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure offered by most general dentists. It targets and removes tough stains on teeth, brightening the patient’s smile. It is important to properly prepare and have realistic expectations before beginning teeth whitening treatment to ensure a successful treatment process.
The teeth whitening treatment process
The teeth whitening treatment process involves a consultation visit with a licensed dentist, preparing the teeth for treatment, applying the bleaching agent, and rinsing the mouth. More than one application of the bleaching agent may be applied to achieve ideal results. The following is a review of each step you can expect throughout treatment.
The consultation visit
The first step is to schedule a consultation visit to discuss teeth whitening as a cosmetic treatment solution. This visit gives the dentist an opportunity to conduct an oral examination and determine if any treatment is necessary before teeth whitening, such as teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, dental crowns, etc. If the stains are intrinsic (meaning they are deeper and more severe), the dentist may recommend dental bonding, dental veneers, or another alternative to teeth whitening.
Preparing the teeth
The dentist or hygienist will begin by isolating your teeth. This typically involves using a lip retractor and placing gauze to keep the mouth dry. They can also cover the gums with a rubber dam to isolate the teeth. This reduces the risk of side effects such as gum irritation or sensitive teeth.
Applying the bleaching agent
Once the teeth are isolated, they then apply the bleaching agent. This typically contains hydrogen peroxide, which is effective in brightening your smile. After applying the bleaching agent, they focus a dental light on the area to allow it to work quickly. This typically takes about 20 minutes.
Additional applications of the bleaching agent are likely necessary, depending on the severity of the teeth stains and the patient’s treatment goals. It is not uncommon to need three or four additional applications of the bleaching agent. The dentist is there to monitor any discomfort during the procedure. Once the desired results are achieved, the mouth is rinsed and treatment is complete.
Enjoy your bright smile
The results should be noticeable immediately following treatment, so the patient can leave and show off their bright and beautiful smile. Dentists typically provide aftercare instructions to help the patient maintain the brightness of their smile. This includes limiting consumption of foods and drinks that may increase the risk of teeth stains, such as coffee, tea, and tomato-based dishes. Regular follow-up visits may be necessary as well (every four to six months). The results of teeth whitening should last for a year or more.
Are you ready to brighten your smile with professional whitening?
The best way to determine if treatment is right for you is to discuss the process with a dentist. Here at our dental practice, we help our patients through the entire treatment process, from the consultation to the treatment to ensure they can keep their smile bright long-term. Reach out today to start the process.
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