What Happens When Whitening?

A bright, white smile is a symbol of confidence and good oral health. Many people turn to teeth whitening to achieve that dazzling look. There are several different ways that you can whiten your teeth, both professionally and over the counter. But what exactly happens during teeth whitening? When you go to the dentist, there is a step-by-step process to reveal your pearly whites. 

What Happens When Whitening?

The Initial Consultation

Before you begin your teeth whitening journey, it’s essential to consult with a dentist. They will assess your oral health and discuss your goals. In your first appointment, you will be able to tell your dentist what you want your smile to look like. They can go over shades and methods to get you there. Then, they will recommend the best whitening method for you.

Cleaning and Prep

Before the actual whitening process, your dentist will clean your teeth to remove any surface stains and debris. This ensures that the whitening treatment is as effective as possible. With a clean slate, there shouldn’t be anything on your teeth to impede the process. 

Protecting Your Gums and Lips

Your dentist will take steps to protect your gums and lips from the whitening solution. This is because the whitening agents can be a bit irritating. It can cause sensitivity or minor discomfort. As a result, they’ll apply a protective barrier or use a rubber shield to shield these sensitive areas.

Whitening Gel and Activation

The whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals help break down stains on your teeth. Your dentist will carefully apply it to your teeth. This is to ensure even coverage across your smile.

In some cases, a special light or heat source is used to activate the whitening gel. This can help speed up the process and enhance results. Then, you’ll need to sit back and relax while the whitening gel does its work. During this time, your dentist may check on you to monitor your progress and ensure your comfort.

Rinsing and Assessing Results

Once the desired level of whitening is achieved, the gel is carefully rinsed off. Your dentist will assess the results. You should be able to see the difference immediately. When looking at your smile, it is important to tell your dentist your honest opinion. Additionally, you should mention if you have any discomfort. 

Some people may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening. Your dentist can recommend desensitizing products or gels to reduce this discomfort.

Post-Whitening Care

To maintain your newly whitened smile, it’s vital to follow your dentist’s post-whitening care instructions. This may include avoiding certain foods and beverages that can stain your teeth. Additionally, you need to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

The longevity of teeth whitening results varies from person to person. It depends on factors like diet, oral hygiene, and lifestyle choices. On average, results can last from several months to a few years.

Some people opt for periodic touch-up treatments to prolong the effects of teeth whitening. These can help maintain the brightness of your smile over time.