What to Expect During a Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure

A beautiful smile makes a good first impression. With so many movie stars, musicians, and Instagram influencers showing off their pearly white teeth, it’s no surprise that average citizens also want a camera-ready smile to show off. According to Statista, in 2020, over 37 million Americans used some type of tooth whitening solution. Instead of wasting time and money on at-home solutions, consult with your local dentist office for fast and professional whitening. When you go to a professional for tooth whitening, here’s what you can expect.

A Checkup

A typical dental procedure will begin with a checkup, and tooth whitening is no different. After all, if you don’t have a healthy mouth, it may not be able to handle certain procedures, even whitening. Plus, they don’t want you to be in pain by giving you a procedure that can exacerbate an underlying problem. Therefore, your dentist will assess your oral health with a visual exam and possibly an x-ray. During this time, you’ll consult with them about the goals you have regarding how you wish to change your smile. From there, they can determine if tooth whitening is the best solution for you. If they have different tooth whitening options, you can review which one is the best.

A Stain Evaulation

During the check-up, your dentist will assess the type of stains and discoloration you have. After all, you may have discoloration due to an underlying health issue. If that’s the case, tooth whitening won’t help, and you should see your primary care doctor for assistance. However, if you have superficial stains caused by smoking, eating, drinking, or something else, professional tooth whitening from a dentist office can give you the whiter smile you desire.

Successful tooth whitening can give you a dramatically white smile. Ironically, it doesn’t take long to do so. A typical tooth whitening session won’t take more than an hour. Depending on your schedule, you may be able to get this done on your lunch break. Just make sure you plan your time accordingly.

A Professional Cleaning

Your dentist doesn’t want to work on a dirty mouth. At this time, you can expect a professional tooth cleaning that can get rid of lingering plaque and tartar. Plaque is a thin film that forms on your teeth. It can also form near and underneath the gum line. When it’s untreated, it can result in gum disease, which your dentist will check for before they do a tooth whitening procedure. Your dentist office will also use professional cleaning tools to get rid of as many particles, plaque, and tartar as possible. Doing so will also make the tooth whitening process easier and more effective.

A Retractor Device

Now it’s time to start the whitening process. To do so, your dentist needs unobstructed access to your teeth. Therefore, they’ll use a lip retractor to keep your mouth open wide the whole time. Before applying the gel activator, your dentist will apply a dam that can protect your gum tissue. Once the retractor is in your mouth, you won’t be able to speak verbally. The dental team may give you a pen and pad or tell you hand signals to use in case you need them to stop during the whitening process. Now you can sit back and relax.

A Gel Application

Most dental office professionals use a whitening treatment that includes hydrogen peroxide gel. This type of gel is highly effective at whitening your teeth several shades lighter. Your dentist will make sure that gel is applied evenly to every tooth. As the gel sits on your teeth, it works by breaking down those stains, which results in whiter and brighter enamel. If you’re feeling mouth discomfort at this time, let your dentist know, as they can always stop the procedure.

It may not be enough to put the hydrogen gel on your teeth. Some gels and procedures need UV light or lasers to complete the process. These additional tools will often activate the whitening part of the gel, which can whiten your teeth better and more efficiently.

Once the gel is on your teeth with the laser activation, your hygienist may step out for a minute. However, after about 20 minutes, they’ll come back and remove the gel from your teeth. They may need to apply another round of gel and apply the light to that for another 20-minute session. Depending on how light you want your teeth, you may have several sessions before your procedure is finished.

After your session is over, it’s time to review your smile. Your dentist will give you a mirror so you can evaluate how white your teeth are. In most cases, your teeth may be as much as eight shades lighter than before.

A Review of Care Steps

Understand that the whitening you’ve had at your dentist office is not a permanent procedure. With the right care, your newly white teeth can last a while, if you follow the post-whitening care steps your dentist will provide. According to experts, dental whitening can last anywhere from six months to three years, depending on how well you maintain it. For example, if you’re you haven’t been in the habit of good oral hygiene, that may have led to your previous dental stains. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush and floss at least twice a day or after every meal. If you haven’t been doing that before, now is the time to start.

If you’re a smoker and you haven’t quit, don’t expect your newly white teeth to last very long. Cigarette smoke and tobacco use are some of the worst culprits for stained and discolored teeth. When you want to improve your overall health and avoid going back for teeth whitening in a couple of months, look into ways you can quit, such as wearing a patch.

Do you enjoy a couple of glasses of wine, coffee, or tea? You may want to watch your use of those drinks. These drinks can also quickly stain your teeth. Try to use straws! In terms of food, you can eat the same day after your tooth whitening procedure. However, be mindful that your gums may be a little sensitive at first. Play it safe and try to avoid foods that are spicy and may irritate your teeth or gums. In terms of your oral cleansing, you may also want to get some sensitivity toothpaste so you won’t have issues with your regular brushing.

It’s never been an easier time to have beautiful white teeth. Whether you’re dealing with cigarette stains, food stains, or previous poor oral hygiene, the right dentist office can give you professional tooth whitening in as little as an hour. Use this article as a way to understand the process so you know what to expect. Be mindful of the prep needed beforehand, such as an oral exam and aftercare that follow up as well as changes in eating habits and using sensitive toothpaste. For a dental professional who can help you with general dentistry care as well as tooth whitening, visit our team at Bright Side Dental for a consultation! We are eager to meet you and get started on your teeth whitening journey.

Related posts

Gum Disease Types, Risks, Issues and Symptoms

While there are several important parts of the mouth and jaw that are involved in dental care, one of the most understated in many swaths... [Read More]

Signs You Should See a Warren TMJ Specialist

For those who suffer from them, particularly younger women, issues with the temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ disorders, the results can be painful and... [Read More]

Toothache Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

There are a number of frequently-seen dental issues out there in the world, and perhaps the single most common is the toothache. Caused by several... [Read More]

Asset 1