What is teeth whitening? 

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic service that helps whiten teeth while removing blemishes and discoloration

What are the benefits of undergoing teeth whitening?

Aside from procuring a hollywood worthy smile, there are some added benefits to undergoing teeth whitening, including:

  • Improved confidence
  • Healthier teeth following your pre treatment cleaning
  • Better headshots for work and school
  • Kicking bad habits, like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of coffee 

What are the preliminary stages of teeth whitening treatment? Will I undergo any dental work?

For in office whitening treatments, your dentist will begin by taking pictures of your teeth. This will help them track progress and prepare a before and after snapshot for your review. Next, your teeth will be cleaned to remove bacteria and food particles that serve as a source of staining. At this point, the teeth whitening treatment begins. Note that your dentist may also enquire about your diet to figure out the source of staining and provide tips to maintain your new smile.

What are the different types of treatment?

There are two types of whitening procedures- vital and non vital. Vital whitening is intended for teeth that have live nerves while non-vital whitening is performed on teeth that no longer have live nerves. 

What is the process of vital whitening?

Vital whitening is the most common tooth whitening treatment and can be done in a dentist’s office or at home.

An in-office procedure takes approximately 30-90 minutes and requires 1-3 appointments, depending on the complexity of your case. To start, your dentist will apply a gel that protects your gums during the procedure. Next, a whitening agent will be placed on the teeth and activated by a blue light, which will help harden the material and solidify your new look.  

If you’re undergoing at home treatment, your dentist will create a custom mouth guard and provide you with a teeth whitening gel. You’ll need to apply the gel and wear the supporting mouth guard for 30 minutes daily over the course of 1 week, at which point you should begin to see results.

What is the process of non-vital whitening?

Some stains originate from the inside of the tooth and do not respond to vital whitening. In these cases, your dentist will place a whitening agent inside the tooth and cover it with a temporary filling. Your doctor will remove the filling approximately 1 week later. Note that non vital whitening is not an at home procedure and must be conducted by a dental professional. 

How do I protect my teeth after a whitening procedure?

After undergoing treatment, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your teeth retain their newly acquired glow. Below are several steps you can take to keep your teeth white:

  • Avoid stain inducing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, wine and berries. 
  • Sip from a straw; This prevents your teeth from coming into direct contact with stain producing dyes
  • Quit smoking; This gives your teeth a yellowish, unhealthy appearance
  • Brush with hydrogen peroxide; Hydrogen peroxide is a low grade bleach that contains bacteria fighting properties, making it ideal to support a tooth whitening regimen.