Dental Guide

Teeth Whitening 101

How your teeth look can have a big effect upon the first impression that you set for people. Teeth whitening is a very simple process these days that can make a big impact upon the color of your teeth, as well as how you feel about yourself. Most people think that the at home kits are just as efficient, but they will take much longer for you to see results. In addition, if you have particularly bad staining, they may not work as well as teeth whitening in a dentist’s office. By taking the time to learn more about teeth whitening at your dentist’s office, you will be more comfortable with the process. How does a dentist do the teeth whitening process?

Protecting the Gums

The first step that a dentist will do is protect the gums from the bleaching solution. This can be done in one of two different ways. They will either apply a protective gel to the gums or they will insert a rubber shield to protect these sensitive tissues. Either way, this is the first step that they will do before any of the teeth whitening or bleaching substance is placed on the teeth. The soft tissues that are around the teeth can be irritated by the chemicals that are used, so protection is essential to keep them from becoming irritated or damaged.

Teeth Whitening Solution

A bleaching solution will then be placed on the teeth. There are two different solutions that may be used in the dental office to help whiten the teeth. The first one is a higher concentration of carbamide peroxide that is also used in many at home treatments or hydrogen peroxide. One interesting thing to note is that carbamide peroxide breaks down in the mouth and becomes hydrogen peroxide, but many dentists prefer to just use the hydrogen peroxide itself rather than waiting on the breaking down process.

Lighting Up Whiter Teeth

In dental offices, teeth whitening almost always includes using some sort of light source to help accelerate the bleaching process. It is also referred to as laser bleaching, but different types of energy can help to make the bleaching process more efficient, including plasma arc, halogen, and LED lights. Clinical trials about these different methods have determined that halogen works the best to accelerate the whitening process, simply because it is the most high energy light of the three. The energy excites the peroxide molecules to whiten the teeth. Lights are used for around 6 to 15 minutes, depending upon the manufacturer recommendations.

Teeth have a big impact upon how you feel about yourself. If you do not smile because of staining on your teeth, you don’t have to just live with it. Consult your local dentist’s office to see what the teeth whitening options are for you. While it may cost more than the at home procedures, it will work much quicker than the at home kits to help make your teeth whiter and help to increase your self-esteem as well.

If you are looking to get your teeth whitened, find a dentist at

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