Many of our patients are interested in whitening their teeth—but how does the procedure actually work? Today, our North Vancouver dentists shed light on how the teeth whitening process brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Our teeth naturally get darker as we age. This gradual change in colour can be a side effect of lifestyle factors such as drinking dark beverages like tea, coffee or alcohol, taking certain medications, smoking and general wear and tear from years of use.
Professional teeth whitening treatments use peroxide-based bleaching agents to lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the appearance of surface stains. As the peroxide breaks down, oxygen acts on tooth enamel and creates the whitening effect.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Our Office
Professional teeth whitening in our dental office is a popular treatment for many patients, as we can usually complete the full process in one or two sessions.
During your in-office whitening treatment, the dentist will start by placing a rubber shield over your gums to protect them from the whitening solution.
Next, they will apply the bleaching solution to your teeth with a small brush-like applicator. The solution will be left to work on your teeth for 15 minutes under a low-heat lamp. Your hygienist will then clear the solution and repeat the application process.
This process usually takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. For most patients, one session is usually enough to achieve your desired shade of white, but in some cases multiple sessions may be needed.
Professional Teeth Whitening At Home
While there are options for teeth whitening available at most drug stores, they are not quite as strong or as effective as the teeth whitening kits at our North Vancouver dental office.
The teeth whitening solutions we offer come with custom whitening trays and specific instructions about how to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. Plus, at-home whitening kits tend to be more cost-effective than in-office treatments.
To begin, you’ll first need to visit the dentist so an impression of your teeth can be taken in order to create custom whitening trays to fit your smile. You’ll use these trays at home to apply the whitening solution yourself.
Once your trays are ready, you will return to the dentist’s office to confirm they are a good fit. Next, you’ll be sent home with the trays, the whitening solution, and clear instructions from your dentist.
At home, you’ll wear the trays for about 30 minutes every day for approximately 2 weeks, until you achieve the desired level of whiteness. Then, you can use the whitening solution to touch up your smile every 6 months or so.