You've watched celebrities and your friends get great results from teeth whitening - but how does the procedure really work? Our the Okanagan Valley dentists explain how the teeth whitening process brightens your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
As we age, our teeth naturally darken. This gradual change in colour may be a side effect of lifestyle factors such as taking certain medications, smoking, drinking dark beverages including alcohol, coffee or tea, and general wear and tear from years of use.
Professional teeth whitening treatments contain peroxide-based bleaching agents that lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the appearance of surface stains. Oxygen acts on the tooth enamel as the peroxide breaks down, creating the whitening effect. With our in-office and take-home treatment options from Philips Zoom!® and Sonicare, you could be on your way to a whiter smile.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Our Office
Many patients opt to go to their dental office for professional teeth whitening, as the process can typically be completed in one or two sessions.
During your in-office whitening treatment, your dentist will begin by placing a rubber shield over your gums to protect them from the whitening solution.
The bleaching solution will then be applied 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 before the hygienist clears the solution and repeats the application process.
The process typically takes about 1 to 2 hours. While one session may be enough for some patients, more treatments may be required depending on your specific case and the whitening effect you are attempting to achieve.
Professional Teeth Whitening At Home
Look up “how to whiten teeth” online and you’ll soon find a wide range of at-home teeth whitening options. While these present one alternative, they are not quite as strong or as effective as the teeth whitening kits at our the Okanagan Valley 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, you’ll have your dentist to supervise the process, and your teeth whitening cost may be somewhat less than with the in-office solution.
To begin, you’ll first need to visit the dentist so an impression of your teeth can be taken in order to create the 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.