Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic service provided by dentists today because everyone wants a brighter smile.
There are several whitening systems available.
They range from “do it yourself” systems that you use at home; to treatments administered during a visit to your dentist.
All of them involve applying a bleaching solution to your teeth for a set period of time and for a certain number of days.
With some systems you apply “bleaching strips” to the teeth.
Yet with others, you wear trays over the teeth for a set period of time after you fill the trays with bleaching solution.
However, you should note that whitening strips and “one-size-fits-all” trays sometimes deliver inconsistent results.
Because they are not custom fitted to your teeth; the whitening or bleaching solution is not consistently and evenly applied.
Professionally administered whitening systems deliver the most even and consistent results.
Reasons for Teeth Whitening
Many different things can affect the coloration of our teeth:
- Yellowing due to age and normal wear of the enamel
- Using tobacco products
- Drinking certain beverages like red wine, coffee and tea
- Discoloration caused by medications
The Whitening Process
The hygienist takes impressions of your teeth.
They create molds from the impressions, and custom-fitted trays from the molds.
The trays are checked for proper fit.
That ensures that the entire surface area of your teeth will be evenly exposed to the whitening solution.
This yields better, more consistent results than over the counter whitening systems.
Typically, you will fill the trays with the proper amount of bleaching solution.
Then you wear them over your teeth for a set period of time.
You repeat this process for several days until you have reached the desired level of whitening.
During and After Whitening
It is normal to experience some minor sensitivity and irritation during the whitening process.
That will very quickly pass once the process is complete.
If needed, you can discontinue the procedure for a day or two, thus allowing the sensitivity to subside.
Then you resume it for a few more days.
However, teeth whitening is not permanent.
Also, it will only work on your natural teeth because you cannot whiten crowns or implants.
Occasional “touch-up” applications of the whitening solution will keep your smile looking bright.
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