Teeth whitening is a very simple and popular process that alters the color of the enamel in a non-invasive and painless way.
Whitening can be achieved professionally or at home with a bleaching kit and it is a brilliant way to remove staining that has built up over time from smoking, drinking tea, coffee or wine and eating foods with strong, artificial colors. Whitening teeth, whether professionally or using a home kit, will only alter the color of the enamel. All restorative treatments such as bridges, crowns and fillings will also need to be replaced after bleaching to achieve the brighter shade.
It is not a permanent solution to staining, and if not maintained, stains could return. Touch-ups can be completed every few years and staining food, drinks and smoking should be avoided.
Reasons for teeth whitening:
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer
- Stained teeth due to medications
- Yellow or brown stained teeth
How will your dentist help whiten your teeth?
Whitening your teeth is a two-step process, with the first requiring a trip to your dentist. The dentist will create impressions of your teeth to create customized plastic trays. At your second appointment, the trays will be checked for an accurate fit, with adjustments being made if necessary.
The dentist will give you a whitening solution and create a plan for you depending on the level of staining on the enamel. You will be instructed to wear the trays with the solution in one of two ways:
- Twice a day for 30 minutes each time
- Overnight for a few weeks
Tooth sensitivity should be expected during the period you are bleaching your teeth, but this should subside when you achieve the desired result and stop.
Follow the instructions given to you by your dentist and consider making important changes to your diet and lifestyle to help prolong the brightened shade of your teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening
Below are some questions (with answers) that our customers commonly ask about our teeth whitening procedure. Additionally, we go over questions that come up with regards to at-home teeth whitening products and toothpaste.
Is Teeth Whitening Dangerous or Poisonous?
How soon can I eat after I get a tooth whitening treatment?
What brands / procedures does GDEnow.com offer when it comes to tooth whitening?
Zoom and Opalescence Go.
How long does it take to have a tooth whitening procedure done?
About an hour.
How long will my teeth stay white?
For approximately one year.
What should I avoid doing to keep my teeth looking white AFTER I have a tooth whitening procedure?
You should stay away from foods that particularly cause staining like:
- red wine
- red spaghetti sauce
You should also refrain from smoking and chewing tobacco.
How frequent can I have my teeth whitened?
We suggest at most once a year. If you’re very eager to have your teeth whitened more frequently, we would recommend at most: every six months.
How does in-home teeth whitening systems compare to in-office teeth whitening?
The in-office systems use a higher percentage of bleaching material because we’re doing it in a controlled environment. The take-home bleaching kits use much less. They are less effective than the in-office treatment.
How is teeth whitening toothpaste different than an in-office teeth whitening procedure?
Teeth whitening toothpaste is an adjunct to what we do in the office. Toothpaste companies usually add peroxides and other subtle ingredients that help whiten teeth.
How have teeth whitening procedures changed over the years?
Bleaching really came into its own in the 1980s (where we started doing an intense peroxide phase in the office). Before the 1980s we mechanically made teeth whiter (without chemical treatments).
Should I consult a dentist before starting at-home teeth whitening?
Yes, you should consult a dentist. There are certain products that you can only get from a dentist, so, therefore, it's always wise to talk to your dentist first (dentist prescribed products tend to have a higher percentage of bleaching components). There are products that you can buy over the counter, but they tend to be less effective simply because they tend to be less potent.
Will my insurance cover teeth whitening?
Will my flexible spending account (FSA) cover my teeth whitening procedure?
It's very likely that your FSA will cover teeth whitening procedures. The Greenway Dental Excellence team can always find out for you.