A Detailed Guide to Teeth Whitening

A Detailed Guide to Teeth Whitening

Jul 29, 2021

Many people with stained or discolored teeth often experience feelings of self-consciousness, and rightfully so. The truth is, a stained or discolored smile attracts the wrong kind of attention and can hinder your social and professional endeavors.

Fortunately, you can turn your smile’s fortunes around through teeth whitening treatment. Teeth whitening is a popular, painless procedure that enhances a smile’s aesthetics.

If you have a stained or discolored smile and are ready for a smile makeover, please call Raynham Dental Group to enjoy personalized teeth whitening services.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Teeth may be discolored extrinsically or intrinsically. Extrinsic stains are found on the surface and are usually caused by dark-colored foods and beverages, tobacco use, and poor dental hygiene. Intrinsic stains are located in the deeper layers of the tooth and may be occasioned by certain medications, trauma, metal fillings, and disease, to name a few.

Extrinsic stains usually respond to teeth whitening, while intrinsic stains may require alternative procedures such as veneers or dental crowns.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

You already know that teeth whitening treatment can help you achieve a whiter, brighter, and more confident smile. What you may be unaware of is how teeth whitening products work. So let’s explore the chemistry behind this popular cosmetic procedure.

Teeth whitening products contain an active whitening ingredient in the form of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. When a whitening gel is applied to your teeth, the active ingredient penetrates the tooth enamel to get to the discolored molecules or stains.

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer. When it comes into contact with the stains in your teeth, the oxygen molecules in the hydrogen peroxide break the bonds of the stains, leaving behind a whiter smile. This process lasts several minutes, after which you’ll notice a dramatically whiter smile.

Chairside Teeth Whitening Steps

Now that you understand the chemical process behind teeth whitening, let’s take a look at the steps involved in your teeth whitening appointment:

  • The dentist examines your teeth carefully to check for cavities, gum inflammation, and other dental problems. If you have ongoing dental challenges such as cavities, you’re not a good candidate for teeth whitening treatment. Instead, the dentist addresses these ongoing problems first and then schedules you for teeth whitening later on.
  • If you’re a great candidate for teeth whitening, the dentist cleans your teeth to remove food debris and plaque.
  • Next, the dentist uses a retractor to keep your tongue, cheek, and lips out of the way. Additionally, a gingival barrier is applied to the gums to protect them against the corrosive effects of the whitening agent.
  • The dentist applies the whitening agent to your teeth. Usually, multiple applications are needed to achieve the required shade of white. That is, the dentist applies, rinses, and then reapplies the whitening agent as many times as is required. Depending on the whitening system in use, the dentist may also use a special light to facilitate the whitening process.
  • The dentist rinses off the whitening agent one last time and then applies fluoride varnish or gel to manage tooth sensitivity which is common after a whitening procedure.
  • Your dentist gives you a list of detailed aftercare instructions to keep your teeth looking brighter and whiter for longer.

Teeth Whitening at Home

Chairside or professional in-office teeth whitening remains the best bet as far as achieving a remarkably brighter smile. However, you’ll be happy to know that you can perform teeth whitening at home as a way of supplementing your dentist’s efforts.

Raynham Dental Group provides easy-to-use teeth whitening kits that you can comfortably utilize in your home. Home whitening kits come equipped with bleaching agents and mouthguard-like trays that facilitate the whitening process. Some kits also contain easy-to-apply whitening strips.

It’s crucial that you perform teeth whitening at home under the instruction and guidance of an experienced dentist, or else you might end up causing more harm than good.

Transform Your Smile Painlessly

Are you ready to say yes to a quick, easy and painless smile makeover? Then, reach out to Raynham Dental Group, Office of Dr. Michael Scanlon, to enjoy advanced teeth whitening services.

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