How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Professional teeth whitening is a fantastic way to brighten your smile and improve your confidence.  Many people opt for a teeth whitening treatment before a big event such as a wedding or a special holiday, and many others get regular whitening treatments to enjoy that bright smile glow all year round.  It’s quick, painless, and highly effective. But how does it all work? 

Why do stains occur on your teeth? 

First, it’s necessary to consider why teeth aren’t always white.  In many cases, it’s due to stains. Many of us enjoy a daily tea or coffee, both of which can contribute to the discolouration of teeth. Stains are also caused things such as red wine, dark-coloured fizzy drinks, cigarettes, and poor dental hygiene.  If you regularly consume beverages or foods that stain your teeth, you may end up with discoloured teeth. The good news is that professional teeth whitening can remove those stains. 

How does teeth whitening work? 

Professional teeth whitening uses an LED light-activated gel to lift away stains.  Firstly, your dental professional will apply the gel to the front of your teeth, then place an LED light over your teeth. You will then sit for a session or two – usually 45 minutes each – as the reaction occurs. Whether you sit for one session or two depends on your smile goals and how stained your teeth are to begin with.  During this time, the light activates the gel and causes a photochemical reaction. This allows the gel to gently enter the tooth and lift away stains, leaving the teeth instantly whiter. 

How do you keep your teeth white after treatment?

The first 48 hours after you have your teeth whitened are crucial. During this time, you are strongly advised to only eat white or colourless foods and drinks. That’s because your teeth will be prone to staining for this time, so the rule of thumb is to avoid anything that you wouldn’t want to drop or spill onto a white t-shirt.  For example, rice with chicken and a glass of water would be absolutely fine.  Be sure to plan your diet for the two days following treatment to ensure your teeth stay white.  Additionally, you can make an effort to minimise highly staining substances such as cigarettes, coffee, and red wine to reduce future teeth stains. 

Is teeth whitening safe?

Yes, teeth whitening is considered to be very safe.  Your dental professional will take care to protect your gums and lips from the whitening gel during the treatment, and you will be given glasses to wear to protect your eyes from the light.  Some patients may experience a light tingling on the gums during or following the treatment, but this goes away quickly. 

What teeth whitening is available at Naenae Dental? 

Naenae Dental offers several options for teeth whitening.  The first is take-home whitening trays. You can buy these kits at the front desk and use them at home. They use a similar whitening method to professional whitening, but with a lower concentration of bleaching products. They therefore require regular use to see and maintain results.  The second option is custom-made whitening trays. This requires an appointment where we take a scan or imprint of your teeth to create a tray that’s made to fit your teeth exactly. This ensures the bleaching agent sits uniformly on your teeth, for better efficacy overall.  Finally, there’s professional teeth whitening. This in-chair option is the most effective and offers immediate results thanks to the higher concentration of the whitening agent.  Get in touch if you have any questions about teeth whitening at all, or go ahead and make an appointment today
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