What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment in the U.S. It’s a non-invasive procedure that improves the color of your teeth.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Teeth whitening is considered very safe. Over-the-counter and take-home whitening kits contain low doses of whitening agents that are safe for non-professionals to use. However, we do advise only using over-the-counter kits endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA). You should also ensure that take-home trays are provided by licensed, professional dentists.

If you choose to have your treatment done in-office, you should select a qualified dentist experienced in teeth whitening procedures.

What stains can I expect teeth whitening products or services to remove?

If you choose to have your teeth whitened, you can expect to see the improvement or total removal of stains primarily caused by:

  • Tobacco use
  • The consumption of certain staining foods and beverages, including coffee, red wine, and strongly colored fruits and vegetables
  • Aging. Our teeth may take on a yellow, grey, green, or brown hue as we get older.

What stains won’t be removed by teeth whitening products or services?

Unfortunately, some stains are resistant to even the strongest teeth whitening agents. These include:

  • Teeth that have suffered trauma that has caused the dentin inside the tooth to darken
  • Teeth affected by fluorosis
  • Teeth with inorganic stains
  • Teeth that are discolored from any form of internal damage

Are there any groups of people who aren’t suitable candidates for teeth whitening?

Some patients may not be suitable candidates for teeth whitening. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Patients with teeth that have become transparent as part of the aging process
  • Patients with extensive or intractable staining, as bleaching is unlikely to solve these problems
  • Patients who are sensitive to peroxide
  • Patients with ultra-sensitive teeth or gums, which may be irritated by the chemicals used in the whitening process
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough research has been done on the effect of whitening agents on unborn or nursing babies

If you have any doubts, speak to your dentist, who will advise you of your suitability for teeth whitening.

What sort of results can I expect to see?

Teeth whitening results can vary dramatically and are primarily affected by your age, lifestyle, and genetics. Over-the-counter and take-home whitening kits do not produce a result as strong or as long-lasting as in-office treatments. Depending on the type of teeth whitening you choose, you can still expect your teeth to lighten by two to twelve shades.

How long does an in-office teeth whitening procedure take?

After your initial consultation, you can expect in-office teeth whitening to take between one to two hours to complete. The exact time will depend on the extent of staining to your teeth and the amount of exposure to the cleaning chemicals needed.

If you still haven’t achieved your desired results, your dentist may recommend either a take-home tray of additional treatment or follow-up procedures in the office. However, most patients will see dramatic results instantly.

If you opt for over-the-counter or take-home whitening kits, you can expect to spend at least two weeks using your equipment overnight.

How long do the results of teeth whitening last?

On average, you can expect to have whiter teeth for six to nine months after your teeth whitening procedure. Though, how long you maintain your result is largely down to your age and lifestyle choices. Good oral hygiene is essential for looking after both the health and whiteness of your teeth, and using products such as whitening toothpaste and mouthwash can support your brighter smile. Smoking and consuming products that contain tannins are some of the main causes of stained teeth, so avoid these as much as possible to help prolong your results.

Are there any side effects I should be aware of?

Teeth whitening requires chemicals in the whitening agent, and sometimes these chemicals can cause irritation or tooth sensitivity. If you experience any pain or discomfort during a teeth whitening treatment, stop immediately and ask your dentist for advice.

Is teeth whitening expensive?

There is a large variety of options when it comes to whitening your teeth. These range from over-the-counter solutions, which can cost as little as $10, up to in-office professionally handled treatment, which can cost as much as $1,000. Please check out our page on the cost of teeth whitening for more information.

Teeth Whitening is an excellent option for dramatically improving the appearance and color of your smile! Contact Dr. Royal and the team at Vero Dental Spa to find out how Teeth Whitening can change your life!

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