Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures available. It is also one of the simplest and safest. Teeth whitening can provide dramatic results, giving you increased self confidence and a smile you can be proud of.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening is performed by a cosmetic dentist in the office, or can be administered at home with a special take-home kit. In most cases, a single, hour-long treatment in the office will lighten your teeth anywhere from five to ten shades.
The whitening agent used for in-office teeth whitening is stronger than that available over the counter. Because of its strength, it can cause irritation if it makes contact with your lips, tongue or gums. Before applying the whitening agent, your dentist coats any soft tissues with a protective gel to prevent contact with the whitener.
The whitener is applied directly to the teeth and left for about twenty minutes. Some whitening agents are activated with a special light for even more effective results. In one hourly session, the whitener is usually applied and removed two or three times. You will see results immediately, but they will become even more dramatic over the next few days.
Possible Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
Side effects of teeth whitening are infrequent and not severe. Irritation through contact with the whitening agent is more common with take home whitening, since your gums and lips are not as thoroughly protected as they are during in-office whitening. Your teeth might also be more sensitive after whitening. This effect is likely to diminish with time. If it is uncomfortable, ask your dentist to recommend a toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth.
Overall, teeth whitening is very safe, with an extremely low risk of side effects. If you have questions about how teeth whitening works, what results to expect, or what issues you might experience with the treatment, please contact our office serving the Toronto area for an appointment or a consultation.