How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your stained teeth? If so, you might attempt to brighten your smile with over-the-counter whitening strips and toothpastes.

The effectiveness of such products can vary on a case-by-case basis. However, if your teeth are quite discolored, or you simply want to be confident your chosen whitening method will deliver results, consider speaking to a dentist about professional teeth whitening treatments.

A dentist offering in-office teeth whitening services can explain in greater detail why these treatments tend to brighten smiles better than over-the-counter products. In the meantime, the following general overview will help you better understand how teeth whitening works.

The In-Office Teeth Whitening Process: What You Need to Know

Many cosmetic dentists whiten patients’ teeth with the ZOOM! whitening method. As its name implies, this method involves whitening teeth relatively quickly. A patient can typically walk out of a dentist’s office with a brighter smile after just a single appointment.

The process involves the following steps:

  • A general evaluation of a patient’s teeth to ensure they’re an ideal candidate for this treatment method.
  • Taking steps to prevent a patient’s gums from coming into direct contact with the whitening agent, such as inserting a specialized mouthguard or applying a protective gel. Doing so guards against gum irritation.
  • Applying a whitening agent to a patient’s teeth. Most dentists use peroxide-based bleaching solutions. Although some whitening agents don’t contain peroxide, they may only remove surface stains. Peroxide-based bleaching agents offer a deeper clean.
  • Using a safe, specialized light to “activate” the bleaching solution. The light allows the whitening agent to work more quickly and to whiten a patient’s teeth more thoroughly than it otherwise might.

The entire process shouldn’t take longer than an hour, and often takes only about 30 minutes. Once the whitening process is complete, the patient may rinse away any extra whitening solution that remains on their teeth.

Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening

Many patients find the in-office teeth whitening process to be convenient because of how fast it is. However, others may prefer to whiten their teeth according to their own schedules. Additionally, depending on how stained a patient’s teeth are, a full in-office teeth whitening treatment might not be necessary.

Dentists who offer whitening services may also offer at-home whitening products for patients who don’t need in-office treatment or would rather whiten their teeth on their own time. At-home teeth whitening involves wearing whitening trays with a ZOOM! whitening gel for a certain amount of time every day during a treatment period.

Although over-the-counter whitening strips work in much the same way, the trays a dentist provides a patient with often prove more effective than strips patients can simply buy in stores. The at-home teeth whitening trays a dentist offers their patients will be custom-made, designed to serve the specific needs of the individual patient. 

Teeth Whitening: A Brighter Smile For a Happier You

Don’t underestimate the impact that teeth whitening can have on your life! Research shows the way a person feels about their smile can have a major impact on their overall confidence and emotional wellness. As the information here illustrates, professional teeth whitening is also a simple process that can dramatically improve a patient’s smile in almost no time.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening in Charlestown, RI

At Arrowhead Dental Associates, we offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening services. We’d be happy to discuss both options with you! Call us at 401-364-6300 or contact us online to request an appointment.