What to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Session - City of Oaks

What to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Session

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There’s something magnetic about a person who has a gorgeous smile. They smile at you, and you can’t help but return the grin. 

But when your own smile is stained and yellowed, it causes you to try to hide your teeth. This often sends a wrong message to the people around you that you’re either rude, introverted, or unconfident. 

If you want to change the message you're sending to others, contact your dentist at City of Oaks. We'll work with you to schedule a professional whitening service. With whiter, brighter teeth, you’ll be showing off your smile everywhere you can!

There are lots of reasons why millions of people have less-than-white teeth. The enamel is the layer that determines the whiteness, and it acts like bone. The inner layers of your teeth, like the dentin, are protected by the enamel. If your enamel isn’t taken care of, your teeth lose their bright white color.

Although genetics can play a part in how white your teeth get and stay, habits are a much bigger determinant. Stains are common if you indulge in certain activities, like:

  • Using tobacco products
  • Drinking dark beverages (especially cokes, coffee, dark teas, and red wines)
  • Eating a lot of dark berries
  • Taking certain medications, particularly the tetra- brands

At City of Oaks Dental, we want to help you get your smile back to its ultimate whiteness. When you schedule an appointment for a whitening treatment, here is what you can expect.

Before Your Whitening Treatment

The active ingredient in any whitening product is a bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide. On its own, approved levels of this chemical are safe. But if you have an underlying oral health issue and use bleach in your mouth, it could make the problem worse.

To prevent pain or irritation with your teeth whitening service, the first step is to schedule a checkup. During that appointment, your dentist will look for any problems that could be irritated by the whitening treatment.

Conditions like the start of a cavity, cracked or chipped teeth, and gum disease are all things that need to be addressed. The longer you wait to fix them, the worse the problem gets. And using a whitening product in your mouth will most likely cause you pain.

As soon as we know there are no problems, or we catch them early and fix them, the next step will be to schedule your teeth whitening service!

Getting Ready for the Big Day: Your Whitening Appointment

Unlike many other dental procedures, getting ready for your teeth whitening service doesn’t require any special prep. Aside from the time it takes for your visit, the rest of your day can go as planned. Most of these treatments take about an hour from start to finish.

You should note that eating softens the enamel of your teeth, and we need it to be hard for the whitener to work. If you do eat before your visit, make sure you allow at least thirty minutes for your enamel to harden again. 

When you get to our office, we’ll take you back for a cleaning, similar to a normal checkup. Even if you’ve recently had a full cleaning, it’s important to start a whitening treatment with totally fresh enamel. That way, no plaque or tartar buildup will get in the way of the bleaching agent’s work.

The Whitening Process

When it’s time to start the whitening process, you’ll have a retractor placed in your mouth. This keeps the bleaching agent from touching the sensitive tissues in your lips and cheeks. 

Your gums are sensitive, too. Since it’s easy for the whitener to spread to the gumline, next, we’ll cover that area with a layer of protective gel.

After the safety precautions are done, the whitening product is applied. Our products are made with superior, professional-grade ingredients, so they don’t need to stay on as long in order to work.

There is always a concern with applying chemicals to your teeth, even if the product is ADA-approved. If the ingredients aren’t pure and strong enough, you’ll need to leave the chemicals on longer or reapply frequently. The irritation and sensitivity happen when you expose your teeth to a bleaching agent for too long.

How Bleaching Agents Work

All whitening products use a bleaching agent and an applicator to get the desired results. There are different types of application processes. Some products are directly applied through toothpaste, while others use a tray or a strip. 

They all work the same, though. The bleaching agent gets on the enamel, and it spreads into the other layers of your teeth, particularly the dentin. 

Dentin is a porous layer that can be stained. The whitening agent comes into contact with the pores in the dentin and opens them up wider. While they are expanded, the bleach enters the dentin and changes the stained colors, slowly lightening them.

If the bleaching agent stays in contact with the dentin for too long, it can damage the enamel and your gums. The goal is to get the product to work fast and effectively, which is why a professional teeth whitening service is the safest way to go.

Our treatment includes the use of specialized light to speed up the process. This light works with the whitening agent to encourage the pores to expand faster and the bleach to absorb more quickly. Because of this treatment, the chemicals don’t have to stay on your teeth very long to get amazing results!

How to Keep Your White Smile 

With all the effort you went through to get your newly white smile, it makes sense that you want to keep it as long as possible. There are a few things you can do to make sure this happens:

  • First, make sure you stick to the “white foods” diet your dentist will give you before you leave. This is essential for the first 48 hours after your treatment since your dentin’s pores are still open and can be stained easily.
  • Next, practice good oral hygiene habits. By brushing often, flossing regularly, and using mouthwash, plaque and tartar can’t build up easily and stain your teeth.
  • Finally, schedule regular checkups at City of Oaks. We’ll make sure your oral health stays in good shape. If your teeth are starting to stain, we can do a quick whitening touchup once or twice a year.

When you’re serious about changing your life by brightening your smile, contact us at City of Oaks. We’re ready to help you improve your oral health and show off your dazzling grin to everyone!

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