Here, our Ottawa dentists talk about the teeth whitening process and discuss some of the teeth whitening services your dentist might have available.
Our teeth naturally get darker as we age. This gradual change in colour can be a side effect of lifestyle factors such as drinking dark beverages like alcohol, coffee, or tea, taking certain medications, smoking, and general wear and tear from years of use.
Professional teeth whitening treatments use peroxide-based bleaching agents to lighten the colour of your teeth and reduce the appearance of surface stains. As the peroxide breaks down, oxygen acts on tooth enamel and creates the whitening effect.
In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening in a dentist's office is a popular treatment method for many people, as the full process can generally be completed in one or two sessions.
During an in-office whitening treatment, the dentist will start by placing a rubber shield over the gums to protect them from the whitening solution.
Next, they will apply a bleaching solution to the teeth with a small brush-like applicator. The solution will be left to work on the teeth for 15 minutes under a low-heat lamp. A hygienist will then clear the solution and repeat the application process.
This process generally takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. For some people, one session may be enough, but depending on a person's specific case, they may require more treatments to achieve the whitening effect they had in mind.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening
Type “how to whiten teeth” online and you’ll soon find a wide range of at-home teeth whitening options. While these present one alternative, they are not quite as strong or as effective as the teeth whitening kits at our Ottawa dental office.
The teeth whitening solutions we offer come with custom whitening trays and specific instructions about how to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. Plus, you’ll have your dentist supervising the process, and your teeth whitening cost may be somewhat less than with the in-office solution.
To begin, you’ll first need to visit the dentist so an impression of your teeth can be taken in order to create custom whitening trays to fit your smile. You’ll use these trays at home to apply the whitening solution yourself.
Once your trays are ready, you will return to the dentist’s office to confirm they are a good fit. Next, you’ll be sent home with the trays, the whitening solution, and clear instructions from your dentist.
At home, you’ll wear the trays for about 30 minutes every day for approximately 2 weeks, until you achieve the desired level of whiteness. Then, you can use the whitening solution to touch up your smile every 6 months or so.