How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

July 27, 2022
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Did you know that more than one-third of people in the United States are unhappy with their teeth? People may be unhappy with their teeth for many reasons such as malocclusion (crooked teeth), yellow teeth, and misshapen teeth. When it comes to these different dental problems, discolored teeth are certainly the easiest to fix. 

But how does teeth whitening work exactly and how can you be sure that it’s the right treatment option for your teeth? Keep reading and learn more about what teeth whitening treatment is really like.

Why Is Teeth Whitening Necessary?

These days, white teeth are all the rage. Cosmetic dentistry is filled with procedures that make teeth whiter than ever before. But how do your teeth get so discolored in the first place?

It has a lot to do with what you eat as well as your dental hygiene practices. Brushing your teeth is very important when it comes to keeping your teeth white and healthy. The bristles on your toothbrush have the ability to remove the little particles of food that are stuck to your teeth and that might otherwise stain your tooth enamel. 

There are certain substances that are more likely to stain your teeth than others. For example, coffee is one of the most common substances that results in yellow teeth. Coffee, especially black coffee, may seem smooth but it still contains little particles of coffee grains. 

These grains are able to stick to the surface of your teeth. If you don’t brush your teeth soon after drinking coffee, the coffee grains will soon impart their dark pigment onto your teeth. If you drink coffee every day, all day, you’ll inevitably end up with discolored teeth. 

This also goes for other substances that contain strong pigments such as black tea, red wine, and even certain fruit juices.

What You Need to Know

Once your teeth become stained, it can be hard to undo those stains. Many people tend to try DIY teeth whitening methods such as brushing with baking soda, but these methods can be quite harmful to your teeth. 

For example, brushing your teeth with baking soda may help to remove the stains on the surface of your teeth, but it can also remove much more than that. In particular, because baking soda is made up of such abrasive particles, it also has the ability to remove your tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth with baking soda quite often, you will find that your teeth will start to become quite sensitive and weak, especially when exposed to hot or cold substances.

This is because your tooth enamel will no longer be thick or strong enough to protect the sensitive tissues inside your teeth. Fortunately, you don’t have to damage your teeth in order to make them white again as long as you go to a professional. But what should you expect from the professional teeth whitening process?

How Does Teeth Whitening Work Exactly?

The first thing you should know about professional teeth whitening is that it is much more effective than any of the types of teeth whitening methods you might try at home. To start, you will need to go to your local dental office for this procedure. Dentists tend to use hydrogen peroxide for this process, but you should keep in mind that the kind they use isn’t any old type of hydrogen peroxide.

Instead, the hydrogen peroxide that dentists use for teeth whitening is very strong. Many types of whitening toothpaste contain hydrogen peroxide but in much smaller concentrations. While whitening toothpaste can only do so much for the appearance of your teeth, the highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide at the dentist’s office will make quite a noticeable difference.

To start, your dentist will clean your teeth so that nothing will get in the way of the whitening process. Then, the dentist will apply a gel made out of concentrated hydrogen peroxide to your teeth using a syringe. To keep the gel from harming your gums, your dentist will use a barrier.

Once the dentist applies the gel, the gel will need to sit on your teeth for a certain amount of time. Usually, this will only last around 15 to 20 minutes. This process should not hurt.

The Details

To speed along the whitening process, your dentist may use a special light such as a UV light on the hydrogen peroxide gel. In some cases, your teeth may need an additional coat of gel to achieve the desired effect. After enough time has passed, your dentist will rinse off the gel. 

To make sure that your teeth aren’t too sensitive after the procedure, your dentist will make sure to use fluoride on your teeth to strengthen the enamel. After that, you will be able to admire the finished results of the teeth whitening treatment. 

At that point, you can discuss with your dentist if you like the shade of your teeth or if you want to try going whiter. Your dentist will also give you some advice on how to keep your teeth clean. For example, you should avoid food and drinks that contain strong pigments. 

What You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

How does teeth whitening work, you might ask? The process is quite simple and it has everything to do with hydrogen peroxide. Your dentist will apply hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth where it will sit for a certain amount of time. 

After that, your teeth will be several shades whiter. You can keep them white by avoiding certain foods. To learn more, request an appointment today.

About Us

When we opened in 1997, it was our mission to serve our community with friendly, comfortable, convenient care. Now, we are continually committed to providing our families the very best dental services. With a small-town feel and the very best in technology, we combine personalized service and the most effective treatment possible.