Over time, teeth naturally become darker and stained. In addition to natural aging, there are other factors that may also discolor your teeth like:
- Some food and drinks such as: coffee & tea
- Some prescription and over the counter drugs such as: (Tetracycline & Iron)
A Brighter & Whiter Smile
Teeth whitening can be done at the dentist’s office. However, one of the most common ways to whiten your teeth is with a home whitening system. Simply put, home bleaching involves wearing a custom fit mouth tray that contains a concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel which will bleach your teeth to a brighter, whiter smile.
Home Teeth Bleaching Treatment
During the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth after making sure your teeth are free of plaque and tarter. From this impression a custom mouth tray is made specifically for your mouth. On your second visit your dentist will show you how to apply the gel to the bleaching tray and place it into your mouth.
The amount of time you must wear your bleaching trays depends on how badly your teeth are stained, as well as the concentration of the bleaching gel used. This process can vary from a few minutes to a few hours. As an example, many brands are applied twice a day for 1-2 hours over a 2 week period.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Home whitening can last anywhere from a few months to a few years and the degree of whitening changes form one person to another. This in part depends on the original condition of your teeth, specifically how stained they were, as well as the strength of the bleaching gel used. Also, in large part it depends on your eating, drinking and smoking habits, as no teeth whitening solution will result in a permanent color change of your teeth and it won’t prevent future staining.
What Are The Risks Associated With Teeth Bleaching?
There are some minor risks associated with home whitening systems. The most common side effect is teeth sensitivity. Teeth sensitivity is generally mild and will subside most of the time once the treatment is completed. If you feel severe sensitivity you should wear the mouth tray for shorter periods of time or consider stopping the treatment entirely.
Your dentist may recommend brushing your teeth with highly concentrated fluoride toothpaste or desensitizing toothpaste, such as ‘Sensodyne,’ which will also help reduce the discomfort. Your dentist can also prescribe a fluoride gel that can be used in your bleaching tray which also should help reduce the sensitivity.
Gum irritation or discoloration of the gum is another possible side effect of the home whitening procedure. This is mainly due to over loading the mouth tray. Simply stopping the process for a few days should help your gums feel and look normal again.
Contact us for a consultation on an at-home whitening kit.