Laser Teeth Whitening
When you look in the mirror, what color are your teeth? White? Yellow? Brown?
You may or may not be aware that over time teeth naturally become darker and stained. In addition to natural aging there are some other factors, like cigarette smoking and certain types of foods and drinks, such as coffee and tea, also darken your teeth. Some prescription and over the counter drugs can have the same effect as well.
A bright, white smile can be achieved by bleaching your teeth. There are several ways in which this can be done but the most commonly recommended technique by dentists is an in office bleaching. Hands down this is the quickest and most effective way to whiten your teeth.
So here’s how it works.
In office whitening uses a concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel to bleach your teeth to a brighter, whiter smile. To help accelerate the process for better results, a special light, or with some bleaching systems, a laser is used in conjunction with the gel. What’s great is that the whitening procedure generally only takes one office visit.
The first step is to make sure that the teeth are free of any plaque or tarter.
The next step is to apply a protective layer of cream to your lips so they stay moist during the process.
Next, your dentist will place a protection on your gums. Now that the lips and gums have been protected, your dentist will apply the bleaching gel to the teeth.
Finally, the entire process is accelerated by shining a special light on your teeth. The entire process takes roughly one to two hours and unlike other whitening techniques that may take weeks to show results you will see results almost instantly.
In office whitening can last anywhere from a few months to a few years and the degree of whitening changes from 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 in your teeth and it won’t prevent future staining. However, you can maintain this whitening effect with the use of a home whitening kit. Some whitening involves wearing a custom fit mouth guard that contains a less concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel to help preserve your new brighter and whiter smile.
There are some minor risks associated with whitening. The most common side effect is teeth sensitivity. Teeth sensitivity is generally mild and often subsides in a few days. Brushing your teeth with a highly concentrated, fluoride toothpaste or desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, will also help reduce the discomfort. Your dentist can also prescribe you a fluoride gel to use which will also help reduce the sensitivity. Gum irritation or discoloration is another possible side effect. This will subside and the gum will go back to normal condition in about a few days.
If you have any additional questions, please consult with your dentist.