Teeth whitening is among the most common dental procedures in cosmetic dentistry. Here are facts you need to know about the treatment and its pre-and post-preparations.
Basic Teeth Whitening Procedure
Before the procedure is commenced, you will need to schedule a consultation with your cosmetic dentist. Your oral cavity will be closely assessed to find out if you qualify for the teeth whitening treatment or not.
Teeth with large fillings and front teeth that are capped or “crowned” may not be good candidates for bleaching. Dental bleaching elements will not whiten certain materials, such as the ones used for prosthetic teeth or restorations.
An examination will take place to ensure that you are a good candidate for the whitening treatment.
- Whitening Appointment
Directly following the consultation is the actual whitening appointment/treatment. Upon laying down on the dentist’s chair, your dentist will prepare the materials and tools to be utilized during the procedure. Afterward, he or she will affix a lip retractor inside your mouth to make your teeth more easily accessible.
- Gingival Barrier
A gingival barrier will be set on the gums closest to your front teeth. It is then hardened through the use of a high-powered light. This gingival barrier will serve as a protective shield against the bleaching product for your teeth.
Your dental practitioner may also choose to apply another dental compound to safeguard your gums against the bleaching material to prevent sensitivity.
- Bleaching/ Whitening Gel
A gel that is infused with a small percentage of hydrogen peroxide will be applied to your teeth’s surface. Its purpose is to break through their outer layer, and in doing so, break down stains. This process is scientifically referred to as “oxidation.”
The hydrogen peroxide in the gel will oxidize teeth by deproteinizing and demineralizing them. In other words, a part of their surface organic content is removed, which results in the lightening of their tincture.
A high-powered UV or blue light may be used to quicken the operation.
- Rinse and Repeat
Depending on the stain’s darkness and thickness, your cosmetic dentist will repeat the same process several times. The previously applied gel will be rinsed off to be replaced by another application of the same gel formula.
Commonly, a dental clinic continues this application, rinse, and repeat the cycle for a span of 40 to 50 minutes. This may be shortened through Zoom teeth whitening.
With each re-application, your teeth become a shade lighter than their former. Your teeth can go from 4 to 6 shades lighter in a single bleaching session.
How To Take Care Of Bleached Teeth
- Follow Basic (And Proper) Oral Hygiene
Go back to the basics of observing oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Once, after your first meal of the day. And another, after your final meal at night. If you can brush your pearly whites every other meal, all the better.
Additionally, floss at least once a day, and preferably after you’ve brushed your teeth at night. Flossing removes pieces of plaque that are stuck on teeth and were not eliminated through regular brushing. This is true of crevices and corners that are tough to reach with a toothbrush.
- Antiseptic Mouthwash Rinsing
Soon after you brush your teeth, or once every 24 hours, gargle with an antiseptic liquid or mouthwash. Think of it as another step towards further protecting your teeth from plaque accumulation.
Moreover, some antiseptic mouthwash products comprise elements that may help prevent bacterial growth and gingivitis.
- Dental-Grade Whitening Toothpaste and Dental Touch-Ups
Store-bought toothpaste, even ones that claim to have whitening ingredients, is different from its dental-grade counterpart. You can use these over-the-counter teeth-care products for your daily brushing. But dental-grade whitening toothpaste should be purchased directly from your dentist or dental supplier. They are to be applied to your teeth via brushing once or twice a week.
There are dental-grade whiteners that well-known brands commercially sell. Consult with your dentist before buying them to know if they are ideal for your teeth or otherwise.
Plus, dental touch-ups are highly recommended. Drop by the dental clinic every so often to have your teeth checked for new stains. And if there are any, they can be touched up to remove the new stains.
- Try to Avoid Food and Drinks That Stain Teeth
It may be impossible to completely avoid food and drinks that stain teeth. However, you may try to avoid some of them as much as you can. Fruit juices, coffee, tea, red wine, tomato-based liquids, and soda are only some of the foods you can limit if you want to truly preserve your newly bleached teeth.
To schedule a consultation for teeth whitening, contact Bella Smiles today.