Last Updated on 10 months

Do you feel conscious about your dulled and yellow teeth when you smile? Are you worried about your discolored teeth because of smoking or other bad habits? Or maybe you want to get over those stained teeth due to coffee, red wine, or other causes?

If you’re anxious about the color of your teeth, professional teeth whitening can definitely restore your teeth’s whiteness. Today’s dental office treatments are safe, fast, and comfortable. They’re tailored to your unique needs to reveal a whiter, more vibrant smile. They can efficiently target stains and discoloration caused by smoking, coffee, tea, wine, curries, juices, and more.

In just one or a few visits, your smile transforms. Don’t go for any pharmacy whitening kits with mixed results. You must discover how professional teeth whitening can give you the dazzling, confidence-boosting smile you deserve. 

A simple and quick process will transform stained teeth into white, bright, and dazzling ones. In this blog, we will talk about this process in detail. So, you can keep yourself ahead!

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

There are a few leading causes of tooth discoloration and stains over time. As we naturally age, enamel wears thin and dentin shows through, resulting in a yellowed look.  Smoking is another primary culprit, as are staining foods and drinks like coffee, berries, and red wine. Some medications, especially those with tetracycline, can also tint teeth.

In addition to these common factors, enamel deficiency and childhood illness or injury may affect tooth color. Grinding or wearing down teeth exposes the yellowish dentin underneath. Poor dental hygiene allows plaque buildup that causes gradual yellowing.

The good news is there are various benefits of professional whitening as it can effectively remove stains from smoking, food and drinks, and aging. Advances in whitening technology target all types of discoloration for a brighter, more vibrant smile. Identifying the root causes of your tooth stains will help your dentist recommend the ideal solutions.

How To Prepare for Teeth Whitening Treatment

Professional teeth whitening is an effective way to brighten your smile, but preparing properly helps you get the best results. Here are some tips to get ready for your upcoming whitening session:

    • Eat a Good Fine Meal

Whitening appointments can take an hour or longer, so you want to avoid feeling hungry or distracted by an empty stomach during the process. Eat a satisfying meal a couple of hours before your appointment so you are comfortable.

    • Prepare for a Longer Dental Appointment

Make sure your schedule is clear for the full duration of the whitening process. It requires sitting with whitening gel and equipment in your mouth for an extended period, so you don’t want to be rushed. Clear sufficient time in your calendar to complete the process relaxingly.

    • Regular Brushing and Flossing

Be diligent about regular brushing and flossing in the days leading up to whitening to remove plaque buildup and minimize sensitivity risks.

    • Avoid Dark Staining Foods & Drinks

Curtail things like coffee, red wine, dark berries, tobacco, etc. for 2-3 days pre-whitening. This helps ensure your teeth are as clean as possible with minimal residual stains for the best whitening canvas.

    • Maintain Satisfactory Oral Habits

Be diligent about regular brushing and flossing leading up to your appointment to remove all plaque buildup. Plaque left on the teeth could react to whitening agents and cause sensitivity.

    • Quit Smoking

The chemicals in cigarettes will instantly re-stain your teeth after professional whitening. If you smoke, consider quitting for the long term to prevent immediate re-staining after whitening.

    • Switch to a Sensitive Toothpaste

Use a sensitive toothpaste starting 2 weeks before whitening to help minimize any potential sensitivity reactions during the process.

    • Check For Cracks/Cavities

Get any needed dental work like fillings or repairs done ahead of time. Whitening chemicals can seep into cracks or decayed areas of the tooth and cause pain. It’s best to address any issues beforehand.

Taking these steps allows you to get the most out of professional teeth whitening for dramatically brighter, whiter teeth!

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

This section explains the science behind professional teeth whitening. Understanding the chemical reactions and mechanisms that brighten and remove tooth discoloration sheds light on the magic behind your new dazzling smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening Process

    • Pre-Whitening Consultation and Prep

Before performing professional whitening, your dentist will have you come in for a thorough consultation and preparatory appointment. They will examine your teeth carefully to check for cavities, cracks, or other problems that could cause issues or sensitivity. 

Moreover, they will also take impressions and photos to determine your starting tooth shade and monitor your progress. Your dentist will discuss your goals, options for in-office versus take-home whitening, the estimated number of sessions needed, and the cost. 

Pre-whitening checkups, consultations, and baseline records are key steps that set you up for safe, effective brightening with the results you want. The more informed you are going into the process, the more confident you will be and the more satisfied you will be.

    • Assess Your Teeth

Unlike DIY kits, a significant benefit of professional whitening is consulting with an experienced dentist. Your dentist can assess which stains may need special attention beyond just whitening. For example, trauma or medication side effects may cause discoloration resistant to bleaching. In those cases, they can suggest alternative cosmetic solutions.

The initial exam also allows you to discuss any tooth sensitivity or other factors unique to you. This lets your dentist tailor the whitening compounds and process to your particular stains and needs.

Having an expert dental professional involved means whitening can be customized for the types of discoloration you have. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation to determine the right approach and manage your expectations. Their guidance leads to safe, effective results and helps identify scenarios where different treatments may be recommended. Consulting a knowledgeable dentist is key to maximizing your whitening experience.

    • Color Detection

During your initial exam, your dentist will use a shade guide to evaluate and record the exact color of your teeth. Teeth shades fall along a spectrum from yellow to grey tones – not simply “white.” You may be surprised how far from white your teeth currently are, and that they won’t become pure white after whitening.

By determining and recording the color of your teeth at the beginning, your dentist can monitor progress during treatments. This allows them to tailor the process to achieve the maximum brightening and most natural-looking results for your goals. Everyone’s tooth color is slightly different, and whitening outcomes vary. 

Determining your initial shade sets a benchmark for safely lighting your teeth to just the right level. Recording the tooth color data enables your dentist to customize and perfect the whitening process specifically for you.

    • Removing Plaque

Plaque is a biofilm that builds up on teeth over time. If left on during whitening, plaque can prevent the compounds from fully interacting with stains on the enamel.

That’s why your dentist will thoroughly clean and polish your teeth first. This plaque removal allows the whitening agents to penetrate deeply and work most effectively. It ensures no barriers exist between the solutions and discoloration.

Starting with a blank slate of ultra-clean teeth sets you up for the best whitening results. The dentist will scrub off all traces of plaque, so the process can target only the stains locked within the enamel, unimpeded. Investing in a deep clean before whitening gives you the maximum brightening for your investment. Don’t underestimate the value of a fresh start – plaque-free teeth guarantee glowing outcomes!

    • Drying Your Teeth

For the most effective whitening, keeping the teeth completely dry is essential. The dentist will thoroughly dry the teeth and use rubber barriers to maintain dryness during the process.

These barriers serve two important purposes – absorbing saliva while also protecting the gums and mouth tissues. The dams keep whitening agents away from the gums, lips, cheeks, and tongue, preventing irritation in those delicate areas.

Whitening compounds work best when they are isolated from saliva and mouth moisture. The rubbers dams enable them to penetrate deep into the enamel for maximum stain removal. 

Simultaneously, they shield vulnerable soft tissues from sensitivity. Achieving a dry field plus protection ensures the fastest, safest whitening for dazzling results.

    • Professional Whitening Method (Laser Whitening)

The in-office whitening appointment takes 60-90 minutes. Your teeth will be covered with a hydrogen peroxide whitening compound that dissolves stains in the enamel. They are then exposed to a special laser light that speeds up and activates the bleaching process.

In one appointment, your teeth shade can lighten by 6-8 levels on the color scale. But the results rely on your ongoing oral hygiene and avoiding teeth-staining foods and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco. With proper care after whitening, your dazzling new smile can last a year or longer.

The process is straightforward and fast. In just one visit you walk out with dramatically brighter teeth – about eight shades lighter! Well, there are different types of teeth whitening treatments. But, the choice depends on the condition of your teeth. For this, consult a professional dentist.

    • Post-Whitening Care

Once the whitening cycles are complete, your dentist will remove the eye protection gear, clean up supplies, and have you rinse out your mouth. If your teeth aren’t quite at the desired shade yet, you may need to repeat the process 2-3 more times over subsequent visits.

It takes a few days for the true color to settle in, so they will look slightly brighter than right after. Whitening is not recommended for those allergic to ingredients, pregnant/nursing women, kids under 16, and people with gum inflammation or exposed roots.

After just an hour or so in the dentist’s chair, you’ll have a smile that really sparkles – up to 8 shades lighter! Remember it may take a couple of appointments to reach your ideal brightness. 

And don’t panic if they seem ultra-white at first – that tone will relax after a few days. With some simple aftercare, you’ll be confidently smiling away thanks to fast, effective in-office whitening.

    • Results and Maintenance

The effective results of professional whitening are clear immediately after treatment, but how long do they last with proper maintenance? 

While outcomes vary based on your habits and tooth composition, you can expect your new brighter smile to remain intact for 1-3 years with proper care. 

Avoid staining foods and drinks for at least 1-2 weeks post-whitening, as enamel is more porous. Quitting smoking also prolongs results. Brush and floss twice daily, and get regular professional cleanings. 

Use non-whitening toothpaste for a while to avoid re-staining. Get occasional 15-20 minute in-office whitening touch-ups or use at-home trays with low-concentration gel 1-2 times yearly to maintain your new look. 

With diligent oral care and minor upkeep whitening, your smile stays shades lighter for years of confidence-boosting brightness.

How Long Does The Professional Teeth Whitening Process Take?

The total time depends on factors like your dentist, shades the patients want to lighten their smile, and specifics of the process. But generally, in-office whitening appointments range from 30-60 minutes. During that time, your dentist thoroughly cleans your teeth, applies the whitening gel, and uses a special light to activate and accelerate the bleaching.

Multiple 15-20 minute cycles may be used to maximize results. Total appointment length varies based on how many rounds of gel and light are needed to reach your goals. While every dentist has a different approach, most in-office whitening is completed within an hour.

Some cases require additional sessions if the staining is deep or you aim to go many shades lighter. With the laser light accelerating the bleaching, surprising results are achieved efficiently during a quick appointment.

Looking for Professional Teeth Whitening in Modesto, CA?

Teeth whitening is a safe procedure when done under the care of an experienced dental professional. You may experience some temporary tooth sensitivity, but this should resolve on its own within a short time.

Contact ProSmile Family Dental in Modesto, CA to learn more about our safe, effective whitening options. Our highly skilled team is dedicated to delivering excellent dentistry you can trust for outstanding whitening results. Isn’t it time to upgrade your smile with whiter, brighter teeth?

Call or visit us online to schedule a whitening appointment. We’ll work with you one-on-one to achieve your goals for a radiant, confidence-boosting smile. Teeth whitening is a simple way to look your best – contact us today to get started!

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