Q&A on Teeth Whitening:
Q: How does teeth whitening work in the dental office?
A: During an in-office teeth whitening procedure, a protective barrier is applied to the gums to shield them from the bleaching agent. Then, the whitening gel is carefully applied to the teeth. Special light or heat may be used to activate the gel and enhance its effectiveness. The process typically takes about 1 to 2 hours, and the results are noticeable immediately.
Q: Is teeth whitening safe?
A: When performed by a dental professional, teeth whitening is generally safe. The bleaching agents used are regulated and safe for dental use. However, some individuals with sensitive teeth or certain dental conditions may experience temporary sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure.
Q: How long do teeth whitening results last?
A: The longevity of teeth whitening results varies from person to person. In-office teeth whitening results can last from several months to a year or more, depending on individual habits and oral care routines. Regular consumption of staining foods, drinks, or smoking can affect the longevity of the results.
Q: Can over-the-counter whitening products provide the same results as in-office treatment?
A: Over-the-counter whitening products, such as whitening toothpaste or strips, may offer some improvement in tooth color, but they generally provide milder results compared to in-office dental whitening. Professional teeth whitening in a dental office can achieve more dramatic and longer-lasting results due to the higher concentration of the bleaching agent.
Q: Who is a suitable candidate for teeth whitening?
A: Teeth whitening is most effective for individuals with healthy teeth and gums and surface stains caused by factors like aging, diet, or lifestyle habits. It may not be suitable for people with certain dental conditions, severe discoloration, or dental restorations, such as crowns or veneers, as these won’t respond to whitening agents.
Q: How can I maintain the results of teeth whitening?
A: To maintain teeth whitening results, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. Avoiding or limiting consumption of staining substances like coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco can also help preserve the whiteness of your teeth.