When you make the choice to begin professional teeth whitening treatment then you may be wondering what you can expect during your visit. Our North Vancouver dentists discuss the teeth whitening process and how a teeth whitening shade guide can help when planning your treatment.
Professional Teeth Whitening
We experience changes as we age and use our bodies more frequently. One of these changes can be on our teeth. Due to wear and tear, lifestyle factors like smoking or drinking dark-colored beverages like soda, coffee, or red wine, or some medications, our teeth may become stained over time and become darker.
Luckily, there are options available to you if you are thinking that you may want to brighten up your teeth. Below we explain a little more about how a teeth whitening shade guide can be used to help pick the optimal colour for your smile.
What to Expect During Your Teeth Whitening Consultation
To begin the teeth whitening process, your dentist will assess the shade of your smile using a shade guide.
Your dentist will compare your current tooth colour to the shade guide and then work from there to determine what shade you'd like your teeth to be after treatment. Here are some things you should think about when trying to decide on your whitening goals:
- Existing stains on your teeth - Stains that are darkly coloured or grey can be hard to remove. Whitening may make these stains seem more prominent.
- Crowns and fillings - Artificial restoration of any kind will not respond to whitening treatment. You will want to select a shade that will help these restorations blend in.
- Your eyes - Your teeth should be a similar shade of white to the whites of your eyes. This helps you maintain a natural-looking smile.
Note that these are general recommendations that will assist you in getting a brighter smile while still looking natural. Although just two or three shades lighter can make your smile look better, most teeth whitening procedures can lighten your teeth anywhere from two to seven or eight shades.
As with most things, it is better to start small and go bigger later and by whitening a little at first you can gauge how you feel before diving in and going brighter later on.
Options For Professional Teeth Whitening
The active component in whitening solutions is usually hydrogen peroxide. That is, if you choose a take-home teeth-whitening option. While the oxygen interacts with tooth enamel and the active ingredient degrades, the whitening effect occurs. Professional teeth whitening procedures performed in-office and take-home kits should help you to whiten your teeth. And both can be offered by dental offices.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Your Dental Office
In-office teeth whitening is done at your dental office. In-office treatments are typically the most efficient and effective because your dentist can safely apply a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide than you would be able to at home.
To protect your gums from the whitening solution, your dentist will apply a shield to them. The solution will then be applied to your teeth using a mouthguard-like tray designed specifically for you. Once the solution has been applied to your teeth, your dentist will use a special light to speed up the whitening process.
Professional Teeth Whitening Kits to Use at Home
Many dental offices also offer take-home kits along with detailed instructions to allow you to safely complete the teeth whitening process while in your own home.
Take-home kits feature custom whitening trays which will be used to hold the whitening solution on your teeth. These trays are typically worn for a period of time each day for two weeks.