Topic
Teeth Whitening
Created by udent on 2/1/2008 12:00:00 AM

Whitening (bleaching) is a simple procedure that can be done at the dentist office or at home. During the procedure a solution of hydrogen peroxide is applied to lighten the discolored and darkened teeth.


What is teeth whitening? Dental Whitening
Whitening (bleaching) is a simple procedure that can be done at the dentist office or at home. During the procedure a solution of hydrogen peroxide is applied to lighten the discolored and darkened teeth.

What causes teeth discoloration?

  1. Tetracycline (antibiotic) staining.
  2. Excessive fluoride.
  3. Trauma (injury) to the teeth.
  4. Pulp (nerve) degeneration.
  5. Restorations (silver, gold).
  6. Genetic and acquired illnesses.
  7. Aging.
  8. Food, drinks (such as coffee and tea), and tobacco.


Another consideration in determining whether tooth whitening is for you is the condition of your teeth. Careful clinical examinations and x-rays will help determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure.

Does whitening (bleaching) damage the teeth?
No. When the active whitening agent comes in contact with water, hydrogen peroxide is released, which whitens the teeth. Bleaching does not weaken or soften the teeth.

Can I bleach my teeth during pregnancy / nursing?
It is always recommended as a precaution measure to not use bleaching products during pregnancy or while nursing.

What happens during at-home tooth whitening?At Home Teeth Whitening

  1. Your teeth are examined: Before you begin at-home bleaching, your teeth must be clean. Any gum problems need to be treated. Any cavities must be filled, and old fillings may need to be replaced.
  2. Your molds are made: Models of the teeth will be made.
  3. You receive your trays and gel: You will be shown how and when to use the trays and bleaching gel, how many weeks you will need to use the bleaching gel depends on how badly discolored the teeth are.

What happens during in-office tooth whitening (power whitening)?In Office Teeth Whitening

  1. Your teeth are examined: Before you begin in-office bleaching, your teeth must be clean. Any gum problems need to be treated. Any cavities must be filled, and old fillings may need to be replaced.
  2. Your teeth are bleached: A piece of rubber dam might be used to isolate the teeth, a whitening gel will be applied to the teeth, and an ultravilot light will be used to accelerate the whitening process, that will take about ten minutes, the teeth after that will be washed an cleaned, the procedure will be repeated 6-8 times till the desired shade is reached.

What is the advantages of in-office tooth whitening (power whitening)?

  1. Safe and simple procedure.
  2. Fast and can be done in one hour.
  3. No sensitivity.

Are over the counter whitening products safe?
Many of these products are too abrasive, and can damage the teeth with extended use. Supervision by your dentist is the safest way to whiten your teeth.

Helpful tips:

For best results, follow these tips:

  1. Brush and floss your teeth before putting in the bleaching trays.
  2. Follow your dentist's directions exactly, and use only the materials your dentist gives you.
  3. Spit out any excess saliva. The bleach won't harm you if swallowed, but it can irritate your throat.
  4. Don't eat or drink while you have the trays in your mouth.
  5. Rinse your mouth out well after bleaching.
  6. Avoid citrus fruits and other acidic foods, they can make your teeth more sensitive.
  7. Call your dentist if your throat, teeth, or gums feel irritated.
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