How does tooth whitening work?
Whitening (bleaching) can be done either in a dentist’s office or at home, using a system dispensed by your dentist. Both methods use teeth-bleaching gels that oxidize out the stain. It’s not uncommon for teeth to become slightly sensitive during the whitening process.
This procedure takes from 30 minutes to one hour per visit, and you may have to return for visits to achieve the desired whiteness. To protect your mouth, a gel-like substance may be applied to your gums and a rubber “shield” may be placed around the necks of the teeth. An oxidizing agent (the bleaching solution) is then applied to your teeth. Sometimes, a special light is used at five-minute intervals to help activate the whitening agent. You will need one to three appointments depending on your oral status. The number of visits will depend on how severe your stains and discoloration are and how white you want your teeth to be as a result of this surgery. Different types of stains and discoloration respond differently to the whitener and treatment. If you find that your gums are white or sore, follow up with your dentist. The stains will come back if you smoke or consume a lot of staining foods or drinks. In such cases you may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. If you avoid these sources of staining, you and your near and dear ones will enjoy your sparkling smile for 12 to 18 months.