What To Expect at Your Teeth Whitening Session
A bright and healthy smile is something that many people aspire to have. However, despite regular brushing and flossing, our teeth can become stained or discolored over time due to various factors such as age, smoking, certain medications, and dietary habits. Fortunately, professional teeth whitening can help remove stubborn stains and restore the natural color of teeth.
Learn what to expect when you undergo a teeth whitening treatment at our Staten Island dental office. Contact our cosmetic dentists today by calling (718) 948-5111 to set up your cosmetic dentistry consultation.
The Day Before Your Tooth Whitening Appointment
The day before your teeth whitening appointment is a crucial time for preparation. Things you can do to make sure you’re ready for your procedure include:
- Avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth: To get the best results from your teeth whitening treatment, avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. This includes things like coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. Stick to light-colored foods and beverages instead.
- Brush and floss thoroughly: Make sure to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly the night before your appointment. This will help remove any surface stains and ensure your teeth are clean and ready for the whitening treatment.
- Get plenty of rest: Getting a good night’s sleep can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during your teeth whitening appointment. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep the night before your appointment.
The Day of Your Tooth Whitening Appointment
The day of your teeth whitening appointment can be exciting, but it’s important to take a few precautions to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t eat or drink before your appointment: To ensure the best results from your teeth whitening treatment, you should avoid eating or drinking anything for at least one hour before your appointment. This will help your teeth stay dry and make it easier for the whitening gel to adhere to your teeth.
- Arrive on time: Make sure to arrive on time for your appointment so that you have plenty of time to fill out any necessary paperwork and ask questions you may have.
- Wear comfortable clothing: You may be sitting in a dental chair for an extended period, so make sure to wear comfortable clothing that won’t make you feel too hot or cold.
- Bring headphones or music: If you’re feeling nervous or anxious about the procedure, bring some headphones or music to help you relax.
By following these tips, you can help ensure a successful teeth whitening treatment and achieve a brighter, more confident smile.
In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening Process
In-office teeth whitening, also known as chairside tooth bleaching, is a quick and effective way to brighten your smile. During in-office treatments, our dentist applies a high-concentration bleaching gel to your teeth and uses a special light or laser to activate the gel. The process typically takes about an hour, and the results can be seen immediately.
One of the benefits of in-office teeth whitening is that it’s performed by a dentist who can monitor the progress and ensure that the treatment is safe and effective. Additionally, the high concentration of the bleaching agent or gel used in this process means that it can remove even the most stubborn stains.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Process
At-home teeth whitening is another popular option for those who want to whiten their teeth. This process involves whitening teeth using custom-made take-home trays that are filled with a lower concentration of bleaching gel and worn for a specified amount of time each day. The length of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the stains and the desired level of whitening.
One of the advantages of at-home teeth whitening is that it’s more convenient and cost-effective than in-office whitening. However, it may take longer to see results and may not be as effective as an in-office treatment for stubborn stains.
The ZOOM! Teeth Whitening Process
Our Staten Island dentists offer ZOOM! teeth whitening methods at our dental office. You can expect the following during your professional tooth whitening treatment:
- Protection of the Gums and Lips: Before starting the whitening process, our Staten Island dental team will protect your gums and lips to ensure that the whitening gel only comes into contact with the teeth. This is typically done using a protective barrier or gel.
- Application of the Whitening Gel: The ZOOM teeth whitening gel is then applied to the teeth. This gel contains hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient responsible for the whitening effect.
- Activation with UV Light: Once the gel has been applied, it’s exposed to a UV light, specifically designed for the ZOOM whitening system. This light accelerates the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide in the gel, allowing for the release of oxygen molecules. These oxygen molecules penetrate the tooth enamel and dentin, breaking down and eliminating the stains without affecting the structure of the teeth.
- Rinse and Repeat: After a certain period (usually around 15 minutes), the gel is removed and the teeth are rinsed. This process is typically repeated two or three times within the same appointment, depending on the desired level of whitening and the patient’s individual needs.
- Post-Whitening Treatment: After the final gel application and rinse, a post-treatment gel might be applied to the teeth. This gel helps to reduce any sensitivity and further protects the enamel.
- Results: By the end of the appointment, which usually lasts around an hour or so, patients can expect their teeth to be several shades whiter. The exact number of shades can vary depending on the starting shade of the teeth and individual factors.
Potential Side Effects After The Procedure
Like any dental procedure, teeth whitening can cause some side effects. The most common side effects include increased tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and mild discomfort. These side effects are usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or desensitizing toothpaste.
In rare cases, teeth whitening can cause more severe side effects such as chemical burns or damage to the tooth enamel. This is why it’s important to have teeth whitening done under the supervision of an experienced dentist.
Caring for Your Teeth After Procedure
After teeth whitening, you’ll want to make sure to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent new stains from forming. Consider the following:
- Avoid Dark-Colored Foods and Drinks: For at least 48 hours post-treatment, steer clear of coffee, tea, red wine, cola, berries, and any other foods or drinks that may cause tooth discoloration.
- No Tobacco: Smoking or using any tobacco products can stain teeth, decreasing the effectiveness of a teeth whitening treatment.
- Use a Sensitivity Toothpaste: Teeth might become sensitive after a whitening session. Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help alleviate discomfort.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures after whitening. Try consuming foods and drinks at a moderate temperature to avoid discomfort.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss daily and use an antiseptic mouthwash to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Limit Acidic Foods and Drinks: Acidic foods and beverages, like citrus fruits and sodas, can weaken enamel, causing possible tooth staining. Consume them in moderation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is teeth whitening painful?
Teeth whitening is generally not painful, but some people may experience sensitivity or discomfort during or after the procedure. Your dental professional can recommend ways to manage any discomfort you may experience.
Will teeth whitening damage my enamel?
Teeth whitening, when done correctly, should not damage your enamel. However, overuse or misuse of teeth whitening products can lead to damage to the tooth enamel and cause sensitivity or even tooth decay.
Can anyone get their teeth whitened?
In general, most people can get their teeth whitened. However, teeth whitening treatments may not be recommended for individuals with certain dental conditions, such as cavities or gum disease. Consult with a dental professional before undergoing any teeth whitening procedure.
How long does teeth whitening take?
On average, most patients can expect professional teeth whitening to last between 30 and 60 minutes. The length of your treatment will depend on your dentist, how many shades you want to lighten your smile to, and other factors.
Renew Your Smile Today!
Ready to learn more about our cosmetic treatments? If you’re interested in getting professional teeth whitening, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our dental professionals to learn more about the options available to you. A brighter smile can be just a few steps away!
Contact our Staten Island dentist’s office today by calling (718) 948-5111. Our teeth whitening treatments can be customized to meet your smile goals!
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