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What to Expect from Your Teeth Whitening Procedure


Your smile is sometimes the first thing people notice about you. Some even think a smile can say a lot about a person’s personality and health. But, if your teeth don’t have a bright and shiny appearance, you may want to keep them hidden behind a closed mouth. See how you may benefit from our teeth whitening procedures, and learn what you can expect from your appointment.

Teeth Whitening for Stained Teeth

Professional teeth whitening procedures are one of the most popular treatments under cosmetic dentistry. They are for people with discolored or stained teeth. Professional dental hygienists use safe teeth whitening products to bring their patients’ teeth from a dark white or yellowy color to a more desired bright white shade.

Teeth can become stained from any of the following causes:

  • Tobacco use
  • Drinking dark drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Improper oral hygiene routine
  • Aging

What Happens during Your Teeth Whitening Procedure

Preparing the teeth

There are many teeth whitening methods, but the majority of them follow a similar structure. Before your dental care professional can perform a teeth whitening procedure, they need to take care of any pre-existing dental problems like cavities. Certain conditions can actually reverse the results of a teeth whitening, or the teeth whitening can cause the teeth and gums to become more sensitive and painful.

Cleaning the teeth

After all dental problems have been treated, your dental hygienist will perform a professional teeth cleaning. This will remove any loose bacteria or food substances that build up on your teeth and contribute to staining.

Bleaching the teeth

Now, your cosmetic dentist can start the teeth whitening procedure. First, he or she will apply a cheek retractor to expose your front teeth and hold your mouth open. Then, they will apply a liquid rubber dam to the gum line, which protects it from the bleaching gel and prevents irritation.

Then, your dental care professional will apply the bleaching gel to the teeth and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes. Many specialists remove the gel to check the results and then add a second round of gel to achieve results closer to the desired shade.

Often, cosmetic dentists shine intense light on the teeth to enhance the work of the teeth bleaching agents. Then, the bleaching gel is removed along with the cheek retractor. Dentists will rinse away the product and compare the patient’s teeth to a teeth shade chart to assess the teeth whitening before and after. If your dentist believes your teeth can be brought to an even lighter shade, he or she may recommend you come in for a follow-up bleaching at a later date.

If you want more options for teeth whitening, ask about our take-home opalescence teeth whitening products. You can choose between different flavors and concentrations to have more control over your teeth whitening methods.

Cosmetic Dentistry at Cabrillo Family Dental Care

If you’re interested in finding more ways to brighten and improve your smile, explore our options for cosmetic dentistry. Smile wide and confidently just in time for a warm California spring!