Have you always wanted to know the secret to a beautiful, healthy smile? Now you can show off yours with strong, healthy teeth and pearly whites. But what if your smile is looking a little less bright?
Coffee, nicotine, certain foods, and less than stellar tooth brushing habits can all cause teeth to stain and discolour, and lose their beautiful pearly white sheen.
In their place are yellowed teeth that look a lot less healthy, undermining both your confidence and oral health. The good news is, with tooth whitening at Oakville Place Dental, you can quickly restore your pearly whites and feel confident in your smile again.
Here’s everything you need to know about tooth whitening and bleaching.
What is teeth whitening and bleaching — and where should I get it?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that brightens your smile using peroxide-based bleaching agents that peel back layers of discolouration and restore your teeth’s natural white shade.
You can achieve similar effects at home, but store-bought whitening strips are far less effective. Their peroxide content — and whitening power — are only between 3% to 20%, compared to the 15% to 43% solutions we use at Oakville Place Dental. We can whiten your teeth faster because we use advanced equipment for heat and lighting that speed up the process.
The Tooth Whitening Process
Tooth whitening is achieved by applying a specially formulated bleaching solution on your teeth for a specified duration. While high-peroxide content is more powerful, it shouldn’t be left on too long, as the gel will dehydrate the tooth and increase sensitivity. That’s why — despite the abundance of at-home tooth whitening kits — booking at treatment at Oakville Place is far safer and comes with guaranteed results.
A growing trend in Oakville is laser tooth whitening, which involves far more robust technology that speeds up the process and timeline for seeing results. Instead of peroxide-based solutions alone, a laser is used, which reduces the treatment time to just half that of a traditional treatment.
The most popular laser tooth whitening technique is called Zoom, wherein light-activated 25% hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to teeth, and blue plasma light activates the solution for ultra-fast whitening.
How much will my teeth whiten?
Tooth whitening improves the appearance of your smile by setting teeth anywhere from three to eight shades brighter. Each patient requires a unique treatment plan to achieve their desired results.
For severe discolouration and intense brightening, multiple sessions may be recommended, each lasting 30 to 60 minutes. By the end of it, your teeth will be significantly whiter, and your smile much brighter and healthier, thanks to the bacteria-killing and gum inflammation prevention properties of the peroxide gel.
During Your Tooth Whitening Treatment
At the start of the procedure, your dentist will fit you with protective equipment, including safety goggles and a guard that protects the gums from the peroxide gel. You will then be asked to maintain your position for fifteen-minute stretches after each application, as your dentist may add gel incrementally to strengthen the whitening and gradually achieve your desired results.
Some patients have reported experiencing some sensitivity — like sharp electric shocks — due to exposure to the peroxide gel. This temporary side effect is average and, at most, just briefly uncomfortable, and your dentist can adjust the peroxide concentration to prevent further sensitivity.
Bright Smiles Right Away
The best part about tooth whitening treatments is instant results. Your teeth will be noticeably whiter and brighter — even after years of staining and discolouration.
Not everyone will see the same results right away: each set of teeth, their natural colours, and genetic make-up create different effects. Some patients may notice much lighter teeth than others. Different lifestyle habits contribute to varying degrees of staining and discolouration and require more treatments to lighten effectively.
Some teeth are darker due to internal — and not simply surface — stains. While surface stains are easy to bleach, internal stains are embedded deeper in the enamel. These darker stains benefit more from the Zoom laser tooth whitening technique, since the laser can activate the peroxide gel much faster and stronger.
Side Effects and Aftercare: Brighter, Healthier Smiles for Longer
Tooth bleaching is achieved using a peroxide gel — it’s chemically robust and can induce tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures and recurring staining. To keep teeth brighter for longer, inform your dentist of any sensitivity, so they can change the peroxide concentration for future treatments, and follow aftercare instructions closely. This allows the bleaching gel to work its full magic by locking in the whiter shade over the next few days.
Dentists advise staying away from drinking and eating anything too hot or cold immediately after a tooth whitening treatment. It’s also essential to stay away from coffee, tea, and wine; drink them through a straw if you must. Alternatively, try old-school hacks like rubbing Vaseline on the front of your teeth to act as a protective barrier against staining. Take the same precautions for richly coloured food, like blueberries, ketchup, and marinara sauce, and rinse any residue with water right after eating these foods.
Most importantly, remember that your smile is unique. It may require multiple sessions at Oakville Place — with various peroxide concentrations — to significantly whiten your teeth and achieve the desired, long-lasting results. Even then, their lightened shade will require periodic touch-ups, since colour fades over time as you resume your normal eating and drinking habits.