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How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth staining is a common dental problem that many choose to rectify with teeth whitening procedures. There are a few different options available as far as teeth whitening goes, some available from your dentist while others are available over the counter. In this blog, we’re going to talk about teeth whitening available from your dentist.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work

If you recall from our blog last week, teeth get stained over time as they’re exposed to certain foods and substances you put in your mouth. While this staining may not be indicative of structural damage to teeth, it can give them an unwanted appearance. Tooth whitening is designed to rectify the problem of stains quickly and drastically, taking them from yellow or brown to white in a relatively short period of time. Here’s how teeth whitening works.

At the dentist’s office, the dentist first cleans your teeth with pumice. This lightly abrasive cleaner knocks off the pellicle film that builds up on your teeth and stains them. Next, a protective layer is placed on your gums so they don’t come into contact with the chemicals active in the whitening process.

Most in-office whitening treatments use an application of hydrogen peroxide paste. This is applied, rinsed off, and reapplied a few times. The hydrogen peroxide causes an oxidation reaction in the pores in your teeth that removes staining material that has built up in them. In just this first treatment teeth can become between 4 and 6 shades whiter. You may return for multiple treatments, or the dentist may also supply you with a home whitening kit.

The home whitening kit involves custom trays that surround your teeth, made from molds the dentist takes at the office. You put a carbamide peroxide gel solution into these molds and then wear them on your teeth either for a few hours a day or while sleeping. This can take between 1 and 6 weeks depending on the severity of the stain.

Using teeth whitening procedures both in the dentist’s office and at home, many patients see their teeth whitened between 12 and 15 shades.

teeth whitening


About Olney Dental

Olney Dental has been providing comprehensive dental care for residents of Olney and the surrounding area since 1985. We’re conveniently located on the campus of Montgomery General Hospital, and provide care for all ages for children to adults and seniors. We’re also independently owned by our dentists, which allows us be patient driven in our approach to dentistry. Your smiles make us smile! You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and YouTube.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.