As babies, we’re born with teeth that eventually come out perfectly white. It’s only as we eat and drink and develop other habits that these pearly whites turn more yellow and brown.
Stains and discolored teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. By taking the major step and scheduling a professional whitening service, you’re also changing your life!
The more you smile, and the prouder you are of your toothy grin, the happier you become. With your newly dazzling look, the future’s so bright, you might need shades!
At Cimarron Family Dentistry, we’re happy to help you see what’s in store for you after your whitening treatment. There are lots of over-the-counter products you can use. But our whitening services are professional-grade and more effective.
We also use state-of-the-art equipment to boost the speed and accuracy of our whitening products. You could be on your way to a brighter smile after your first treatment!
Every whitening agent’s active ingredient is a chemical like a hydrogen peroxide. When you use an OTC bleaching agent, you take the chance that the ingredients are inferior and, therefore, dangerous. By trusting Cimarron Family Dentistry for your teeth whitening process, you’re in safe hands.
So what should you expect now that you’re ready for your professional whitening service? This guide will take you from start to finish!
How to Schedule Your Treatment
You might think getting a whitening procedure just involves calling and making an appointment, but there’s a little more to it. First, you need to have a checkup if it’s been a while since your last one.
The reason for this all-important step is to prevent you from dealing with the side effects of a whitening agent mixed with a dental issue. Although whiteners are safe, they can still cause pain and discomfort if you use them and you have a tooth or gum problem.
Sometimes, you’ll know there’s an issue because your teeth or gums will be sensitive. If you brush them a certain way or eat hot or cold foods, you’ll feel a sharp pain for a few seconds.
However, there aren’t always warning signs that your body sends you, letting you know of problems. That’s why your dentist needs to examine you before a whitening treatment.
If you have certain conditions going on, they’ll need to be addressed and fixed before you put a whitening chemical in your mouth. These could be anything like:
- A cavity starting
- A filling coming loose
- Beginning signs of gum disease
- Advanced gum disease
- A crack or chip in the tooth
As long as we catch the problem early, it should be simple to fix. You’ll be able to schedule your whitening treatment immediately afterward!
How to Prepare for Your Whitening Appointment
When you schedule your professional whitening service, you don’t have to make any complicated plans. The treatment will take an hour or so, but you don’t need a ride or to rearrange your schedule outside of the visit. You can go about your day as usual once your treatment is finished.
Grab a bite to eat before your appointment, as long as you’re done half an hour prior to your arrival. The meal will soften the enamel on your teeth, which needs to have time to strengthen again before the whitening treatment. Thirty minutes gives you plenty of time for that to happen.
The In-Office Whitening Procedure
Your professional whitening treatment begins with a thorough cleaning. Our trained dental hygienist uses special equipment to get rid of the tartar and plaque that has built up over time on your teeth.
If you’ve had a cleaning recently, you’ll still benefit from another one right before the whitening treatment. With a freshly cleaned surface, the bleaching agent can work better.
The cleaning is followed by the placement of a retractor in your mouth. This prevents any of the sensitive tissue in your lips and tongue from coming into contact with the whitener. Although it won’t hurt it, it could cause some irritation for a few days. The retractor placement is intended to limit that as much as possible.
As a further safety precaution, we’ll brush a layer of protective gel over your gums. It’s easy for the whitening agent to seep from the teeth to the gumline. This gel is another way to avoid irritating the sensitive tissues there.
Once the safety measures are finished, it’s time to get started with the good stuff!
All Whiteners Aren’t the Same
Whitening products come in all sorts of varieties, but they all use a chemical as their active ingredient. The way the product is applied and the type of ingredients in them is where the differences come into play.
A product that is American Dental Association-approved doesn’t necessarily mean it’s strong enough to give you good results. Sometimes, the ingredients are inferior, and you’ll need to use more of the chemicals to get the results you want.
Another warning sign is a product you have to use frequently. Putting any chemical in your mouth too often is never a good idea. The best way to understand why is to learn exactly what happens during your whitening treatment.
How a Whitener Works
No matter what the application process is, a whitening product is applied directly to the enamel of the teeth. Your tooth is made out of multiple layers, and the one responsible for its color is called the “dentin.”
This is where the whitener does its work. Dentin is a porous surface. When it comes into contact with the whitening agent, the bleach expands the pores and gradually seeps into the dentin. As it does, it begins the process of slowly lightening the layer, which whitens your enamel.
It’s important that the bleach does its thing and then gets cleaned out. If it stays in the dentin for too long, it can irritate the enamel. Our office uses a specialized light to minimize how long the whitener needs to stay on your teeth to work.
This light encourages the bleaching agent and the dentin to work together faster. By opening the pores sooner, the bleach can get into the layer and whiten it more effectively. This way, you don’t have to have chemicals in your mouth longer than necessary, and you get better results the first time you have a treatment.
What’s Next After Your Whitening Service?
When you leave the office, you can do what you’d normally do. The only restriction is for the first 48 hours. Your dentin’s pores haven’t gone back to normal yet, so they can stain quickly if you aren’t careful with your diet.
Your dentist will give you some easy after-care instructions. Aside from those, the better your oral hygiene habits are, the longer your teeth will stay white!
All you need to do next is contact our friendly staff at Cimarron Family Dentistry, and your whiter smile is right around the corner!