Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment — and for good reason. In just one trip to the dentist, you can improve the look of your smile, safely and affordably. If you have made an appointment for teeth whitening, you are probably excited. However, you might also wonder what to expect with teeth whitening before and after your appointment. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of getting your teeth whitened.
Preparing for Your Teeth Whitening Treatment
Teeth whitening treatments are straightforward procedures, but for the best result, you should have a professional dental examination and cleaning beforehand. Not only will this ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, but your dentist can identify — and treat — any oral health issues. A professional dental cleaning will make sure that there is no plaque and hardened tartar on your teeth which will help you get better results from the teeth whitening procedure.
You may also want to eat before your appointment. Since eating can soften tooth enamel, you should eat at least 30 minutes before your appointment. Make sure you floss and brush your teeth thoroughly before going in for whitening treatment.
If you have dental restorations, such as dental crowns or veneers, you should be aware that the porcelain material of these restorations will not whiten along with your natural teeth. If your teeth have yellowed since getting the restoration, the whitening procedure may whiten your teeth to the same shade as the crown or veneer. If you want to whiten your teeth beyond the shade of the restoration, you should talk to your dentist about replacing it after whitening your teeth.
Receiving Your Teeth Whitening Treatment
You can expect the teeth whitening process to take about 45 minutes to an hour. While you are sitting in the dental chair, you can watch television or listen to music to help pass the time. Many people are worried that the process is painful, but rest assured you should not experience any pain. You may feel a bit of a tingle or some warmth from the special light we use to accelerate the whitening solution, but the process is painless.
Some people experience sensitivity after the whitening process. So, we take precautions to protect the sensitive tissue of your gums, lips and cheeks. We use retractors that can help you keep your jaw relaxed during treatment. They also help to keep whitening solution only on your teeth. In addition, we paint your gums with a protective barrier before we start to apply the whitening gel.
When we complete the procedure, we will rinse your teeth. You’ll go home with a smile that is noticeably whiter and brighter.
Caring for Your Smile After Treatment
Some people experience teeth sensitivity after teeth whitening treatment. This short-term side effect usually goes away on its own. In the meantime, you can try using a toothpaste that’s designed to help with teeth sensitivity.
Once you’ve made the investment in teeth whitening, you will want to do whatever you can to help maintain your results for as long as possible. Here are some tips for taking care of your smile after treatment.
Watch What You Eat
In the first couple of days after your procedure, your teeth will be particularly vulnerable to staining. So, avoid acidic or colorful foods. Stick with lighter-colored fruits and vegetables and high-protein foods such as white yogurt and chicken for 48 hours following your treatment.
You can eventually go back to eating more colorful foods, but keep in mind that beverages such as red wine, coffee or tea and foods such as tomato sauce and blueberries are known to stain teeth. When you do indulge, rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Stick to Healthy Habits
If you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco, you should consider quitting. It is recommended not just for the sake of your oral health but for your overall well-being.
Make sure you are maintaining your oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing regularly. Use a whitening toothpaste to help get rid of surface stains between whitening treatments. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly for examinations and cleanings.
Consider Touch-Up Whitening Treatments
You’ll also have more success keeping your smile white and bright if you get touch-up whitening treatments. The frequency of these treatments will depend on your habits and how quickly your teeth become stained again. Every few months or even once a year is adequate for most people, and you can use our at-home whitening kits to do these touch-ups at home.
West Coast Dental Teeth Whitening Before and After
In-office teeth whitening is an effective and safe way to get whiter teeth in just one visit to the dentist. Knowing what to expect before and after teeth whitening will help ensure you are happy with the results and that they will last for months to come.
If you’d like to make an appointment for teeth whitening or if you have questions about the procedure or our at-home whitening kits, give us a call at 888-329-8111. You can also book an appointment online.
Women’s Health – Toothpastes for Teeth Sensitivity
American Dental Association (ADA) – Whitening
Johns Hopkins Medicine – Teeth Whitening