When your teeth aren’t perfectly white, it can make you insecure about smiling around other people. This isn’t a new problem. But the rise in social media pictures with filters has made it even more intimidating to have a discolored smile.
Between the normal insecurities we’ve always had and the new Insta-perfection we’re aiming for, whitening products are on the rise. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2024, more than 300 million people will have tried a whitener at least once.
Whitening products have improved significantly since they started being used over the counter. But at-home whitening products can have disastrous results. The wrong product, or the right one used incorrectly, can cause long-lasting damage to your teeth and gums.
Getting a professional teeth whitening service is the expert-recommended way to lighten your teeth. A whitening treatment with Dr. Julia Snyder is safe, pain-free, and gets you results fast!
Maybe you have a big event, like a wedding, on the horizon, or you just want a smile you’re proud of. No matter what the reason is, a whitening treatment is an incredible investment you won’t regret. When you’re ready to boost your confidence, this is what you can expect a dentist’s teeth whitening process to look like.
First Things First: Schedule Your Check-Up
Even teeth bleaching with a dentist uses products with chemicals in them. Although our products are safe and professional-grade, any time you put a chemical in your mouth, it can cause irritation. If you have any underlying problems going on, like a cavity, we don’t want you to end up aggravating them.
For that reason, it’s important to have a check-up before your whitening treatment. Dr. Snyder will look for oral health issues that could be made worse with the bleaching agent. Chips or cracks in your teeth, cavities, or the beginning signs of gum disease need to be fixed before your whitening treatment.
This is just one of the reasons why at-home products need to be used carefully. When a product is low-strength, it needs to be kept on longer or used more frequently to be effective. But the more often you use a whitener, the more likely it is to cause damage.
The damage could be nothing more than a few days of increased sensitivity in your gums and teeth. However, it could end up as long-term damage to the enamel that can’t be corrected. And if the product is made from inferior ingredients, the chance of damage has skyrocketed.
Dr. Snyder will give you a quick evaluation. If there are any problems, she’ll work with you to make a treatment plan. After that, you’ll be on your way to a whiter smile!
How to Prepare For Your Appointment
The most common question we get asked before a whitening treatment is, “Should I brush my teeth before whitening them?”
The answer is yes, but you don’t have to. The dental hygienist is going to be cleaning them anyway, but it’s a good idea to brush after you eat.
Speaking of eating, if you plan on having a meal before your appointment, that’s perfectly fine. But when you eat, the enamel in your teeth softens. It needs to be hard to do the whitening treatment. Be sure to finish your meal at least half an hour prior to coming to the office.
How Do They Whiten Your Teeth at the Dentist?
The next usual concern is the question of what goes on during the whitening treatment. What magic does the dentist work that gives you such an amazing, white smile at the end of the visit?
While our products aren’t actually magical, they are made from the highest quality ingredients possible. Our procedures include state-of-the-art equipment that increases their effectiveness. Because of the combination of the best products and the most innovative strategies, you get maximal results fast.
The average whitening office visit takes about an hour. When you get checked in, you’ll start the visit with a professional cleaning. This lets our hygienist scrub and scrape off any tartar or plaque that could get in the way of the whitener.
After that, the teeth whitening process begins.
How the Whitener Works
Dr. Snyder believes that your safety is the most important thing when you’re in her office. Her whitening protocols start out with preparing your mouth to avoid contact with the bleaching chemicals.
Although it won’t hurt you to come into contact with the whitener, it could irritate the sensitive tissues in your mouth and lips. We’ll use a retractor to pull these areas away from the whitener.
Then, we’ll place a layer of protective gel over your gums. The bleach will naturally seep over into the gum line, but the gel keeps the ingredients from irritating your gums.
Finally, the whitening product is applied. This is the part of the treatment that has to be done carefully.
The product has a bleaching agent in it. This is usually hydrogen peroxide, which is harmless at most levels. When it’s in action, though, it has to be used correctly to avoid harm to the enamel or gums.
The way the whitener works is a simple process. Once it comes into contact with your enamel, it spreads into the next layer. This is called dentin, and it’s the part of your tooth that controls the color.
Dentin is very porous. The bleaching agent gets in touch with the pores and causes them to open wider. As soon as they expand enough, the bleach absorbs into the dentin and begins to lighten it.
If the bleach stays in contact with the dentin too long, damage can occur. Dr. Snyder uses a special light that makes the process go faster. The light helps the pores expand more quickly, letting the bleaching agent get in there and do its thing.
The results are high-impact, low-stress whiter teeth in as little as one visit!
Caring for Your Newly Whitened Teeth
The teeth whitening before and aftercare with Dr. Snyder include simple steps. You’ve done the “before;” now, it’s time to take care of your newly whitened teeth!
To ensure your teeth stay picture-perfect as long as possible, follow these tips:
- Stick to the 48-hour “white food” diet Dr. Snyder will talk to you about. The dentin in your teeth is still easily discolored while the pores are open, which lasts about two days after the treatment.
- Practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. This prevents the buildup of debris that could discolor your teeth.
- Get regular check-ups to make sure your mouth is healthy.
- Contact us for touchups if you notice any gradual discoloration.
A whiter smile can be just around the corner for you when you call Dr. Julia Snyder to schedule your treatment!