Teeth Whitening FAQs
Have questions about our teeth whitening treatments? Our experts can help.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Teeth whitening is a safe, comfortable way to get a bright, white smile. The dental industry has used this same technology and gel products for many years.
We recommend that pregnant and nursing mothers, children between the ages of 15 and 18, diabetics, those with gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots and those with pre-existing medical or periodontal problems consult their physician/dentist prior to undergoing any whitening procedure. Our treatments are not suitable for children under the age of 15.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Our system will remove most stains with a gentle LED bleaching action that whitens your teeth. As the active ingredients in the gel (carbamide & hydrogen peroxide) are broken down, heat, oxygen and light act upon the stained organic deposits, which oxidizes them into a whiter color. This process makes the overall tooth color closer to its natural unstained color while your tooth structure remains unchanged.
The blue LED light emits a cold blue light, which is why they are so safe. The light cannot burn the skin or gums. The wavelength is typically in the range of 430-490 nanometers. This wavelength activates the peroxide, accelerating the process to provide you with the quickest results possible.
How White Will My Teeth Get?
While other self-administered tray treatments or home kits use a surface-stain removing carbamide peroxide, our in-clinic treatments use an enamel penetrating dental strength hydrogen peroxide, providing you with the best possible results. The amount of whitening varies from client to client, though, and cannot be predicted or guaranteed. In general use, teeth may lighten anywhere from 2 to 12 shades on the whitening shade guide.
Results and treatment time differ due to a number of factors. With all types of bleaching procedures, the degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, nature of the stain, the natural pigment when the adult teeth came in and the density or porosity of the enamel.
Most people will get impressive results while a few will get less dramatic results, but the vast majority of our clients are very satisfied with the results they obtain with our system.
Does Teeth Whitening Effect Fillings, Veneers, or Crowns?
If you have ever chipped or broken a tooth, your dentist may have used a bonding material to repair it. Over time, this material does have the potential to become discoloured. For example, it may become yellowed if you are a coffee-drinker or a smoker, or it could get a grayish or dark look if it was not properly placed and the tooth behind it suffers further damage or decay. It is very important to realize that tooth whitening or bleaching will not help with discoloration of bonded material.
Tooth whitening has little or no effect on restorative materials such as porcelain veneers, bridges or crowns, but it may temporarily reduce the bond strength between enamel and composite restorations. This is why it’s a good idea to check with your dental professional before beginning any course of tooth whitening. If you are scheduled to receive or replace a dental restorative, have your teeth whitened first and then your dentist can match the dental work to your newer brighter natural smile.
When Should I Get My Teeth Whitening If I Am Getting NEW Dental Bonding/Veneers?
You should complete your whitening treatment(s) before you undergo dental bonding. Then your dentist can select the shade of resin that matches your newly whitened smile. If you receive whitening after your bonding procedure, you may find that your natural teeth and the composite resin no longer match.
Policies differ among dentists, but usually you should plan to wait at least 10 to 14 days in between teeth whitening and bonding application so the bond strength is not jeopardized. It also may take a few days for your newly whitened teeth to level out in shade. Let your treating dentist know if you have done any recent teeth whitening.
What If I Have Braces?
Stains after braces can result from plaque, decay or diet and lifestyle during treatment. Bacteria and food particles easily collect around brackets, creating concentrated areas of acidity that can damage the tooth enamel there. Plaque also holds onto pigments, such as from foods, drinks and tobacco, making staining more likely.
After your braces have been removed it is a good idea to wait at least a month before any sort of bleaching or whitening treatment. This will give the newly exposed enamel time to become less sensitive and for any residual adhesive to have work away.
If you are having other dental work done to your front teeth, such as bonding, veneers or implants, you would typically bleach first, then once you reach your desired shade, wait one to two weeks to allow the color to stabilize before having dental work done.
What Causes The White Streaks In Teeth After Teeth Whitening?
White spots on teeth are very common. They may be caused due to a lack of calcium (hypocalcification) in areas of tooth enamel. There are many reasons for white spots to form including family genetics, wearing braces, enamel erosion due to plaque, fluorosis, acid reflux etc.
Whatever the cause for white spots, as stains inside the tooth are removed the white spots can become more prominent. White spots that previously were covered up by stains can become visible. Usually they tend to start blending in after a few days as the tooth regains moisture and after a few weeks should be close to normal levels. For this reason we recommend to whiten your teeth at least two weeks prior to any major event (i.e. wedding, photo shoot, etc…)
Will Teeth Whitening Make My Teeth Sensitive?
Sensitivity from tooth whitening is always transient. That means if there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it goes away within a few days after the treatment, and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity he or she had prior to starting the whitening process. People with existing sensitivity, recently cracked teeth, micro-cracks, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity may find that these conditions increase or prolong tooth sensitivity after the treatment.
If you have traditionally had sensitive teeth, use a desensitizing toothpaste containing potassium nitrate (Sensodyne, Crest Sensi relief, etc.) for at least one month before whitening.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Whitening is not permanent. Typically you can expect whitening to last from a few months to couple of years. This will very from client to client and greatly depends on the types of foods/drinks in your everyday diet and your general dental hygiene habits as well as genetics, age, some medications (like tetracycline), and certain habits (like smoking).
People who expose their teeth to smoking and a lot of foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade much quicker.
Fortunately, maintenance treatments are quick and easy, helping you get that bright, white smile back. We also offer simple products to use at home that will help lengthen the time in between clinic appointments.
Why Can't I Eat Certain Foods After My Whitening Treatment?
It’s important to follow a “white diet” for the first 48 hours free from foods and drinks that can stain teeth. The pores in enamel are open and are more susceptible to absorbing stains in the first 2 days. The diet is the most important factor in maintaining whitening results. Consuming liquids or foods that stain your teeth can nullify the whitening results in just weeks. We suggest drinking coffee through a straw so that it doesn’t touch the front portion of a tooth. Smoking should be avoided. And try to rinse with water immediately after consuming foods or drinks that may stain teeth.