What You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

As one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening has the power to alter your smile. If you're new to the practice, it's time to learn more about what it involves and the impact it can have.

Teeth Whitening Solutions Come in Different Strengths

Most teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When these products activate, they interact with the oxygen in your mouth to lift stains. Although all the products work in the same way, different strengths are available. Strength percentages range between 15 to 40 percent, but you're only likely to find the stronger ones in your dentist's office. Only dentists can prescribe high-strength products, as there's legislation in place to ensure they're used safely.

Not Everyone has the Same Results

Using a high-strength product doesn't mean you'll get the same results as someone else who does so too. At the start of your appointment, your dentist will probably show you a shade card that illustrates the type of results you can expect. Fortunately, this all means that you can achieve pearly whites that look natural. Aiming for a smile that's overly bright and white won't deliver the same aesthetic appeal as achieving one that suits your personal profile.

You May Experience Temporary Sensitivity

The way your teeth respond to a whitening solution depends on how sensitive they are and can vary between appointments. One way that dentists offset this is through varying the solutions and using custom-fitting trays. By reducing the amount of gum your solution comes into contact with, they can prevent irritation and, hopefully, lessen the sensitivity.

The Results Last if You Treat Teeth Well

If you want the results of your teeth whitening to last as long as possible, you need to treat your teeth well. Avoid drinking staining liquids such as coffee and red wine. If you smoke, you should quit. Most importantly of all, make sure you use top-up products if your dentist provides them to you. Using top-up products helps you avoid having to undergo lengthy treatments in the future, so you can save money and make your teeth stay whiter longer.

Your Oral Health Needs to Be Good

Finally, before whitening your teeth your dentist will want to know that you're in good oral health. If you have gum disease or it's time for a filling, they'll ask you to undertake those treatments first. After they're done, you'll be on your way to a smile that's brighter and healthier.