Your First Teeth Whitening Appointment: Questions You Might Have

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Your First Teeth Whitening Appointment: Questions You Might Have

5 November 2019
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Having your teeth whitened at the dentist is one of the most effective ways to improve the appearance of your smile. However, if this is the first time you'll be going in for such a procedure, you might have a few questions before your dentist begins work.

Whitening toothpaste did not do much; will professional whitening be more effective?

Patients sometimes assume that if whitening toothpaste did not work, their teeth are somehow immune to whitening treatments in general. But this is really not the way things work. Whitening toothpastes are a very mild whitening choice. They work by abrading the stain from the surface of the tooth. You might end up with teeth that are a shade or two whiter after using whitening toothpaste for some time, but the results won't be dramatic, and deep stains won't go away. Whitening treatments administered by your dentist are different. They actually bleach the color from the tooth, giving you results that are many shades whiter. They work even for patients who have noticed no difference with whitening toothpaste.

Will whitening hurt?

Whitening may cause a little sensitivity in your teeth. Some patients notice this when the procedure is going on, but for most patients, it's not an issue that comes up until you come home. You should really only experience sensitivity when you eat or drink hot or cold items. And the symptom should fade away completely within a few weeks, especially if you use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Whitening does not cause outright pain.

How long will the results last?

The results last as long as you take actions to avoid staining your teeth again! Some patients need retreatment in a year, and others can go five years without another treatment. If are careful to brush your teeth twice per day, and to avoid staining foods like wine and dark beer, your teeth should stay white for several years. The staining will reappear gradually, and you can have another whitening treatment whenever you feel it's time.

Do you have to follow any specific instructions during recovery?

Your dentist will probably tell you to avoid eating or drinking anything other than water for a few hours after treatment. This is just to prevent staining and sensitivity while your enamel is soft from the treatment. Beyond that, there is no specific aftercare required.

If you have any lingering questions about teeth whitening, talk to your dentist or visit websites like