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Does Professional Teeth Whitening Really Work?

While professional tooth whitening has been around for a while now, some people are still skeptical of its benefits. Here at Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we get a lot of questions from people who want whiter teeth, like “How does professional teeth whitening work?” and “Is professional teeth whitening safe?” 

If you’re in pursuit of a whiter smile, you’re certainly not alone. Surveys show that 80% of Americans between the ages of 18 to 49 wish for pearlier whites. Research also shows that people generally have more positive perceptions of people with whiter teeth compared to those with discolored teeth.  

Today we’ll answer some of the most common questions about teeth whitening and shed some more light on this topic. 

How does professional teeth whitening work?

Professional whitening is a completely painless process. It is also relatively quick, taking only about one 60-minute visit to complete.

During the treatment, we apply a special professional-grade whitening gel to your teeth. The peroxide in the gel helps break the chemical bonds between your teeth and the stains on their surface, so it can lift the stains away. 

To get whiter teeth, all you need to do is sit through three 15-minute applications of a stain-removing gel. We rinse off the gel in between each application, with a final rinse at the end. 

Is professional teeth whitening safe? 

Yes, absolutely—professional teeth whitening is a perfectly safe treatment option for those who wish to brighten their smiles. Some people say their teeth are more sensitive to cold temperatures than usual after a whitening treatment, but we find that this sensitivity usually goes away after a day or two. 

In some instances, people with very sensitive gums may experience irritation from the whitening gel. We will do everything we can to fully protect your gums during the treatment, and can help with any irritation afterward. 

It’s also important to remember that professional whitening is not a permanent solution, because tooth discoloration can reappear over time. For this reason, we highly recommend avoiding staining foods and beverages such as red wine, berries, coffee, dark sodas, and soy sauce for the first 24 hours after treatment. If you do indulge in these types of foods and drinks later on, make sure to drink some water and then wait 15 to 30 minutes to brush and floss to maintain your white smile. 

Professional teeth whitening vs at-home whitening—which is better?

Go to any drugstore or major retailer, and you’ll find a wide variety of at-home teeth whitening kits, toothpastes, and mouthwashes available. While the allure of a cheaper treatment done at home may be tempting, there are some definite disadvantages that often make an at-home solution cost more in the end. 

At-Home Treatments Take More Time

A professional teeth whitening treatment takes one hour. At-home treatments take considerably longer, usually requiring days or weeks to achieve the brightness you want. And, if you do not follow the at-home directions down to the letter, you may not get the results you were expecting. 

Inconsistent Results

With professional whitening, your dentist will ensure that the whitening gel is properly placed on every surface of your teeth. They will also talk to you about replacing any fillings, crowns, or other dental to match your new, whiter smile. 

With an at-home kit, all you have are the directions on the box and a mirror to check your application. Products like whitening strips often leave you with whiter teeth in the front, but not in the back, or some teeth whiter than others. Plus, over-the-counter treatments are simply not as strong as professional-grade whitening gels.

Possible Risks

Like professional treatments, at-home whitening gels also contain peroxides. During professional whitening, your dentist takes great care to ensure that the whitening gel does not get onto your gums and cause irritation. When using an at-home product, there is a much greater risk of irritating and even burning your gums.

Additionally, at-home tooth whiteners can possibly damage tooth enamel or cause tooth sensitivity when used incorrectly or too frequently.

Professional Teeth Whitening in Glendale, Arizona

Whether you are preparing for a job interview, wedding season photos, or just want to feel better about your smile, professional tooth whitening is a safe and effective way of brightening your teeth. Call Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry to book a professional teeth whitening treatment today at 623-526-1154

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash