Teeth Whitening

Tooth enamel can become stained or change color over time. This can be caused by several things:

  • Illness.

  • Staining foods or drinks (berries, coffee, red wine).

  • Genetics.

  • Some medications.

Professional teeth whitening by a dentist has become more popular over the years. Over-the-counter whitening kits just don’t provide the results patients want to see. Professional whitening produces better results in less time. The in-office whiteners are stronger than over-the-counter kits and usually only take 60 to 90 minutes.

While in-office whitening is fairly simple, it does require skill to avoid gum damage. To make the whitening agent stronger, more peroxide is used, so your dentist will use either a protective gel or a thin sheet of rubber to protect your mouth. Specialized equipment may be needed for the procedure. A laser or light may be used to enhance the peroxide effects.

After treatment, teeth may be sensitive to extreme temperatures for a while. If the side effects don’t go away in a couple of days, you should call the office.

For 24 hours after a treatment, you should avoid foods that with higher staining potential, including tea, beets, black grapes, tomato juice, and yellow mustard.