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Teeth Whitening: Your Guide to Brighter, Healthier Smiles

A brighter and healthier smile leads to a brighter and healthier you. Welcome to an expert guide curated for those who eager to unveil the secrets of teeth whitening. At Bellevue Dentist, your smile is our specialty. We understand the significance of a dazzling smile and its impact on your self-assurance. Join us on a journey through teeth whitening as we unravel the mysteries behind various methods and empower you with the knowledge to achieve a luminous smile. Whether navigating through stains or seeking professional guidance, our comprehensive insights will illuminate your path to a radiant, beaming smile.



What is Teeth Whitening


Teeth whitening involves lightening teeth color and eliminating superficial and deep stains. This can be achieved using bleaching agents like carbamide or hydrogen peroxide or non-bleaching methods such as  stain removal techniques.


Teeth whitening using bleaching agents requires cautious handling. The concentration and duration of peroxide application directly impact the risk of tooth sensitivity. At-home teeth bleaching products typically contain up to 20% peroxide, whereas in-office treatments may utilize up to 43%, carefully administered by dental professionals to minimize sensitivity risks.



Types of Teeth Stains: What Causes Tooth Discoloration


  • Intrinsic or Internal Stains: Tooth discoloration due to aging, types of medications, and health conditions.
  • Extrinsic or External Stains: Tooth discoloration from acidic foods and beverages, poor oral hygiene, or tobacco.

Teeth whitening options can resolve either or both types of stains. Below are teeth whitening options you can do at home and teeth whitening options you can expect in a dentist’s office.



Natural Teeth Whiteners


Before teeth can be light, they need to be strong and healthy.


  • Good Oral Hygiene: Brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps strengthen the enamel. Flossing once a day ensures no hidden scraps can encourage bacteria to eat away the outer layer of the tooth. Finally, drinking fluoridated water ensures the integrity of the enamel layer.
  • Diet: Food rich in calcium and phosphates adds to the strength of the enamel layer. High-fiber fruits and vegetables stimulate saliva flow and help clean away enamel-thinning plaque from the teeth.


At-Home Whitening Kits


Dental products with the ADA seal guarantee safety and efficacy through independent studies. Talk to your dentist first to know which product is best for your unique case.


  • Tooth Whitening Sticky Strips or Gels: Does not contain as many peroxide-based bleaching agents. Therefore, it must be applied 1-2 times a day for up to two weeks to make teeth 1-2 shades lighter. Results can last for four months or more. This technique is not as effective as office bleaching and is usually used after the office bleaching to maintain the result.
  • Teeth Whitening Trays: A mouthguard tray is filled with peroxide-based gel and can be worn several hours a day for up to 30 days. It can be store-bought or have a custom-fit version from your dentist. With dentist-supervised trays, teeth lightening can last a year or more.


In-Office Teeth Whitening


General dentists perform teeth whitening services. In-office teeth whitening is the most effective, safe, and long asting treatment, especially if it is followed by at-home teeth whitening technique for maintenance. Consider the natural color of your teeth and how white you want them to be in choosing your teeth whitening options.



Who Should Get In-Office Teeth Whitening?


If you desire whiter teeth, have tooth staining, or discoloration, teeth whitening is for you.

However, this treatment is not for those who are, pregnant, or taking certain medications. As much as a dentist’s supervision will ensure minimal teeth sensitivity, sensitive teeth can also aggravate those with chronic conditions. 

Those with gum or teeth issues must resolve them before whitening them. For example, if an individual needs dental restoration like a dental crown, its color may not match a lightened tooth. The goal of teeth whitening is for uniform whiteness. Your dentist will discuss your dental plans with you ahead of time if you choose to lighten your teeth.



Is Teeth Whitening Safe? What are the Risks and Potential Complications


  • Gum Irritation: To avoid irritation of the gums, the dentists skillfully apply the whitening gel on the teeth while after isolating the gum to avoid the gum irritation.
  • Increased Teeth Sensitivity: This side effect is anticipated as the whitening solution can be absorbed into the tooth and irritate the nerve. Dental supervision, follow-up check-ups, and homeware instructions ensure minimal discomfort.


What to Expect During Teeth Whitening Treatment


Ensure your teeth are clean and you have eaten something since the procedure may take 60 to 90 minutes. Some individuals may require several sessions depending on the extent of discoloration. Here are the steps that you can expect during teeth whitening treatment:


  1. While sitting in the dentist’s chair, you will give your teeth a professional dental cleaning first.
  2. The dentist will then swab your mouth and gums with gel or paste to protect you from the irritating sensation caused by the whiteners.
  3. They will then apply the whitening gel on your teeth, shining a special light  on the applied substance to activate/expedite the procedure.


Home Care Instructions after Teeth Whitening


Avoid food and drinks that stain teeth in the first 48 hours. Instead, choose non-acidic and calcium-rich foods that are light in color.


Contact your dentist if you experience the following:

  • Gum bleeding 
  • Tremendous pain in teeth and gums
  • Allergic reactions


How Long will In-Office Teeth Whitening Last?


With proper care and healthy habits, whitened teeth can last 1-3 years. Smoking and eating colorful and acidic foods and drinks can lessen its lifespan. Using teeth-whitening toothpaste and at-home tooth whitening can prolong the duration of whitened teeth, as well as touch-up treatments every 1-2 years. Here at “Bellevue Dentist”, after the office bleaching technique, you will be provided with a custom whitening tray with the home bleaching gels to maintain the desired result.


Achieve Your Brightest Smile – Schedule Your Appointment Today!


At Bellevue Dentist, we are dedicated to helping you achieve a radiant, confident smile through our comprehensive teeth whitening services. Our expert prosthodontist, Dr. Siamak Najafi, and acclaimed cosmetic dentist, Dr. Don Jayne, offer personalized treatments tailored to your unique needs.

Ready to brighten your smile and regain your confidence? Schedule an appointment with us today to start your journey towards a dazzling smile that leaves a lasting impression.





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