Over half of American adults over 50 that were surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry agreed that a smile is the physical feature that continues to be the most attractive as people age. With this information, it’s no wonder that cosmetic dentistry is such a popular choice. It helps to make your teeth whiter and straighter and can fill gaps where teeth have been removed.
The teeth whitening process is a common procedure for people to have done. Our teeth can become yellow over time due to a large number of things. Smoking, drinking coffee, and consuming sugary foods and drinks can all stain your teeth. If you’ve considered having teeth whitening services performed but you’re unsure about the process, read on for more information on how it all works.
The Teeth Whitening Process
The teeth whitening process is relatively simple, although it does require skill and multiple forms of protection for the rest of your mouth. It can be a bit of an uncomfortable procedure due to the coverings that have to protect your gums and keep your teeth dry. However, it only takes about 30 to 60 minutes per visit and is over before you know it. The steps in the process are:
- A record of your current tooth shade will be taken in order to track progress.
- Your teeth will be polished with pumice in order to remove any plaque that is built up. This plaque can get in the way of the whitening process, so this is an important step.
- Your mouth will be protected with gauze and gum liners so that the solution doesn’t get anywhere but your teeth. The gauze also helps to keep your teeth dry so that the solution can stick.
- Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may be moved with retractors so they don’t get into the solution.
- Your teeth are coated with a whitening solution that is left on for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Your teeth are rinsed and fluoride can be applied to help protect against tooth sensitivity.
The process is very straight forward, but it can sometimes take multiple visits before the shade you want is achieved. You will also want to avoid foods and drinks that contain high pigment levels for the next day or so. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might want to consider using a straw to avoid getting it on your teeth.
How to Schedule a Teeth Whitening Session
Scheduling a session is as easy as calling your local cosmetic dentist and scheduling a consultation. You can also bring it up with your family dentist and ask for a referral.