What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening procedures are performed by using hydrogen peroxide or its derivatives. The materials used release oxygen, which lightens the tooth color. This process allows people with yellow, brown, or gray teeth to achieve whiter teeth.

Tooth whitening should be applied to patients with healthy teeth and gums and good oral hygiene. Teeth whitening procedures, which are a cosmetic procedure, may not be suitable for every patient.

Today, there are many tooth whitening methods that patients can apply themselves or that are applied by a dentist to patients.

The suitable type of tooth whitening method should always be determined by the dentist for the patient.

In-Office Tooth Whitening

In-office tooth whitening is the most effective method among all whitening procedures. Since the peroxide ratios of the bleaching agents used in this procedure are higher, bleaching is faster, and its permanence is longer. Before the tooth whitening procedure is applied, the patient should have a cleaning done for any tartar or plaque to get a more effective result. Before and after the sessions, the color is determined by taking photos of the patient's teeth. The number of sessions to be applied is usually two or three. However, this varies according to the coloration of the tooth. The gums are covered with a protective barrier before the procedure so that they do not get damaged, and then the whitening gel is applied to the teeth. A whitening gel is applied to the teeth for 2 or 3 periods of approximately 15 minutes. The patient is asked to avoid coloring foods (tea, coffee, wine, etc.) and to minimize smoking between the sessions. Sensitivities can be experienced between whitening sessions, but they can be relieved with desensitizing kinds of toothpaste.

At-Home Whitening

In this procedure, the color is determined, and a transparent plaque is produced according to the measurements taken from the patient before the treatment. Bleaching agents containing a lower percentage of carbamide peroxide are used. The transparent plaque and tubes containing bleaching agents are given to the patient. Then, the dentist explains to the patient how to apply them to the teeth. The patient, following the dentist's recommendations, applies the procedure 2 times a day for 2 weeks or just 1-2 weeks before going to sleep at night. The progress of the treatment is watched in weekly controls and changes are made if necessary. The dentist and the patient should decide together on the method to be applied.

What Should Patients Be Careful About After Teeth Whitening?

Consuming very cold or hot things should be avoided for the first few days after the procedure. The patient is given a diet list that must be followed. Also, consuming any type of coloring food or drink should be avoided. Teeth are very sensitive especially the first 3 days. Besides, care should be taken in the first 7-10 days.

Products containing dark colors such as cigarettes, tea, coffee, chocolate, red wine, cherry, caramel, tomato paste should not be used for 1 week following the end of the procedure. Otherwise, the whiteness is likely to disappear and the tooth will return to its former state.

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