To many, having white teeth is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
And while there are plenty of at-home options available (like whitening strips), some people prefer to have their smile brightened by a professional in the office.
To prepare for teeth whitening, you can follow these steps:
- Check with your dentist to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy for whitening treatment.
- Avoid consuming staining agents, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco, for at least a day before the treatment.
- Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to remove any plaque or food particles that could prevent the whitening agent from coming into contact with your teeth.
- If you have sensitive teeth, consider using sensitivity toothpaste a few days before the treatment to help reduce sensitivity during the procedure.
- Follow any specific instructions provided by your dentist or the manufacturer of the whitening product.
By following these steps, you can help ensure that your teeth whitening treatment is as effective as possible.
What You Need
The process used during an in-office whitening session will vary depending on whether you choose Zoom® teeth whitening or another brand/product. However, both methods require you to undergo a thorough dental examination from a qualified dentist.
In addition, you’ll need to take care of several other things before your visit.
Get Professional Dental Cleaning First
Before even considering teeth whitening, you should schedule a professional dental cleansing. A professional cleaning will remove any plaque, tartar buildup, stains, and debris from your teeth.
This will ensure that when your teeth are exposed to the whitening gel, they’re as clean as possible.
Protect Yourself From Sensitive Teeth
One of the most common side effects of in-office whitening procedures is temporary tooth sensitivity. If this happens to you, try using ice chips or cold rinses to reduce the pain.
You may also want to use a desensitizing toothpaste if the discomfort becomes too much to bear.
Apply the Whitening Gel Carefully
While the whitening gel itself isn’t harmful to your teeth, applying it directly to your gums could irritate them. That’s why it’s essential to use the whitening gel carefully so that only your teeth are treated.
Do not swallow the whitening gel! Also, do not rinse out after application.
Be Patient With Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums can sometimes occur following a whitening treatment. This is especially true if your gums are already irritated due to gum disease or periodontal problems.
However, bleeding gums shouldn’t last long once you finish your treatment. So, don’t worry if you notice blood around your mouth immediately following your appointment.
Watch Out for Tooth Sensitivity
Another potential side effect of in-office whitening sessions is tooth sensitivity. While this isn’t usually a problem for patients who opt for Zoom®, it can be painful for those who choose a different method.
To avoid this unpleasant experience, keep in mind that you won’t be able to eat anything for 30 minutes after your treatment, including brushing your teeth.
Also, avoid hot and cold foods for 48 hours after your treatment since these can aggravate the area.
Expect Some Tenderness After Treatment
After your treatment has concluded, expect to feel tenderness within 24 hours. It’s normal for your gums to ache slightly for up to 72 hours.
Again, this doesn’t happen often, but it does mean that you should watch how hard you chew food for the next few days.
What Happens During Your Treatment
When you arrive at your dentist’s office for your whitening treatment, they will ask you to complete a short questionnaire regarding your medical history and current medications.
Then, the dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam to determine which type of whitening treatment would be ideal for you.
Once you’ve had a chance to discuss the various options with your dentist, you’ll begin your in-office whitening treatment.
Whitening Gel Applied
Next, the dentist will apply a thin layer of the whitening gel onto each of your teeth.
Depending on the brand/method you chose, the time required for your treatment to finish varies.
For example, some brands allow you to use them for 20 minutes daily over two weeks. Others offer a single 45-minute session.
Follow Up With Regular Visits
Following your treatment, you’ll likely see a noticeable improvement in just a few days. But, because your teeth continue to absorb the whitening agent throughout the week, it’s recommended that you return to the dentist every three months for maintenance visits.
How Long Will It Take?
It depends on the number of sessions you decide to go through, the length of each session, and what type of whitening system you choose.
For instance, Zoom® allows you to use its products for ten days, while other systems allow for 7 to 14 days.
As mentioned earlier, the length of each session will depend on the brand/method you choose.
Some companies recommend doing multiple sessions yearly, whereas others suggest going weekly.
Regardless of how frequently you plan to use your whitening kit, you must always follow your dentist’s instructions.
Is There A Cost?
Yes, like any other cosmetic dental treatment, whitening kits can cost anywhere from $100-$500 or higher.
Your price will largely depend on your company choice and where you live.
Remember that prices can change based on location, so you’ll want to contact your local dentist before purchasing.
Can I Do It At Home?
Although home whitening kits work well for some people, they aren’t suitable for everyone. And, unlike in-office whitening, there’s no way to guarantee results.
So, unless you enjoy DIY projects, we recommend leaving the whitening gel in the hands of professionals.
The Bottom Line
If you haven’t gone to the dentist in six months or longer, now’s the perfect time to book an appointment for your annual checkup.
From here, you can discuss the many options available for whitening your teeth, including professional in-office whitening treatments.
You might also consider scheduling a consultation with a cosmetic dentist to learn more about other cosmetic dental treatments such as veneers, crowns, implants, etc.
Whatever you choose, know that taking care of your teeth is one of the best investments you can make.
Zoom® Teeth Whitening
Zoom® offers several whitening solutions, from simple strips to professional in-office treatments.
Each option has pros and cons, so you’ll have to decide which works best for you.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Zoom® Professional Whitening Kit contains everything you need for professional in-office whitening.
- Zoom® Smile White Strips – These strips provide similar benefits to in-office whitening without the hassle.
- Zoom® Zoom! Whitening Kit – This kit provides excellent value for money thanks to the combination of Zoom® whitening gel and Zoom® light technology.
No matter which option you choose, we encourage you to speak with a cosmetic dentist before starting your new whitening regimen.