Bright, sparkling smiles are not just for the rich and famous. Now anyone can have a white and friendly smile just by visiting a cosmetic dentist. To find out how, take a look at the simple steps outlined below.
Steps to a Whiter, Brighter Smile
- While you can use at-home kits and special toothpastes to whiten your teeth, having it done by a professional (like your dentist) leads to faster results. At-home kits and toothpaste do the job, but the effects are gradual and it could take a long time to see results. If you need your teeth looking pristine for a special occasion, your dentist is the person to see.
- Your dentist is able to safely use stronger bleaching agents than are available for home use, and they may also employ special lights that enhance the effects for even more dramatic results in a hurry.
- A regular professional cleaning is the first step to a whiter smile. The bleaching agent needs clean teeth so that it can properly adhere and work on your enamel. After the cleaning, the hygienist will make sure that all cleaning residue is removed from your teeth.
- Next comes choosing your level of brightness. Not everyone wants to blind others with their teeth and some prefer to gradually bring their smile a bit brighter over time. Your dentist will hold color samples near your teeth, and together you will choose a shade to aspire to. In most cases, a photo of your teeth is taken, allowing for comparison later.
- The bleaching agent is safe for teeth but can irritate gums, so the dentist will protect your gums with a dental dam. A dam is a small, flexible piece of latex. Alternately, your gums might get coated with a gel that is cured with a light. After the whitening is done, the gel is peeled away.
- The whitening process can take several hours and it's advisable that you get comfortable. To help with that, the dentist will insert a retractor inside your cheek area and maybe some gauze — that helps you to keep your mouth open. Protective glasses may be placed on your eyes as well.
- When it comes time to apply the bleaching agent, you can expect a thick, gel-like consistency. In most cases, the gel has to stay on your teeth for a bit to do its job. The amount of time depends on what you and your dentist have in mind. You may get faster results with a longer session, but you can also break the sessions up into shorter stays. In some cases, a light is directed onto your teeth while the agent works to brighten your smile.
- After the session, the whitening agent is removed and you can view the immediate comparison between your new bright smile and your previous one.
To find out more about this quick and easy process, speak to your dentist.