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Elena C Puig, DMD, PA
Reshma J. Patel, DMDAesthetic & Restorative Dentistry   •   Cosmetic Dentistry - Orlando, FL
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Teeth Whitening FAQs

There are several reasons you might consider whitening your teeth. If you have looked in the mirror and noticed that your teeth seem yellow, brown, or beige, you may feel a little self-conscious when you smile or talk. Tea, coffee, and cola can stain the teeth. Smoking, food, and certain medications can also discolor your teeth.

When you speak or laugh, people notice your teeth. Dingy-looking teeth can dull your smile and make your mouth look unhealthy, which is why many people turn to teeth whitening before participating in events such as weddings or other special occasions. Whitening your teeth can make your feel more confident when you are in a situation where your smile is a focal point.

There are many do-it-yourself teeth whiteners on the market, and some people notice improvements when using them. However, these products do not provide the long-term whitening you get from products your dentist uses. Our dental team uses effective and safe whitening procedures to achieve the desired results.

Thinking about teeth whitening? Consider answers to some frequently asked questions if you are considering teeth whitening but are unsure if it is right for you.

How Does Teeth Whitening Remove Stains?

“Bleaching” is the term often used for whitening teeth. Whitening products use hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to remove stains from teeth surfaces.

Are Do-it-Yourself, Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits Effective?

Whitening strips and other over-the-counter products may remove some stains from the teeth, and you may notice a difference after using them, but the level of active ingredients is typically low. On the other hand, products sold online that guarantee quick results may contain peroxide in amounts that can damage tooth enamel. Our dental team can help you with safe, effective whitening to help you achieve the look you want.

How Does Dr. Patel Whiten Teeth?

We use a treatment known as Zoom! We apply a light-activated whitening gel to clean teeth. Next, Dr. Patel places a bleaching light on the teeth to break down the gel, which permits oxygen to enter the tooth enamel and dentin, the part of the tooth just beneath the enamel. The procedure removes stains by bleaching them, giving you whiter and brighter teeth. Our process does not harm the teeth. Zoom! can make your teeth whiter in just one session.

Once your complete your treatments, you will get a Zoom! touch-up kit with gel and custom-fitted trays to use at home. You should follow the provided instructions to ensure you maintain your healthy smile.

Should I Be Concerned about the Zoom! Lamp?

The Zoom! lamp is safe. While the lamp is in use, you will wear eye protection that prevents your eyes from exposure to UV light. Lip retractors and special gels protect lips and soft tissue from irritation from the whitening gel.

Should I have my teeth cleaned before the whitening procedure?

Whitening works best on clean teeth. Cleaning the teeth removes plaque and tartar that can interfere with the process. You can schedule your cleaning and whitening on the same day.

Does Whitening Work on all teeth?

Teeth Whitening does not work on stains caused by antibiotics taken during childhood and may not reduce grayness or yellowing caused by aging. It also does not treat discolored crowns, fillings, or implants. Trauma to a tooth can also lead to discoloration that does not respond to whitening. However, replacing dental work to match newly whitened teeth is an option.

Will I Feel Pain While Having My Teeth Whitened?

Teeth whitening does not cause pain. However, after your whitening, it is not unusual to experience some sensitivity for 1-2 days after teeth whitening.

Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

The bleaching process during teeth whitening can leave the teeth sensitive. The sensitivity is due to some minerals lost from the enamel during bleaching. As a result, the enamel becomes porous, exposing the tiny tubes that house the nerves. You may feel an unusual sensation when eating cold, hot, or sugary food and drinks. The good news is that sensitivity is usually temporary, and as the minerals in the enamel return, the sensation goes away.

How Long Will I need to wait before I can eat or drink?

You can eat 4-6 hours after your procedure. Avoid foods that stain the teeth. Light-colored foods like skinless chicken or turkey, mashed potatoes, white rice, and low-fat milk are better choices. Plain water from the tap is a good choice and has beneficial fluoride. Within 24-28 hours, you should be able to return to a regular diet, but remember that particular food and drinks can stain your beautiful teeth.

When Will I Notice a Difference in My Teeth?

Your results will depend on how stained your teeth were before undergoing the whitening process; however, immediately after your treatment, you should notice that your teeth are several shades whiter.

How Often Can I Have My Teeth Whitened?

After getting Zoom! whitening, you should wait about one year before going through the process again. Whitening the teeth more often can weaken the enamel and increase sensitivity. Dr. Patel will advise you on caring for your teeth. Be careful about the foods you eat and drink and practice good dental hygiene to keep your smile looking fresh.

If you want a whiter smile that can give you more confidence, give Dr. Reshma J. Patel, and her team a call. You can ask questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision. Dr. Patel will evaluate your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for teeth whitening. If your teeth may not respond well to whitening, Dr. Patel will discuss alternatives that may work for you.

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