How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Posted by Dr. Nguyen Aug 15, 2022

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Your smile can be one of your best assets. It can instantly make you more attractive and confident in various social settings. Unfortunately, genetics, certain foods, aging and poor oral hygiene can cause teeth to become discoloured over time. Although you can’t eliminate some of these problems, you can always restore your pearly whites with teeth whitening.

Many persons view teeth whitening as a worthwhile investment. According to a 2021 report, 41% of patients viewed teeth whitening as a desirable treatment. A 2017 report also shows how much people are spending to whiten their teeth. It revealed that global teeth whitening products were valued at US$5.56 billion in 2016 and are expected to be worth US$7.4 billion in 2024. 

The team at Legacy Dental is qualified to perform professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. We will examine your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for professional teeth whitening and address any concerns you may have. In this article, we will discuss teeth whitening and what you can expect during the process.

What is Teeth Whitening?

This is a cosmetic dental care procedure that involves the use of hydrogen peroxide to disintegrate molecules that discolour teeth. It effectively lightens your teeth by several shades without damaging the enamel.

How to Prepare for Your Appointment?

To get started, your dentist or dental hygienist will examine your teeth to see if there are cavities or other problems that may interfere with the procedure. Not only are teeth whitening ineffective in removing stains caused by tooth decay, but it can also cause further damage to the tooth. If you don’t have this issue then they will proceed to clean your teeth to remove food particles, built-up bacteria or anything else so that your teeth are properly prepared for the treatment.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

During the consultation and examination, your dentist would have discovered the cause for the stains and yellowing of the teeth. They would then determine whether to perform an intrinsic or extrinsic teeth whitening.

Intrinsic Teeth Whitening

The examination may reveal that your discolouration started inside of your teeth but shows on the exterior, hence the intrinsic approach. intrinsic stains are usually caused by aging, oral trauma caused by internal bleeding, excessive ingestion of fluoride or exposure to tetracycline and other minerals during tooth formation. To treat this, the dentist will apply a hydrogen peroxide gel to penetrate the stains and lighten the appearance of your teeth.

Extrinsic Teeth Whitening

Your dentist will take a different approach to treat superficial or extrinsic stains which may be caused by the following:

  • Red wine
  • Curries
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Highly pigmented berries
  • Sodas
  • Smoking 
  • Wear and tear associated with aging

Thankfully, extrinsic stains are easier to treat. The dentist will apply bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove the stains.

What to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Session?

It may be reassuring to know that the dentist will use barriers and guards to protect your lips, gums and tongue during the process. They will then apply the whitening product to your teeth. Depending on the type of product, they may use a curing light or laser to activate the ingredients. The product is rinsed off after 15 to 20 minutes and then reapplied for another round or more. The dentist will apply a fluoride solution to combat sensitivity once you have achieved your desired shade. 

To maintain your restored smile, your dentist may give you customized teeth trays and teeth whitening gel for at-home treatments. For most people, the results last between six months to two years. They can book follow-up appointments to maintain their smile.

At Legacy Dental our dental hygienists and dentists are trained to whiten teeth using intrinsic and extrinsic approaches so that you can achieve the bright smile you’ve always wanted. For more information on our teeth whitening services visit our site.

Are You Looking for Teeth Whitening Services in Edmonton, AB?

Professional teeth whitening is an effective, safe and pain-free solution that provides lasting results. At Legacy Dental we are trained and equipped to offer this treatment so that you can restore your winning smile. Contact us today to make an appointment. You can also reach us by calling (825) 467-8888 or by sending an email to

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