How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

There are so many options out there for teeth whitening it can be a little overwhelming. There are teeth whitening strips, special toothpastes and mouthwashes, charcoal powders, and even turmeric pastes! But how effective are these methods? Yes, these techniques have been proven to whiten your teeth, however, if you’re not going to an expert like Chattanooga cosmetic dentists Drs. Chris and Amber Robertson, chances are that you won’t be seeing fast or drastic results. Why? Because our dentists have access to top-of-the-line teeth whitening products that are not available over the counter. If you’re unsure of how the process works, here are some common questions that we can answer for you today!

Can Teeth Whitening Damage Your Teeth?

No, the teeth whitening process does not damage your teeth. In fact, tooth enamel is considered one of the strongest tissues in the human body. During the teeth whitening process, the substance used to whiten your teeth will actually travel through your enamel beneath the surface of your tooth in order to remove the underlying stains of your teeth. These are the stains that are hard to reach using normal methods like brushing your teeth. Although you will feel sensitivity after the process, don’t fear that this is because damage has been done to your teeth. The pores of your teeth have simply been opened up and cleaned, which makes your teeth susceptible to pain from certain foods or temperatures.

Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

During the process of teeth whitening, the gel used has an active ingredient that targets stains beneath your enamel in a lower tissue level called dentin. As the teeth whitening substance becomes activated, it leaves your teeth tubules open and exposed—this also leads to your tooth’s nerve tissue to be exposed. The tubules will close once the tooth becomes re-hydrated, but, in the meantime, because of all the exposure, it’s best to avoid foods that have extreme temperatures or even certain foods that are high in sugar or salt as this might also irritate your nerve tissue.

Will Teeth Whitening Remove White Spots?

Some people find white spots on their teeth undesirable and unattractive. With a simple teeth whitening treatment, you can reduce the visibility of these white spots. Although you can use teeth whitening strips to do this, we recommend going to a professional and opting for a teeth whitening treatment as you’ll see faster, better, and longer-lasting results.

When Can I Eat After My Teeth Whitening Procedure?

The first 24-hours after a teeth whitening treatment are very important. Since your teeth’s tubules are still open and exposed, this means that you can potentially un-do your dentist’s work by consuming items that are dark in color. After your treatment, we highly suggest that you do not eat or drink items that have colors, including using toothpaste of a different color other than white, and not to smoke for the first 24-hours. You can eat and drink after your procedure, but if you’d like to keep your teeth as white as possible, we recommend eating only white or clear food and drink for the first 24-hours—this way, you won’t accidentally stain your teeth while your tubules are still open.

What Does The Teeth Whitening Treatment Do?

Over time, the food and drink you consume will continuously stain your teeth. We try to do our best with brushing our teeth in order to keep the stains away, but, as previously stated, there are areas that even your toothbrush can’t reach. Beneath your teeth’s enamel is another layer of tissue named dentin. The dentin is the main area targeted during the teeth whitening process as it’s where our hard to reach stains lie. Using a bleaching compound that gets under your enamel, a process called oxidation reaction will occur and will break up the particles that are staining your teeth.

Contact Your Local Dentist In Chatanooga!

Ready for a teeth whitening session? Maybe you’re interested in other procedures such as Invisalign, orthodontics, or dental implants. Not to worry! The doctors on our staff are experts at multiple dental services—even pediatric dentistry! Schedule an appointment for these or other services today!