Discover the science behind a bright, white smile
How Does Teeth Whitening Work ?
You already know that whitening works, but do you know how?
Stains on teeth can be classified in one of two ways: extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains live between the microcracks in your enamel and deep within your dentine (the layer of your tooth underneath your enamel). Whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses may be able to remove some of the extrinsic stains on your teeth. But only teeth whitening agents can remove the stubborn extrinsic stains and the unsightly intrinsic stains that cause your teeth to look discoloured.
Opalescence gels contain an active whitening ingredient (either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) that penetrates your enamel to get to discolored molecules. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agents react with the discolored molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together. The oxygen molecules spread, whitening the entire tooth. As a result, you are left with a brighter, whiter smile.
Is teeth whitening for everyone?
Teeth whitening is a safe, comfortable way to get a bright, white smile. Results and treatment time may vary depending on the level of staining and whiteness desired. Crowns, bridges, fillings, and veneers will not whiten. We recommend visiting your dentist for a pre-whitening consult so that they can help you choose the professional option that best fits your needs.
How long do teeth whitening results last?
Teeth whitening results are very stable, leaving you with a stunning smile long after treatment is over. However, there are a few factors that can make teeth lose their luster. Things like genetics, diet, age, some medications (like tetracycline), and certain habits (like smoking) may affect the length of your whitening results. Fortunately, touch-up treatments are quick and easy, helping you get that bright, white smile back.
Will teeth whitening cause tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is a relatively common side effect of teeth whitening. If sensitivity occurs, it is often temporary and will go away once you've completed the whitening process. Opalescence products include desensitizing ingredients like potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity and provide additional comfort.
Will teeth whitening weaken my teeth?
Opalescence tooth whitening gel contains PF (potassium nitrate and fluoride), which helps maintain the health of enamel throughout the whitening process.
What options are available to whiten my teeth?
Opalescence has been specially formulated and is available in many different concentrations, delivery options, and flavours. This means that you can whiten in a way that best fits your lifestyle. Whether you want to whiten your teeth with a custom tray, prefilled tray, or with an in-office whitening treatment, Opalescence has a professional whitening option for you.
I've heard of some whitening treatments that require a bright light to be shined on my teeth. Are these lights really effective?
Lots of other in-office whitening treatments use a light or a laser during the whitening process. You've probably seen commercials for these kinds of teeth whiteners. Or maybe you've even seen kiosks in the mall where they'll use a light to whiten your teeth. Are these lights and lasers really effective, though?
The answer is no. Current research shows that hydrogen peroxide alone (the whitening agent used in Opalescence Boost) is effective in whitening teeth, and that light activation adds no additional benefit.
What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is the removal of stains and discolorations from the enamel and dentin. The outer layer of the tooth is enamel, and beneath the enamel is dentin. Enamel is thin and typically much lighter in color, while dentin is darker in color and makes up the bulk of the tooth. Enamel can be discolored over time simply from age, but also from outside sources like coffee, tea, tobacco, and other foods and beverages. Also, as we age, our enamel thins, causing more dentin to show through, making the overall appearance of the tooth look darker. Whitening your teeth removes these stains and discolorations, giving you a whiter, brighter smile.
Can you whiten non-vital teeth?
Yes! Opalescence® Endo is designed specifically to whiten non-vital teeth. Consider talking to your dentist to learn more about the process for whitening a non-vital tooth.
Can I whiten a crown or a filling?
No, only natural tooth structure can be whitened, any crowns or fillings that you have will not react to whitening products. If you have a crown or a filling that is easily visible, you may want to talk to your dentist about different options for improving your smile.
Is there anyone who should not whiten their teeth?
Pregnant women, those with gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots should not whiten their teeth.
Why should I whiten my teeth?
People whiten their teeth for many reasons. You can bring back some of that youthful appearance with a whiter, brighter smile. Do you have a wedding or important day coming up? A whiter smile can help brighten up special occasions. Some people whiten their teeth before a job interview to get that extra boost of confidence that comes with making a great first impression.
According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, “close to one in two (48%) people believe that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone—more so than the first thing a person says (25%).” That same survey also found that “more than a third of respondents view people with a flawed smile to be less attractive (37%) and less confident (25%) than those with perfect teeth.” Smiles make a lasting impression and a bright, white, beautiful smile won’t be forgotten. People seem to agree—nothing beats a beautiful smile!
How long does it take to whiten?
Everyone responds differently to whitening treatments and everyone will whiten at different rates. Some stains are easier to treat than others. Teeth that are yellow or brown are easier to whiten than teeth that are grey/blue. Younger patients typically whiten more quickly than older patients, but every patient is different.
When whitening, keep in mind that your smile looks most natural when the color of your teeth matches the whites of your eyes. Some people want a Hollywood white smile, but that is not a natural color for teeth and few people can actually reach that color of white. Consider consulting with your dentist to help determine the perfect shade of white for you.