What you need to know about at-home teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is quickly becoming a popular and more accessible cosmetic treatment for those seeking a whiter and brighter smile. By using advanced bleaching agents and laser light technology, teeth whitening can lighten your teeth by up to 8 shades.

How does teeth whitening work?

At JJS Dentistry, we provide both professional in-chair bleaching and take-home whitening kits that help you achieve your desired results. For in-chair bleaching, we use the renowned Philips Zoom® Teeth Whitening method, a leading bleaching treatment recommended and used by dental professionals worldwide.

Before the teeth whitening treatment can begin, your gums need to be covered by a special agent to protect them from the bleaching agent. The whitening gel is then applied to a tray that fits over your teeth, and a special laser light is applied to activate the agent. During this process, the whitening agents break down the discoloured molecules in your teeth and cause oxygen molecules to spread, leaving your teeth whiter and brighter.

How do at-home kits work?

At-home teeth whitening kits work similarly to in-chair bleaching, but you will do all the work yourself. This allows you the convenience of doing the treatment in your own home and at your leisure. However, your oral hygienist needs to explain the process thoroughly and show you how to use the kit to avoid causing damage to your teeth. 

Take-home whitening kits contain different strengths of hydrogen peroxide that you apply to your custom trays and wear for 15-45 minutes, depending on the strength of the gel. Your oral hygienist will advise on a strength for you and how to use the kit.

Receiving your teeth whitening kit

The first step with teeth whitening is determining if you are a candidate. You will need to consult your oral hygienist to determine if you are a candidate and what treatment would work best for you. 

Teeth whitening does not remove harsh stains and won’t work on dental prosthetics or false teeth, such as dentures and crowns. Therefore, you need to have all your natural teeth intact and healthy gums to do both in-chair bleaching and at-home whitening. 

Your oral hygienist will also suggest a cleaning at least a week before receiving your teeth whitening treatment to remove surface build-up and ensure your teeth are in the best shape to be whitened.

The next step is creating your custom mouth trays that you will apply the whitening agent to and wear for 15-45 minutes. Your oral hygienist will give you an in-depth breakdown of how to use the kit and the precautions to take. During the consultation, they will also demonstrate how the kit works by taking you through the process. Your oral hygienist will demonstrate how to apply the gel, insert the trays, and use the accelerating laser light. 

Risks of at-home teeth whitening

Although convenient and cost-effective, at-home teeth whitening puts you at greater risk of developing dental and general health issues. That’s why it’s essential to only use renowned take-home products from qualified and trusted dental professionals, such as those at JJS Dentistry. We will work with you to ensure you achieve the desired results while ensuring your safety.

Some risks associated with at-home teeth whitening include:

  • Damaged enamel: Harsh chemicals in cheaper take-home kits include chemical agents that can strip the enamel and leave the teeth vulnerable to damage.
  • Chemical burns: Custom trays are essential as, with an ill-fitting tray, the gel may leak and cause chemical burns on your mouth or skin.
  • Infections: Chemical burns, cuts or damage in your mouth can lead to infections when exposed to whitening agents.
  • Gum damage: Prolonged use of take-home whitening kits can damage the soft tissue in the mouth and a permanent receding gum line. 

Contact us to chat about your teeth whitening treatment or learn more about our safe and effective options.

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