Peterborough Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
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Whitening FAQ

What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is a process where a mild bleaching solution is applied to the tooth to whiten discolorations of the enamel and dentin.

What causes tooth discoloration?
Commonly, discoloration can be caused by aging or by consumption of coffee, tea, caffeine soft drinks, red wine, etc. Tooth discoloration can also occur during tooth formation due to trauma or medications taken during that time.

How long does it take to get results?
If you follow your dentist’s recommendations, you will see results in 10-14 days. The type of whitening selected for you will determine how often you will apply the solution. Nite White is worn once per day for two hours. Day White is worn one to three times per day for 30 minutes. Zoom Whitening is worn four to eight hours while sleeping, for only three days.

Will my fillings change color?
No. If you have some original tooth-colored fillings that are noticeable when you smile, they will not change color with the whitening solution.

How long will it last?
Your teeth will always be lighter than they were initially. Your teeth may need to be “touched up” with one or two applications, once or twice a year. In order to maintain the whitest tooth shade possible, it is best to avoid substances like coffee, tea or tobacco. To keep your teeth looking their best we recommend flossing, as well as brushing twice daily with professional whitening toothpaste, specifically designed to keep your teeth looking their brightest.

How does it work?
As the carbamide peroxide (active ingredient) is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin and dissolves the stains. The tooth structure does not change but the tooth is made lighter.

Is tooth whitening safe?
Studies indicate that tooth whitening under the supervision of a dentist is safe for the teeth and the gums. However, it is not recommended for anyone under the age of thirteen or for pregnant or lactating women.

What about sensitivity?
The majority of patients do not experience sensitivity. If you do experience mild, temporary sensitivity, it should subside within a few hours after treatment. If sensitivity persists, wearing times can be varied or teeth can be treated with desensitizing toothpaste. Lingering sensitivity will subside one to three days after completion of the treatment.