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By Advanced Dental Concepts
September 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Would you like whiter teeth but are concerned that the whitening process might be painful? Dr. Richard Hopgood, your Andover, MA teeth whiteningdentist at Advanced Dental Concepts, shares some information about teeth whitening that will help put your mind at ease.

How whitening works

Brushing your teeth is very effective at removing plaque and surface stains but it can't remove deeper stains. These stains tend to develop naturally as you age, particularly if you smoke or drink coffee, tea, cola or red wine, or eat or drink other dark foods and beverages. Whitening agents penetrate your enamel and dentin, the darker layer under the enamel, to remove stains. Over-the-counter whitening products contain carbamide peroxide, while stronger hydrogen peroxide is often used in professional whitening. Because hydrogen peroxide is stronger, it doesn't have to remain on your teeth as long.

Does whitening hurt?

The peroxides used to whiten teeth can cause some tooth sensitivity, particularly if they accidentally get on your gums, roots, lips or cheeks. Many people experience no sensitivity at all, while some people notice mild sensitivity in the first 24 hours after whitening. If you have sensitive teeth before whitening, you are most likely to experience discomfort afterward.

How can I prevent or reduce sensitivity?

Frequent exposure to peroxide can increase your chances of developing painful sensitivity. Unfortunately, since over-the-counter whitening products must be applied multiple times for best results, you may be more likely to notice sensitivity when you use these products. Professional whitening at your dentist's Andover office is a better solution. In most cases, you'll only need one one-hour session to lighten your teeth.

Before beginning whitening treatment, your dentist will take steps to minimize sensitivity. He'll apply a protective gel to your gums and roots to prevent the peroxide from irritating sensitive tissues. After the gel is applied, retractors will be used to gently pull your lips and cheeks away from your teeth to protect them from the whitening agents.

Teeth whitening offers an effective, safe way to improve the appearance of your smile. Call Dr. Hopgood, your Andover, MA dentist at Advanced Dental Concepts, at (978) 475-2431 to schedule an appointment for your teeth whitening session.