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UV Teeth Whitening – Everything You Need to Know

UV Teeth Whitening – Everything You Need to Know

We all want a healthy smile we can feel confident about – even look forward to – showing off to the world. This is why oral health needs to be a priority in your daily routine. However, many people want to take their smiles to the next level and truly make them memorable, which is where teeth whitening comes in.

The term “teeth whitening” gets thrown around a lot these days. You’ll find it plastered on toothpaste, mouthwash, and chewing gum. Actual teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure administered or prescribed by a professional. It first breaks down stains currently dimming your smile, and then a topical bleach is used to amplify its brightness.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive, straightforward procedure. You won’t need an anesthetic to leave the dentist’s office with a smile that shines.

The first thing your dentist will do is a quick examination to ensure that you are a good candidate for teeth whitening. This will include checking your teeth and gums to ensure they won’t react negatively to the whitening gel. Even if this proves to be the case, your dentist can take steps to mediate the issue.

This is another reason to opt for professional cleaning, not the kind available at your local grocery store. If you’ve tried over-the-counter options, you may have felt a sudden pain in your teeth or gums. Rest assured, you can whiten your teeth without this sharp sting, but you’ll need the help of your dentist.

Next, the dentist will ask you to choose the level of brightness you want – anywhere from 3x to 8x what it currently is. Then pictures will be taken of your teeth for future reference.

After your assessment, the dentist will prescribe one of two methods:

UV Professional Whitening

This is probably the most popular option for teeth whitening. The procedure only takes about an hour, during which your dentist will place a protective barrier over your gums and then apply the whitening bleach to your teeth. Most treatments these days also involve using a UV light to activate the whitening gel and bring out some impressive results.

At the end of the procedure, the dentist may do some touch-up work to give your smile a completely uniform look.

Reasons for Professional UV Teeth Whitening

Here are some underlying reasons for choosing professional teeth whitening treatment over whitening teeth at home on your own.

In-office teeth bleaching guarantees safety.

Teeth whitening may be one of the most minor, complex, and quickest to complete cosmetic dental procedures. Still, it does not necessarily follow that you can just dive right into deciding that you want to get the procedure.

With a dental professional handling your case, you are ensured of safety because, before all else, your dentist has to perform a series of dental examinations to ascertain that you make for an excellent candidate to undergo teeth whitening.

He will ensure that your gums and mouth will not react negatively to the teeth whitening gel. He, too, will know of the possibility of heightening your teeth’s sensitivity level, especially during the procedure and during the next few weeks following the bleaching treatment. But, because you entrusted the process of getting whiter teeth into professional hands, your dentist can remedy this sudden hypersensitivity very well.

Compared with at-home whitening systems when you never know what adverse reaction your gums and mouth may have to the whitening solutions you just bought and without even that assurance that they will work to truly whiten your teeth.

Teeth whitening procedures performed by your dentist produce precise results of lightening your teeth’ color.

Before the procedure, images of your teeth are captured, which serve as a reference for comparing the development of the process during the treatment. You are first asked the exact brightness level you want your teeth to achieve. The degree of whiteness may be at least three times the natural color of your teeth and reach up to eight times whiter than they originally were.

With professional teeth bleaching, in only over an hour, you get to accurately achieve your desired tooth color as was intended at the commencement of the treatment. Furthermore, your dentist may apply finishing touch-ups to ensure every little area on the surface of your teeth is even and in tone with the rest, without any traces of color irregularities.

Whitening at Home FAQ

If your schedule is packed, whitening your teeth at home may be your only option. This will involve using a custom-made tray that fits your teeth perfectly. You’ll fill it with whitening gel – a mild bleach – and then apply it to your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes a day for one or two weeks.

Who Would Benefit from Teeth Whitening?

The short answer is “everyone.”

Even if you take your oral hygiene routine seriously and care for your teeth daily, you could still benefit from professional teeth whitening.

Everyone’s smile loses its shine over time. That’s because there is a yellowish material beneath the white enamel of our teeth called dentin. As time goes on, our enamel wears down, and the darker dentin becomes progressively more visible.

Drinking coffee, red wine, or tea will also downgrade the whiteness of your smile. So will the nicotine and tar in cigarettes.

Many people need professional whitening because of some trauma that damaged their teeth. An injury can trigger more dentin production, which darkens your smile.

If you’re not 100% comfortable with your smile because of its color, it’s worth speaking to a dentist about teeth whitening.

That said, some people for whom teeth whitening may not work. Your dentist will be able to assess if you fall into this category. Fortunately, if you’re not a candidate for teeth whitening, dental veneers are an effective alternative.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Take?

As we mentioned earlier, the whitening process only takes about an hour. The initial consultation is quick, so you’ll be in and out of the office in no time. Furthermore, as no anesthetic is required, you don’t have to worry about the rest of your day being affected.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Those who have tried over-the-counter teeth whitening options know that the “results” don’t stick around very long – maybe a week or two. That’s why you need to keep buying more and more over time.

On the other hand, a professional teeth whitening treatment can easily last for a year or more. It depends on the individual. If you avoid products like coffee that blemish your teeth, your new and improved smile could last for two years or longer.

Either way, it’s an incredibly long time to enjoy a better smile after such a minor procedure.

How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?

Again, the cost will differ from person-to-person, depending on the state of their smile when they go in for whitening. Speak to a dentist about the cost sooner rather than later; it will be much easier to adjust your budget appropriately.

If a whiter smile is your top priority, you’ll find the cost very reasonable. This is especially true if you compare it to store-bought applications you’ll need to continuously spend money on yearly.