How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

The desire for brighter smiles has made teeth whitening the most frequently-requested cosmetic dental procedure today. If your teeth are stained or dulled from years of drinking coffee, wine, and soda, professional teeth whitening can brighten their appearance in little time, and with minimal discomfort. To understand how teeth whitening works, however, you have to understand how your teeth stain in the first place.

The Nature of Teeth Stains

Tooth enamel is the semi-translucent layer of minerals that surrounds your teeth and protects them from cavity-causing bacteria. Over time, the color molecules (chromogens) in your food and beverages cling to your enamel, obscuring the pearly-white dentin underneath it. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day helps minimize the effects, but eventually, your teeth can begin to visibly stain or change color from years of use.

Modern Whitening Agents

Professional teeth whitening treatments contain bleaching agents (usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) that help erase teeth stains from on and underneath your tooth enamel while brightening the underlying dentin. The concentration of peroxide in professional whitening agents is enough to dramatically improve your teeth’s appearance without causing harm to your tooth enamel. Dr. Wright can custom-design a set of whitening trays that fit snugly over your teeth, allowing you to apply the whitening gel evenly from the comfort of your own home. In as little as 10-14 days, your smile can be up to 8-10 shades brighter.

How Zoom! Whitening Works Quicker

For many patients who wish for a brighter smile in a hurry, Dr. Wright recommends Zoom! whitening treatment, which can be accomplished during a single office visit. After protecting your lips and gums and carefully applying the whitening gel to your teeth, Dr. Wright will activate the Zoom! solution using a curing light that stimulates the gel to work almost immediately. In-office teeth whitening usually lasts just over an hour, allowing you to enjoy a brighter, stain-free smile in about the span of a typical lunch break.

About Your Southlake Cosmetic Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.