What You Need To Know From The Pros About Teeth Whitening

What You Need To Know From The Pros About Teeth Whitening

Back in the ’70s before teeth whitening was a mass market thing, everyone coveted Eric Estrada’s electric smile, circa CHIPS before sighing and then, carrying on with our less-than-brilliant-looking lives. Well, now we can do something about it—about the shade of our teeth. And we can achieve it in a manly way too, without the risk of taking the Ross in Friends route. Here’s what you need to know from the pros about teeth whitening.

How does the professional teeth-whitening process work?
The dentist uses a gelled form of peroxide to penetrate the outer layers of your teeth to lighten and whiten the colour of your teeth. “Dental bleaching does not weaken or damage the tooth at all,” adds Dr. David A. Gardner, the founding dentist at Cosmetic Makeover Dentistry in Toronto. “It only brightens the colour.” And it can be done from home. “We supply the whitening peroxide in preloaded small syringes that are easily dispensed into custom-made whitening trays that are worn in the mouth for about one hour or less per day.”

Beyond having a brighter smile, what are the benefits of teeth whitening?
“Why not look the best you can in every way?” asks Dr. Gardner. He’s a firm believer that along with brighter teeth, your self-confidence will increase and your appearance will be enhanced “with a youthful, radiant, sexy and appealing smile.”

When should you whiten?
Any time, but make sure to have your teeth professionally cleaned beforehand to ensure optimum results. If there’s a specific function like a 10-year University reunion, awards ceremony at work or wedding where photographs will be taken, aim to start your whitening process two months in advance. “Then do a last-minute, touch-up bleaching and polishing session two to three days before the big day,” recommends Dr. Gardner.

How many sessions do you need and how frequently should you go?
To kick-start the process you’ll need to book two appointments, one week apart and both at your dentist’s office. The rest will be done at home with the teeth-whitening formula and custom-made trays. After that, you can go in for the service as often as you like. “There is a new standard of cosmetic excellence that the younger generation is wanting, due to exposure to the media and the Internet celebrity culture,” says Dr. Gardner. And that means having a gleaming Brad Pitt smile.

Am I going to experience sensitive teeth during or after the process?
“The peroxides cause very mild de-hydration of the teeth due to the porous nature of the tooth’s surface,” says Dr. Gardner. This can cause some sensitivity. Luckily, he says there are ways to minimize this, like “using a high quality, whitening product and asking your dentist for a time out during the bleaching process to allow your teeth to naturally re-hydrate in the moist mouth environment.”

Crest 3D Brilliance 2 Step ToothpasteHow much does it cost?
In-office whitening typically costs $650 per session, while the take-home trays are around $400. And DIY drugstore products like Crest 3D Brilliance 2 Step Toothpaste is $13.99, available at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada.

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