Professional teeth whitening methods and best practices

posted byMuse Dental GroupNovember 17, 2020

If you have been struggling to get rid of stains on your teeth or are just looking to brighten your smile, professional teeth whitening is just what you need. We all want a beautiful smile, but daily habits and natural wear and tear are responsible for the discoloration of our teeth.

If you are considering professional teeth whitening and want to learn more about the process, in this article, we will be discussing:

How Does Teeth Whitening Work

To begin to understand how teeth whitening works, it is important to understand that there are two types of stains that one might have on their teeth.

The first type of stain is called an extrinsic stain, which is on the outer surface of the teeth.

This type of stain is easy to remove and can be removed with at-home remedies such as whitening toothpaste and mouthwash. However, more stubborn extrinsic stains may need professional cleaning and whitening.

The second type of stain is called an intrinsic stain, which exists in the enamel and dentin, underneath the enamel.

This type of stain is very difficult to remove, especially since it is under the deeper layers of the tooth. Because of their stubborn nature, these stains can only be removed with professional whitening agents.

From a technical perspective, teeth whitening agents have ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These ingredients can penetrate through to the deeper layers of the tooth to remove tough, intrinsic stains. Essentially, these substances safely bleach the layers of your teeth and lift stains.

Patients that are the Best Candidates for Teeth Whitening

As previously mentioned, teeth whitening methods are determined by the severity of the stains, and in most cases, professional whitening will restore your smile safely and effectively.

However, there are some cases where teeth whitening may not be effective. These include:

  • Patients who have synthetic teeth, such as veneers or crowns, and those who have caps and bonding on the front of their teeth: These materials do not bleach well. Attempting to whiten them will produce uneven results. Instead, patients would need to replace their crowns and veneers.

  • Patients with grey or brown teeth and those with white spots

  • Patients with very sensitive teeth may have adverse side effects from teeth whitening, increasing sensitivity, or worsening worn enamel and TMJ.

Teeth Whitening Process

If you are hoping to move deep intrinsic stains that cannot be removed with at-home techniques, it is important to consult with your dentist and make an appointment for professional teeth whitening.

You might be wondering what this process entails. So, we are going to outline the teeth whitening process for you:

First, before the actual whitening takes place, your dentist will record the shade of your teeth to create a benchmark for how much whitening needs to be done. This also determines the concentrations of the whitening agent and bleach that the dentist will mix to create a custom solution specifically for your teeth.

Second, the dentist will fully dry your teeth and mouth because your saliva may hinder the whitening process. Therefore, throughout the whitening process retractors will be used to keep your mouth open and keep your cheeks and tongue from interfering with the solution.

Third, the whitening solution will be put on your teeth, coating the outer surface of your teeth. This solution will be left on the teeth to absorb for about an hour. At twenty-minute intervals, the dentist will reapply the whitening solution and shine a heating lamp on the teeth to enhance the whitening process.

Next, your dentist will fully clean your teeth and remove the whitening solution to ensure there is no solution left over.

Finally, your dentist will apply a fluoride treatment, which protects the teeth from future stains and cavity-causing bacteria.

After your professional whitening, your dentist will provide you with specialty trays to maintain your white teeth at home, keeping your smile as bright for as long as possible!

Professional vs. At-Home Treatments

There are many safe and easy methods for whitening your teeth at home. If you only have extrinsic stains, some effective at-home methods include:

  • Whitening toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive material, like baking soda, to help remove surface stains.

  • Whitening rinses: Whitening rises function is mouthwashes, freshening breath and getting rid of plaque, but also contain bleach that whitens the teeth.

  • Whitening strips: Whitening strips mold to the teeth are worn for 30 minutes at a time. However, whitening strips often increase tooth sensitivity.

Professional teeth whitening treatments are the most effective option, especially to remove more deeply-set stains.

Not only do dentists use stronger whitening agents, but they also ensure the process is done safely to prevent any gum sensitivity and to protect the enamel.

A dentist will be able to gauge how long to whiten the teeth for the best results without causing any unnecessary irritation.


If you are looking to brighten your smile or remove any stubborn stains from your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist!

The dentists at Muse Dental will evaluate your case and create a custom teeth whitening treatment that will transform your smile!

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help you maintain your oral health and provide you with the best care possible. If you are due for a dental cleaning and exam or want to brighten your smile, schedule an appointment with us today!

We’d love to have you for a checkup at Muse Dental Group with Dr. G. Bardakjian. He will evaluate your oral health and will ensure your teeth whitening is done with the utmost care.

Your smile is in great hands at Muse Dental Group!

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