Professional Teeth Whitening: What to Expect

Do you smile with your mouth closed due to discolouration or stained teeth? We should all take pride in our teeth and show off those pearly whites! Sometimes, no matter how much we brush, our teeth just seem grey and drab.

Don’t feel bad if your teeth are not as white as they once were. Ageing, foods and drinks, and smoking can all have a negative effect on our teeth and leave them stained and yellow.

If this sounds like you, you should consider having a professional teeth whitening procedure done. The procedure is not as bad as you may think it is and the results are certainly worth it.

Let’s take a close look at what you can expect when getting a professional teeth whitening.

Home Teeth Whitening vs Professional Teeth Whitening

A fear of the dentist or even a tight budget can be very strong arguments for trying the whitening kits at home. But they may not be as convenient or as inexpensive as you first thought.


At first glance, the cost of having a professional teeth whitening might seem really high but in the long run, it isn’t. The dentist uses a higher grade of whiting solution, a professional standard that works better and longer.

Paying for the home kits or strips may seem cheaper but they may not be. With the home kits or strips, you need more treatments and you will need them more often to keep your teeth at the same level of whiteness.

Your dentist has professional equipment to perform the job better. If you find the home kits have trays that don’t fit or are awkward, you may find yourself out buying new ones that are more comfortable.

Whitening trays and strips are very popular but at the end of the year, you will have spent the same amount of not more on the home kits anyhow.


You will find yourself returning to the same store for more whitening kits or strips, and these home whitening methods are effective to a certain degree. But how much time do you want to spend with that tray in your mouth?

Your professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office can be done over your lunch break. Depending on how many sessions you want, it doesn’t take up much time at all. The professional treatment may last up to three years.

The home strips may be required to be left on for several hours, even overnight. The time will vary, depending on the method you are using, but this may have to be done repeatedly, for several days, and more often throughout the year.

What Happens at the Dentist?

The professional teeth whitening process is very simple, so if you have fears or anxiety about visiting the dentist, please relax. This is not a drill! Seriously, there will be no drilling.

Step One

You will have an initial consultation to make sure you are an acceptable candidate for teeth whitening. If you have tooth sensitivity or thin or transparent teeth, you may not be.

Step Two

Once it is determined that you can proceed, the dentist or dental hygienist with give your teeth a professional cleaning. This will remove any plaque or any other build-up or caught food.

This process should not take long and it should already be a part of your regular dental health program. This process can actually help with the brightening of your teeth, as it professionally removes any coating or film on your teeth.

Step Three

The dentist will then examine your teeth to make sure there are no other outstanding issues or problems. They will look for cracks, cavities or receding gum lines that may cause the whitening process to irritate.

Then the dentist may take pictures of your teeth to determine the shade of whitening is the most suitable. You can use the pictures of your own teeth to check the whitening guide for the desired end results.

Step Four

After the shade has been determined, the dentist will place a cheek-retractor, which exposes your teeth completely for treatment. Then, they will apply a protective resin or gel that will harden to keep your gums from being irritated.

Then the actual bleaching gel is applied and left to sit for upwards to half an hour. While you have the whitening formula on, there may be a laser light applied, to intensify the results.

Once those steps are complete and you have waited the applicable amount of time, the protective guard is removed and you should see results immediately. Keep in mind the lighting is different in the dentist office and it may look different in your bathroom mirror.

After Care

Easy, peasy. The colour of your teeth may seem whiter at the dentist’s office and you will need to wait a few days to see the true results. If you feel you want them whiter, you can have additional treatments.

You can also use the in-home treatments to give the professional teeth whitening procedure a boost or to help maintain it. You can keep your smile pretty by using whitening toothpaste, brushing your teeth with baking soda or use whitening dental floss.

If you are a smoker or like red wine and other foods and drinks, like coffee, that is prone to stain your teeth, it is a good idea to do follow up sessions with your dentist.


The best part of having your professional teeth whitening is that you will feel so much better about yourself, you smile and your teeth. When you see how good they look, you will be showing them off all over town.

Having fresh, white teeth will be encouraging for you to keep them that way and you will see an increase in your dental care. Regular flossing and brushing will keep your teeth looking white, but improve your overall dental health.

Teeth whitening is just part of all your dental needs, and a good relationship with your dentist is important. Feeling good about your smile is the best reason to give it to someone.

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