If you are planning to get your teeth whitened, it is important to prepare in advance in order to achieve the best possible results.
Before you get your teeth whitened, you should have a dentist check to make sure that you are in overall good oral health. If you have cavities or if the roots of your teeth are exposed due to gum disease, the chemicals used in the whitening process could aggravate those conditions. If you have any dental problems, you should have them treated before you whiten your teeth.
Your dentist will be able to determine the location and cause of the stains on your teeth. Extrinsic stains are on the surface of the teeth. They can be caused by food, drinks, and smoking. Extrinsic stains can be removed by teeth whitening. Intrinsic stains are located underneath the tooth enamel and cannot be removed through a whitening procedure. Teeth whitening also does not work on veneers, dental caps, or crowns.
You should have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist before your whitening procedure in order to remove any tartar and other debris that you cannot remove on your own. It is also important to brush and floss well every day to prevent problems prior to your whitening procedure.
If you experience sensitivity, begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste two weeks prior to your whitening treatment. This can prevent sensitivity during and after the procedure. If you are prone to extreme sensitivity, you can take a pain killer prior to the whitening procedure, but only after checking with your doctor.
Set aside enough time for the procedure, as well as prep or recovery time. Ask your dentist’s office how long it will take.
If you are using an at-home whitening kit, you should also get a check-up and cleaning first and follow good oral hygiene practices. If your dentist is preparing your at-home kit, he or she may need to make a mold of your teeth, provide the necessary materials, and schedule a follow-up appointment.
Call your dentist if you experience extreme or prolonged sensitivity or pain after you get your teeth whitened. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing to maintain your white smile.