Learn all the details about teeth whitening from our expert dentists, including types of treatments, personal care, and more.
“Whiter teeth are associated with youth. Having yellow or stained teeth is like having gray hair. People whiten their teeth because the procedure brightens their smile, makes their face full of life, and makes them look more radiant.” – Lucas Gil, DDS
What is dental whitening?
Dental whitening is an esthetic procedure performed by a dentist to restore the teeth’s natural color.
There are 2 bleaching agents used in this procedure: hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Different manufacturers use these bleaches and offer a variety of presentations.
It’s imperative that the whitening brand used in this procedure has performed ample research and testing of its products to avoid damage to the teeth. The Gil Dental Group, in San Pedro or Escazú, specializes in Philips whitening.
Causes of teeth darkening
Teeth can change color for a number of reasons, but we will break them down into two groups:
- Extrinsic causes:
- Eating habits, including coffee, tea, red wine, soda, etc.
- Poor oral hygiene
- Use of some mouthwashes
- Intrinsic causes:
- Genetics or family inheritance
- Use of certain medications
- Stage of life (Age)
Professional teeth whitening
Before whitening your teeth, it is recommended that you receive a dentist’s evaluation. Only a trained oral professional can determine the best teeth-whitening option for each individual patient. Some of the different aspects that must be considered include:
Types of professional teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening
This type of whitening is the most commonly practiced and the most pleasant for patients. In a single appointment, you’ll receive the whitest possible color using an LED lamp known as Zoom!
The Philips Zoom teeth whitening uses an LED lamp to activate a whitening gel, allowing dentists to obtain hue changes in 60 minutes.
Teeth whitening at home
This type of whitening is used when patients have tooth sensitivity or gum recession (this is the best teeth whitening for sensitive teeth). It is used for 30 minutes a day or at night (different options for each case) for a period of 1-2 weeks, achieving a slower but more stable color change and minimizing sensitivity thanks to lower levels of the whitening material.
Patients who prefer to do their teeth-whitening at home will be made a plastic guard for their teeth. The whitening gel will then be applied to the guard and worn either at night or for a shorter time throughout the day. In order to work as advertised, the whitening gel must be applied every day for a period of 12-14 days.
Cleaning and teeth whitening
Regardless of the type of teeth-whitening you choose, it’s advisable to receive a dental cleaning before, as pre-emptively removing tartar and stains assists in the whitening process. This way you will have more effective teeth whitening results.
What should we do to maintain our new color?
Patients should avoid pigmented foods, such as wine, black beans, beets, carbonated drinks with dark colors, etc. Brushing your teeth regularly, flossing, as well as performing regular dental cleanings are simple things you can do to keep your new color for a long time.
Regardless of the technique used (at the Clinic or at home), it is expected that another round of whitening will be required every 6-12 months.
For more information on who can receive teeth-whitening, feel free to read our blog.
Care after whitening
The following guidelines should not be consumed 48 hours before or after a whitening procedure (whether at home or in the dental office):
- No acidic foods, foods that are very cold or very hot.
- No Smoking.
- No red wine.
- No food with soy sauce.
- No blackberry, strawberry, black beans, cold tea, carrots, beets in any form.
- No coffee or tea.
- No food or drinks that contain dyes: carbonated soft drinks with dyes, tomato sauces, chicken soup, achiote or other.
Dental Whitening Before & After at Gil Dental Clinic