The first step involves the dentist using a pumice to polish your teeth and to get rid of any tartar that has built up on the outside. Next, he or she places gauze around your teeth, so that they will remain dry. An implement known as a retractor is positioned around the gums, in order to keep the whitening solution away from that area. The dentist may also put retractors in place to protect your cheeks, lips and tongue. A whitening agent, hydrogen or carbamide peroxide is then applied to the front surface of each tooth. It remains in place for between half an hour to one hour. The tooth is then recoated in order to achieve the best colour possible. Next, your teeth are washed out with water and the dentist applies fluoride to desensitise your teeth. He or she will also advise you to avoid specific foods and drinks, so that the enamel pores can close. This will reduce the likelihood that your teeth will stain.
A whitening gel is applied to your teeth and you then need to wear a customised fitted tray at specific times, as recommended. Gradually the gel, which contains carbamide peroxide, encourages oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin part of your teeth. Staining is minimised and positive outcomes are usually visible within about seven days.
A wide range of teeth whitening products may be bought over-the-counter. One such example, are teeth whitening strips, which are handy, relatively inexpensive and have been found to be successful. These strips are put on your teeth for about half an hour. The chemical substance in the product acts by removing stains and any discolouration. Another option is a take-home tray system which is a generic product and has not been tailor-made to suit the individual needs of the purchaser. Finally, another cheap and widely used product is whitening toothpaste. It works in the same way as ordinary toothpaste.
These are the three most commonly used methods to whiten teeth.