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What To Expect When You Have Your Teeth Professionally Whitened

Most people desire a bright, white smile, but a lot of people don't have one when they reach adulthood. While there are a number of teeth whitening products available in drug stores, if you want the brightest smile possible your best bet is to visit a cosmetic dentist for an in-office teeth whitening procedure. If you're interested in professional teeth whitening, you can expect the following:

Open Wide

When you have your teeth professionally whitened by a cosmetic dentist, you will need to keep your mouth open for an extended period of time. Prior to the whitening procedure getting started, your dentist will place a lip retractor in your mouth so it is easier for you to keep your mouth open and expose your teeth. Most lip retractors have a section towards the back that you can bite down on, so you don't have to strain your jaw muscles to keep it in place.

Protecting the Mouth

When your teeth are being professionally whitened, other parts of your mouth need to be protected from the high-concentration whitening agent used, as well as the laser light. A dental hygienist will coat your gums with a rubber-dam material that can be painted on with a small brush. Your lips and inner cheeks will also be coated with a protective gel to help ensure that the whitening agent and light used during the procedure do not cause any problems.


After preparing the mouth, the bleaching of the teeth will begin. The whitening agent used by your cosmetic dentist will be carefully painted on each tooth.Your mouth will then be exposed to a high-intensity light that is designed to activate the whitening agent and help change the color of your teeth quickly. Some people are able to achieve the shade of teeth that they want in just an afternoon, while others may need a few whitening procedures.


Teeth whitening is a good investment, but you will need to be mindful after your procedure if you want to keep your teeth as white as possible. Avoid staining foods and drinks, such as soy sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce, red wine, coffee, and tea. It is also a good idea to continue to use teeth whitening products after having your teeth professionally whitened to help maintain your smile. Consult your cosmetic or The Family Dentist to learn which teeth whitening toothpastes and mouthwash are your best options.