Teeth Whitening in Calgary

Professional tooth whitening is performed for patients who want a brighter smile to go along with their straighter teeth. Tooth whitening can be performed to reduce tooth discoloration and staining, or simply to provide the patient with whiter, brighter teeth.

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Overview of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is used to correct discoloration of the teeth by removing the brown and yellow staining. The term “teeth whitening” can refer to a number of techniques to improve the brightness of the patient’s teeth. Among them are chemical whitening (“bleaching”), mild acid whitening, abrasive teeth brightening, and the newest technique, laser teeth whitening.

It should be noted that some forms of tooth whitening treatment tends to increase tooth sensitivity. In such cases, fluoride treatment or some types of toothpaste can reduce this sensitivity.

Teeth Bleaching

Tooth bleaching is a chemical process used to lighten the color of the patient’s teeth. The procedure can be performed entirely in the dental office or it can be performed by the patient in their home, using materials provided by the orthodontist. The home method is often used because it saves the patient from having to make an office visit for each treatment.

Before the patient embarks on the home teeth whitening regimen, the orthodontist creates a custom mouth tray for the patient. The custom tray is a critical component of the treatment. It ensures that the correct amount of whitening solution is used and that the patient’s teeth are properly exposed to the whitening solution. The custom made mouth tray provides for a better fit than a one-size-fits-all mouth tray to help increase the margin of patient safety.

The steps in the home teeth whitening regimen are fairly straightforward. The orthodontist’s office provides the patient with the materials and instructions and also answers questions the patient may have about the routine.

A home whitening session can last for two to three hours, during which time you will have the tray and solution in your mouth. Depending upon your needs and desired results, your orthodontist may instruct you to keep the tray in your mouth overnight. Typically, you will follow your home teeth whitening regimen for two to three weeks, after which time you will return to your orthodontist for a follow-up visit.

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Types of Tooth Whitening Products Available

There are several types of tooth whitening products and procedures available today. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Whitening Toothpastes: Whitening toothpastes are easily accessible and can be used as part of your daily oral hygiene routine. They contain mild abrasives or chemical agents that help remove surface stains and lighten the teeth’s color over time. However, they are generally less effective for deeper or intrinsic stains.
  2. Whitening Strips: Whitening strips are thin, flexible strips coated with a whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These strips are typically applied to the front teeth and left in place for a specified amount of time, usually a few minutes a day over a period of a couple of weeks. The peroxide in the gel helps to bleach the teeth and improve their color.
  3. Whitening Gels: Whitening gels are peroxide-based products that come in syringes or tubes. They are applied directly to the teeth using a brush or a tray. Whitening gels can be either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed by a dentist. OTC gels usually contain a lower concentration of peroxide compared to professional-grade gels available from a dentist.
  4. Whitening Trays: Whitening trays, also known as bleaching trays, are custom-made trays that fit over your teeth. They are typically used in combination with a whitening gel. The gel is applied to the tray, which is then worn for a specified amount of time, usually a few hours a day or overnight. The trays help ensure even distribution of the gel and can be obtained from a dentist.
  5. In-Office Bleaching: In-office bleaching, also called chairside bleaching, is a professional teeth whitening procedure performed by a dentist or orthodontist. It involves applying a high-concentration bleaching gel to the teeth and using a special light or laser to activate the gel. This procedure typically takes about an hour and can produce noticeable results in a single session.
  6. Take-Home Whitening Kits: Take-home whitening kits are custom-made kits provided by a dentist. They include custom-fitted trays and a whitening gel with a specific concentration of peroxide. The patient wears the trays filled with the gel for a designated period, usually a few hours a day or overnight, over a span of several days or weeks.
  7. Laser Teeth Whitening: Laser teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure performed in a dental office. It involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth and then using a laser or light source to activate the gel. The heat and light from the laser enhance the bleaching process, leading to faster and potentially more effective results compared to traditional in-office bleaching.
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How Long Does Tooth Whitening Last?

The duration of tooth whitening results can vary depending on several factors, including the type of whitening treatment used, individual oral hygiene habits, dietary choices, and lifestyle factors. Here are some general guidelines on how long tooth whitening results may last:

  1. Whitening Toothpastes: The effects of whitening toothpastes are generally limited to surface stains and may not produce long-lasting results. Regular and consistent use is necessary to maintain the desired level of whiteness.
  2. Whitening Strips and Gels: The longevity of whitening strips and gels can vary. Typically, the results can last anywhere from a few months up to a year, depending on individual factors and the specific product used. Regular touch-ups may be needed to maintain the desired level of whiteness.
  3. Whitening Trays: The duration of whitening tray results can be longer than that of strips and gels. With proper use and maintenance, results can last around 6 months to a year or more. Periodic touch-ups may be necessary to sustain the whiteness.
  4. In-Office Bleaching and Laser Teeth Whitening: Professional in-office bleaching and laser teeth whitening procedures tend to produce more significant and immediate results. The duration of whitening can vary, but results typically last longer compared to over-the-counter options. With good oral hygiene practices and regular dental care, the effects can persist for 1 to 3 years or even longer.
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Home Treatments and Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect associated with some whitening agents and some tooth whitening treatments, and certain types of tooth whitening treatments can increase the likelihood of experiencing sensitivity. Here’s a breakdown of how different home tooth whitening methods can affect tooth sensitivity:

  1. Whitening Strips and Gels: Whitening strips and gels can contribute to tooth sensitivity, particularly if they contain higher concentrations of peroxide. The peroxide penetrates the enamel to bleach the underlying dentin, which can temporarily increase tooth sensitivity. However, the sensitivity is usually temporary and subsides after the treatment is complete or discontinued.
  2. Whitening Trays: The use of whitening trays can also cause temporary tooth sensitivity. The whitening gel used in the trays can come into contact with the gums, which may result in gum irritation and increased sensitivity. It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by your dentist and avoid overfilling the trays to minimize the risk of gum irritation and sensitivity.


Tooth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can help whiten your teeth and improve the appearance of stained or discolored teeth. By using various whitening products and procedures, such as whitening toothpastes, strips, gels, trays, and professional treatments, tooth whitening can effectively lighten the color of teeth and remove surface stains. The benefits of tooth whitening include enhanced smile aesthetics, increased self-confidence, and a more youthful appearance. While tooth sensitivity may be a temporary side effect, tooth whitening can provide noticeable and long-lasting results when combined with good oral hygiene practices and regular dental care.

  1. Safety: When used as directed, tooth whitening products and procedures are generally considered safe. However, it’s important to follow instructions carefully and consult with a dental professional, especially if you have pre-existing dental conditions or concerns.
  2. Individual Results: The effectiveness of tooth whitening can vary from person to person. Factors such as the type and severity of stains, the natural color of teeth, and overall dental health can influence the outcome of the whitening process.
  3. Limitations: Tooth whitening is most effective for extrinsic stains caused by external factors like food, beverages, and smoking. Intrinsic stains, which occur within the tooth structure, may be more challenging to lighten and may require alternative cosmetic dental treatments like veneers or bonding.
  4. Maintenance: To prolong the results of tooth whitening, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, limit consumption of stain-causing substances (such as coffee, tea, and red wine), and consider touch-up treatments or maintenance products as recommended by your dentist.

Professional Guidance: Consulting with a dental professional is beneficial before starting any tooth whitening treatment. They can evaluate your dental health, discuss your goals, recommend the most suitable whitening option, and provide personalized guidance throughout the process.

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