Teeth Whitening at Dentist: Everything You Need to Know

Teeth Whitening at Dentist: Everything You Need to Know

Feb 01, 2022

Teeth whitening at St Cloud, MN, effectively brightens your natural teeth non-invasively, without removing your teeth surface. As a result, the treatment may not completely change your teeth color but will lighten the existing color shade.

You can choose between professional teeth whitening treatment and take-home trays. However, there are many things to consider when choosing a whitening method, including cost, safety, longevity and lifestyle.

Professional Whitening Methods

Professional teeth whitening near you use two whitening products, namely hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Whitening toothpaste uses abrasive ingredients that remove surface stains mechanically, but the professional whitening peroxide removes the pigments at the molecular level.

Additionally, most take-home whitening products, including strips, kits, trays, and pens, use peroxide at moderate levels. The difference with professional whitening is the peroxide concentration.

In-office tooth whitening at Smile City uses highly concentrated peroxide since they can isolate the teeth. In addition, the dentist near you utilizes a unique dental rubber dam to shield the gums preventing the peroxide from burning them.

Like take-home whitening products, there are several professional teeth whitening methods. The in-office professional whitening is the quickest although costly.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

This process is completed in a few appointments that depend on the patient’s unique needs. The complete treatment appointment should not last more than 90 minutes.

In-office whitening treatments are of two types:

  • A high hydrogen peroxide gel applied using a syringe
  • Hydrogen peroxide with a strong special light like LED, UV or halogen.

Unlike using peroxide alone, applying the special light increases the teeth lightness. A 2016 study from the Journal of Conservative Dentistry showed┬áthat participants on whom laser light was used still had perfectly white teeth after three weeks, compared to the non-light cohort who showed a “shade rebound” barely two weeks after the treatment.

What to Expect

The dentist in St. Cloud uses a tooth-colour shade chart to determine your teeth’ color shade. You will then discuss the level of shades you want to achieve with the treatment.

With a pumice tool, your dentist polishes your teeth to remove any existing plaque. When applying the whitening agent, they will carefully ensure that it doesn’t touch your gums. This is possible through a rubber barrier that costs your gumline.

They then apply the whitening agent and leave it for about an hour. Here is when the laser or UV light is also applied as part of the treatment. If the specific bleaching agent needs more coats, your dentist applies them here.

Your dentist then rinses your mouth after the whitening procedure is complete. A fluoride treatment is then applied to mitigate possibilities of tooth sensitivity,

Finally, you will discuss with your dentist if your teeth have reached the desired shade and the lifestyle habits needed to practice in the next 24 hours to preserve the whitening agent. These include avoiding highly colored foods and beverages like coffee and red wine. Tooth bleaching dehydrates your teeth, making them susceptible to stains from food and beverages.

Take-Home Trays

In-office tooth whitening is quick and performed entirely by the St. Cloud dentist, but take-home trays need the patient’s diligence. If your dentist notes that your teeth are prone to stains after whitening, this is your only follow-up treatment.

For a professional take-home tray, your dentist makes a mold of your teeth using a custom-fabricated tray. This makes a perfect fit and better results than over-the-counter trays.

Instead of hydrogen peroxide, you will use carbamide peroxide for your take-home tray. Although it doesn’t whiten as quickly as hydrogen peroxide, it produces less sensitivity in comparison in case it touches your tongue or gums.

In-office Whitening vs Take-home Trays

While both whitening methods are effective, here are some differences.


Custom-take home trays are less costly than in-office whitening but costlier than OTC and other home bleaching products.

Regarding insurance, teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic treatment, so it’s not covered by dental insurance.


In-office treatment is completed in one or two dental appointments contingent on your stains and how many shades you need to achieve. Each whitening session lasts for not more than 90 minutes. Custom take-home trays are worn daily for several hours in about a month. Your Sauk Rapids dentist may commend custom take-home trays for ideal results after an in-office whitening treatment.


Tooth whitening treatment does not last forever. However, you must do everything you can to keep your whitened teeth shining for the next few years. Experts recommend retaining regular oral healthcare habits, avoiding colored foods, coffee, soda, red wine, and OTC touch-up products.

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