Getting Professional Teeth Whitening? Know How It’s Done

Do you have an appointment for professional teeth whitening with your dentist, but you are a bit nervous about having the procedure done? If so, it helps to know what to expect with professional teeth whitening. 


Your dentist will start by applying vitamin E to your lips. The purpose of using vitamin E is to help prevent your lips from dehydrating during the treatment. Essentially your dentist doesn't want you to leave the appointment with cracked lips that take time to heal, when a little vitamin E will prevent it from happening.

The retractor looks a bit intense at first glance, but it is helpful to keep your lips far apart and not interfere with any of the whitening process. Once the retractor is in the device will not go anyway, so you can relax and know that you don't have to hold your mouth open in a certain position throughout the whitening appointment. You will then have gauze and cotton balls inserted into your mouth to pack your cheeks and cover your salivary glands. This will prevent you from salivating during the whitening process and make you feel more comfortable. 

Liquid Dam Application

A liquid dam is applied to your gums, which acts as a shield that protects them from the whitening possess. Your dentist will start by placing the dam along the edges of the teeth first, then they will fill in the rest of the gums so that no gingival tissue is showing. This liquid dam material is then cured with a UV light so that it hardens and does not move at all. 

Whitening Gel Application

An incredibly strong whitening agent will be applied directly to your teeth by carefully brushing it on. It is important that you don't reach up to touch the gel with your fingers. Just let your dentist do their job and make sure that all surfaces of your teeth are properly covered.

Blue Light Exposure

You're now ready to have the whitening gel exposed to a special blue light that is going to activate the whitening agent. You'll need to sit very still for several minutes while the light does its job of whitening your teeth. When the process is finished, the dentist will suction off the whitening gel from your teeth and see how they look. They'll compare your teeth to the shade guide to determine if they have reached the desired shade of white that you were hoping for. If your teeth are not to the proper shade of white, the dentist may proceed with a second or third round and repeat the process.