Professional In-Office teeth whitening
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The reason why the soft tissue must be so rigorously protected is because the active agent in the gel is hydrogen peroxide, which is broken down by the light. The oxygen released reacts with stains in the enamel and bleaches them but does not damage the tooth at all. There is no real heat generated, but some patients do feel a little uncomfortable, so the dentist will explain what is happening before the tooth whitening is begun. It is important to discuss any sensitivities before the process starts, as there have been some reactions, but these are relatively rare.
Immediately after the whitening process it is good practice to avoid coffee, tea, mustard, ketchup, cola, red wine, soy sauce and berries for a week – essentially, anything which is known to stain teeth. To keep teeth looking white, excellent oral hygiene should be employed, including thorough tooth brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning.