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Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)

Teeth whitening is an safe, economical, and non-invasive way to brighten your smile.

Your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist will help you choose which whitening solution is right for you. 

Bleaching and whitening are different approaches to making your teeth appear whiter. While the terms are used interchangeably, they are technically different. Whitening works by using an abrasive material to remove the stain on the surfaces of natural teeth and fillings. You can see this claim on many toothpastes. Bleaching, on the other hand, reduces the pigments on the inside of natural teeth. This is done with a variety of products that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Having a beautiful white smile is one of the most common requests by patients and there are a number of ways to bleach your teeth. Please consult with your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist about which method may be best for you.

teeth whitening before and after
icon representing teeth whitening

Teeth Whitening Options

There are several different ways you can achieve a whiter smile. Below are the most common methods.

Dentist-Dispensed Bleaching Trays
(For Home Use)

One of the most common methods for whitening teeth is the use of custom fitted bleaching trays. This procedure requires two appointments. At the first one, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth. A thin, clear plastic tray is then fabricated and custom fitted for your teeth. At the second appointment, you’ll be asked to try on the trays to see how they fit and adjustments are made if necessary. A bleach solution is dispensed by your dentist for use in the trays. You may wear the trays daily for 30 minutes or longer up to a few weeks depending on the level of whitening desired and the amount of stain on the tooth.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching System

You can purchase over-the-counter bleaching systems from DHA. These products come in the form of strips that are applied to your teeth by pressing them into place with your fingers. The strips available for purchase at your dentists office have higher concentrations of bleach than is offered in similar store bought products. They should be used only as directed on the package. Results are not as predictable as with bleaching trays, but this method is very economical and offers an easy solution to brighten your smile.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes contain polishing or chemical agents to improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains. This process will take much more time than the other bleaching options.

Bleaching FAQs

There are a few things you can do at home to help make your newly whitened smile last longer. First of all, maintain good oral hygiene habits including brushing and flossing daily. Also be sure to keep your six month cleaning appointments with your dentists office. Avoid color staining foods and beverages including coffee, tea, and red wine. Smoking also affects the color of your teeth so consider this motivation to quit.

This depends on a few factors such as which bleaching method you use, your natural tooth color and how well you will respond to bleaching. Ask your DHA dentist for a more specific answer for your teeth.

Occasionally, bleaching may cause irritation to the gingiva (gums) around the teeth being treated or it may cause increased tooth sensitivity. These symptoms can be treated by limiting the duration or stopping the process. If tooth sensitivity is a problem consider using a sensitive formula toothpaste or sensitivity mouthwash for a week prior to beginning the whitening process and continue its use until you have finished. Use caution when placing trays or strips into the mouth to avoid the whitening solution from coming into contact with your gum tissue. Use a Q-tip or tissue to wipe off excess solution after seating your trays or strips.

Patient Information

We encourage new patients to fill out a new patient form online prior to your first appointment. Be sure to select the appropriate location for your new patient forms, as once you complete them, they are sent electronically to the office you’ve chosen. 


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