What to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Session at Addison Family Dentistry

Most people admit that the first thing they notice when they meet someone is their smile. Knowing this is true makes individuals without “perfect” teeth feel insecure. But just because your smile isn’t dazzlingly white doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it.

With today’s technologically advanced methods, you have lots of options to whiten your teeth. However, you don’t want to entrust your teeth’s care to any product. The safest whitening technique is an in-office professional teeth whitening service.

At Addison Family Dentistry, we use only the best ingredients and state-of-the-art equipment to whiten your teeth. Treatments in our office are simple and fast, so you can get back to your day quickly. 

But preparing for your teeth whitening session is important. This guide will teach you what to expect and how to keep your newly lightened teeth that way for a long time!

Before You Go to Your Whitening Session

There isn’t a lot you have to do to get ready for your appointment. However, like any other cosmetic procedure, you do need an exam before jumping into a whitening treatment. 


If you haven’t done so already, be sure to schedule a regular office checkup. This gives the dentist the chance to make sure your teeth and gums are in good shape. Although the procedure is gentle, your gums need to be healthy enough to handle the steps in the whitening treatment and the bleaching agent.

When you have problems like sensitive teeth, any whitening product can make them worse. It’s not one of those things you can ignore and hope it goes away. The sensitivity is a warning sign that means there’s an underlying issue somewhere that has to be addressed. 

Sensitive teeth are usually caused by things like:

  • A chip or crack in a tooth

  • Cavities

  • Beginning or progressing gum disease

  • Worn fillings

  • Too many whitening treatments


At Addison Family Dentistry, we’ll catch any problems in your oral health before your whitening treatment. Together, we will make a plan to address them, and get you on your way to the white smile you’ve been dreaming of.

Once you’re cleared and scheduled for a whitening visit, though, all you need to do is be sure you eat at least half an hour before your visit. Brush your teeth after your meal, and head on over to our office!

During Your Whitening Session

After you get checked in and settled in our chair, you’ll start your visit with a professional cleaning. This gets rid of any plaque and tartar that have hardened on your teeth so we have fresh, clean enamel to work with.


With the cleaning over with, the hygienist will keep your mouth dry by placing some gauze in it. Your lips, gums, and teeth have sensitive tissue that the whitening agent could irritate. In order to prevent this, retractors are inserted into your mouth. 

The retractors keep the whitening agent from touching any of the sensitive tissues. The gel won’t hurt anything it touches, but we’d all rather avoid the potential irritation.

Next, your gums are brushed with a protective covering, and then the whitening gel is applied to the enamel of your teeth. The agent interacts with the dentin in your teeth. Dentin is the porous layer that determines the color of each tooth. When these pores expand, the whitener can get inside the dentin and lighten the shade.

To help the whitening agent work faster, a special light is shone over your teeth. This light activates the gel, making it more effective so you get results quickly. 

The whole process usually takes about an hour, during which time you can relax. There’s no pain or discomfort, and when it’s all done, you have a new, improved smile!

After Your Whitening Session

When you leave our office, you can go straight back into your day without any delay. The only restrictions are in the food and drink you eat for the first 48 hours. The dentist will talk to you about how to make sure your white smile stays white! 


Remember, the dentin in your teeth is still open for the next couple of days. You don’t want to invite any discoloration to happen again by eating and drinking food that will stain. Make sure you stay away from any colorful or acidic food and beverages. 

Some foods are notorious for staining everything they come into contact with, including your teeth. Spaghetti sauce, dark wines, coffee, and tea are definite no-nos. After 48 hours, you can go back to your normal diet.

You might also notice a little sensitivity in your teeth after your professional whitening session. This is a common short-term side effect. For most people, it doesn’t last longer than two or three days. If you notice it continuing after that, contact our office. To limit the problem, you can use special toothpaste made for reducing teeth sensitivity.

Keep Your Teeth Whiter Longer

The better your oral hygiene routine is, the longer you’ll keep your newly white teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash. Good cleaning habits keep the tartar and plaque away and prevent food and drink stains from building up.


Schedule regular checkups with Addison Family Dentistry for your cleanings. Consistent visits give your dentist the chance to catch problems early before they become big issues.

You can also use reputable teeth whitening toothpaste after your treatment. Talk to your dentist about the brands that are recommended by the American Dental Association. A touch-up professional whitening treatment can be done once or twice a year if you want to keep those pearly whites shining strong.

Ready to schedule your professional teeth whitening service? Contact our office at Addison Family Dentistry to get the process started! Our friendly office staff is ready to answer all your questions and make your whitening treatment appointment today. You’ll be on your way to a whiter smile that you’re proud to show off!

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