Everyone wants a bright white smile, but sometimes brushing and flossing just isn't enough to achieve the desired results. Luckily, your dentist can help. Professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the colour of your teeth and enhance your overall appearance. But what can you expect when you visit your dentist for a teeth whitening treatment? Here's a rundown of what you can look forward to.

Consultation Before Treatment

Before your dentist whips out any whitening agents, they will likely ask you about your dental history and examine your teeth. This is to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and that you are a good candidate for teeth whitening. Your dentist may also discuss with you the different options for teeth whitening available to patients, such as in-office treatments versus take-home kits.

Teeth Cleaning

After you and your dentist decide to proceed with a teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will begin by cleaning your teeth. They will remove any plaque and tartar buildup that could interfere with the effectiveness of the whitening agent. Once your teeth are clean, your dentist will apply a barrier to protect your gums from any potential irritation.

Whitening Treatment

The actual teeth whitening process can vary depending on the specific treatment option chosen by you and your dentist. In-office teeth whitening may involve applying a gel or paste containing bleach to your teeth and then shining a light on them to activate the whitening agents. Take-home kits often involve the use of custom-made trays that you fill with whitening gel and wear on your teeth for a specific amount of time, usually several hours a day up to a few weeks.


Once your teeth are sufficiently whitened, your dentist will remove the barrier from your gums and provide you with aftercare instructions. Be prepared for your teeth to be sensitive following the procedure; your dentist may recommend using a desensitising toothpaste or avoiding certain foods and drinks for a period of time. Your dentist may also recommend routine touch-up treatments to maintain the desired level of whiteness.


Professional teeth whitening can be pricey, but the cost varies depending on the treatment option you choose and where you live. In-office treatments tend to be more expensive than take-home kits, and costs will likely be higher in larger cities. However, many dental insurance plans do cover some or all of the cost of teeth whitening, so be sure to check with your provider before proceeding with treatment.

Contact a local dentist to learn more.