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Deep Bleaching- How Does Whitening Work?

Teeth Whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry services we offer at Hughes Dental Arts Centre in Herrin,IL.  During deep bleaching a bleaching agent is placed on the teeth. The bleaching agents then penetrate and breakdown the outer layer of stain embedded on the surface of the teeth. Once this embedded layer of staining is removed, the natural whiteness of the teeth is allowed to shine through.


1. An exam must be done to assess the condition of your teeth and gums.

2. A dental polishing is done to remove any plaque or food buildup.

3. We will record your current tooth shade according to our dental shade guide. Then point out 4-6 shades down where we anticipate the shade will be after the bleaching process. Your tooth color will usually whiten 4-6 shades depending on your tooth enamel’s ability to respond to the whitening process.

4. A protective barrier is placed over the gum tissue to isolate the teeth so that bleaching gel will not get on the gums.

5. Gel white, a super charged bleaching agent of 38% concentration of hydrogen and carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth in 20 minute intervals.

6. To increase your comfort level we provide a fluoride treatment after the procedure.

7. A two week at home whitening process with gel strengths ranging between 11% – 22% is recommended directly following the in office procedure.

If you have any questions or concerns please call our office, we will be happy to help!


1. Put a small drop of the whitening gel inside the tray, corresponding to the front eight or ten teeth. Add the gel closer to the gum line so when you put the tray in, the gel will cover the entire surface of the tooth. You can choose where to bleach, just don’t go back any further than your molars (front 10 teeth are ideal). Brush & floss your teeth before inserting trays. Dry teeth with a towel so gel can adhere to teeth. Gently put trays in mouth; remove any excess gel that squirts out of tray so that it will not get on gums. Retire to bed and sleep with trays in your mouth all night. *For patients who cannot sleep in their trays, after eating dinner wear your trays up to bedtime (you can get 4-5 hours of wear). Try not to suck the material out of the trays after inserting them. The more you wear your trays, the whiter your teeth will get!

2. How white your teeth get, and how long it lasts depends on the character of your teeth so it cannot be accurately predicted. Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity when bleaching. This is not unusual and will resolve when the process is finished. If you have more than mild sensitivity, stop bleaching and contact our office.

3. Some sensitivity tips: Use Sensodyne toothpaste 4-6 weeks prior to bleaching and throughout the bleaching process. Rx or prescription strength fluoride pastes can be purchased here at Hughes Dental Arts Centre for $12-$15. This can be used prior to bleaching and throughout the bleaching process as well.

4. Teeth will continue to whiten for 48-72 hours after in-office whitening procedure. However, there are some things that should be avoided:

  • Go easy on coffee, tea, cola, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, blueberries, red wine, cranberry & grape juice and tomato sauce.
  • Tea is the worst for staining, brush…brush…brush. If you do eat these foods brush your teeth right away.
  • Do not smoke after treatment.
  • Drink liquids through a straw to prevent staining.
  • If you have sensitivity problems avoid high acid foods for 1-3 days. Ex. Orange juice, coffee, Mt. Dew, chocolate to name a few.

5. Wear trays overnight, 6-8 hours is ideal. As long there are not any problems (extreme sensitivity or sore gums) we suggest bleaching at home for 2 weeks and then just for maintenance after that.

6. Cleaning your bleaching trays… Always use COLD water when cleaning your trays (warm or hot water may distort trays). Keep trays away from indoor pets, they love to chew on dental appliances. Store trays in the case provided so they don’t get thrown away.

7. If you are getting future dental restorations, such as a filling, crown or veneer, it is imperative to stop bleaching at least 1 week prior to beginning such treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the whitening process or sensitivity issues please call our office, we will be happy to help.

Read 10 Tips for Healthy White Teeth

Teeth Whitening in Herrin IL

Contact Us at Hughes Dental Arts Centre to schedule an appointment to get a white smile!

Contact Us

Hughes Dental Arts Centre

504 Rushing Drive

Herrin, IL 62948

(618) 993-3100