Teeth Whitening – the most Frequently Asked Questions.

16 Sep, 2022 | By teethwhiteningbypearl

Teeth Whitening appointments come with their fair share of questions. How long do results last? Does it hurt? Does it damage your enamel? These are just a few questions our Hygienists at Pearl Boutique Dental Hygiene get.

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked ones. Always feel free to speak to your Hygienist about any concerns you may have.

What is Teeth Whitening and what is the process?

Teeth Whitening is the process of using whitening agents and LED lights to activate the gels to lighten the teeth. In office treatments often use higher concentrations of active ingredients to achieve visible results more quickly.

Whitening gels use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to break up both surface and deeper stains within the teeth. The peroxide enters into pores in the enamel and works to break up the stain molecules, resulting in whiter teeth.

How long do results last for and what are the side effects?

The lasting results of a Teeth Whitening is dependent on the aftercare. For the first 48 hours post treatment, it is recommended to follow the ‘White Diet’ or to avoid food/drink that would stain a white t-shirt. The pores of the teeth are open and can easily absorb the pigment from food or drink.

Managing this by limiting coloured foods, drinking through straws and brushing your teeth regularly, help extend the results of your Teeth Whitening.

The most common side effect of teeth whitening is temporary tooth sensitivity or mouth and gum irritation. Tooth sensitivity can be experienced during or after your appointment. It can feel like a sharp pain in your tooth but should subside in 2-4 days.

Avoiding drinks of extreme temperature (hot or hot) or using Toothpastes to remineralize the teeth can help with any sensitivity.

Can Teeth Whitening damage my enamel?

It’s suggested to do in office whitening no more than 2-3 times a year. Research suggests getting your teeth whitened repeatedly or using tooth whitening kits for longer than the recommended duration can result in permanent damage to your tooth enamel.

Speaking to your Hygienist about a whitening schedule is recommended.

It hurts when I’ve whitened my teeth at home. What do you do differently?

Patients have mentioned feeling sensitive after using at home whitening kits or strips. With in-office treatments the Dental Hygienist applies a barrier to the gums to keep the bleaching gel from spreading into the gums.

Unfortunately, this is available with most stripes so it is likely that people may spread the bleaching agent onto their gums which causes irritation.

At Pearl Boutique Dental Hygiene, we have a whitening kit for sale for $149. It includes an LED light tray that helps keep the whitening gel in place by keeping your lips and saliva from moving around.

Patients that have had a Dental Cleaning or Teeth Whitening at Pearl Boutique Dental can purchase the kit in clinic for $99.

Can my fillings, crowns or veneers be whitened?

The short answer is, no. Inorganic materials (anything other than your natural tooth) will not whiten. These are materials that don’t have pores to absorb the bleaching agent.

It is best to have your teeth whitened BEFORE putting in a crown or filling, this way they can be matched to the newly whitened teeth.

How many shades will my teeth change?

Professional teeth whitening results are varied between clients.  Teeth can go anywhere from 2-12 shades lighter with the average being a 4 shades difference. Some people may yield better results than others.

When should I get my teeth cleaned before my whitening?

It is best to have the teeth a clean as possible before a tooth whitening. This is because whitening agents do not whiten plaque or tartar and if there is build up, it will become more noticeable. We would suggest waiting no more than 6 months after your cleaning to get a whitening.

 At Pearl Boutique Dental Hygiene, we offer Teeth Whitening at a discounted rate when booked with a Dental cleaning. New guests receive 50% off their teeth whitening, when booked with a Dental cleaning and Return guests receive 25% off.

How long is the appointment?

In the Teeth Whitening appointment the Hygienist takes her time to go through your health forms, isolate the teeth in gums to avoid sensitivity issues during the treatment and applies the whitening gels. The application alone can take anywhere from 15-60 minutes.

We allow 1.5 hours for Teeth Whitening appointment on its own but booked with a Dental Cleaning, you can expect for an appointment to be 2.5 hours.

Is Teeth Whitening covered under Dental Insurance?

In most cases patients won’t be able to claim the whitening under their Health Insurance because it is considered a cosmetic treatment. Some patients may have a health spending account which allows them to claim. After your appointments you are always sent a receipt via email for your records.


Teeth Whitening is a quick and easy way to a whiter smile. If you have mild tooth staining, consistent brushing, flossing and adding a tooth whitening mouth rinse to your oral care routine can help maintain the whiteness of your teeth. It may also help to avoid or minimize eating foods or liquids that are known to stain your teeth, including wine and coffee.

Aftercare is a must when it comes to keeping your smile white and home kits and pens are available as well.

Teeth Whitening may help with confidence but the most important thing is that your teeth are healthy and functional. Along with Teeth Whitening, make sure every 6-9 months you are having your teeth professionally checked and cleaned.

Enjoy beautiful white teeth in Vancouver! Contact 604-620-9901 or book online

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