Wedding day is almost upon us and I’m getting in my final few treatments, so I thought it might be interesting for some of you to read about my teeth whitening experience. It’s something that I’ve thought about a lot over the years, as I’m sure many of you have. But it wasn’t really what I expected.
First let me start off saying that I absolutely love my dentist and dental office. It’s where I got my treatment done and no matter what would keep coming back to them because they are just so kind and passionate about dental health.
I first decided about getting my teeth whitened a few months ago. I consulted with my dental hygienist who informed me that they do whitening in-office with a brand called Pola. She suggested I do some research about the brand and if I would like to proceed, to call in and make an appointment. And that’s just what I did.
When I came in to have my procedure I met with the most experienced whitening hygienist in the office. She started by telling me that she would be taking some moulds of my teeth for an at-home kit for touch ups later. That part pretty much went as I expected – kind of awkward and goopy, but overall, totally fine.
For the procedure she explained that she would start by putting a solution on my gums that is cured and hardened to prevent the bleach from irritating my mouth, then apply the whitening solution four times, for 10 minutes each. I thought that seemed a little strange, but she explained that the solution that they were using was most effective for 10 minutes, so by applying then re-applying, I’ll get the best results.
She also did warn me that I would likely experience some sensitivity and that sometimes, if the bleach gets on your gums, it can cause minor chemical burns that result in white gums, but that it would dissipate in a few hours to a day.
Like any dental procedure I was a little nervous, but the hygienist made me feel very comfortable. She put a contraption in my mouth to keep my teeth exposed (it was a bit uncomfortable but not at all painful) and she began with the hardening solution.
It was kind of a weird sensation at first. She would apply in sections and as she cured the product with a UV light I felt a warm tingling. When that part was complete, she began with the first round of whitening.
To be honest, throughout each round of whitening, I didn’t actually feel much discomfort or sensitivity on my teeth. One thing I did notice though, especially around the third application, was some pain on my gums. It kind of felt like a sharp burn. Each time I felt that I would let the hygienist know, and she would remove any product in the area.
But by the end of the third session I had to ask the hygienist to stop. She told me that not everyone does four rounds, and if my gums hurt that it was perfectly normal to stop. She removed the whitening solution and the hardened product on my gums and told me that I had, in fact, gotten some chemical burns. She said that she thought it was likely because my saliva mixed with the solution and seeped on to my gums.
I definitely could feel the burns – and when I looked in the mirror I was pretty terrified. But even after 10 minutes the whiteness had disappeared. I wish I had remembered to take a photo to share here – but lets just say, if I had seen what it could have looked like before the procedure I wouldn’t have went through with it.
For a few days after my whitening my gums were really sore. My teeth weren’t sensitive at all (although I am using a sensitivity toothpaste), but my gums made it a real challenge to brush. After about the 3-day mark my gums finally felt normal, and a few days after that I decided to try my at-home touch up kit.
The kit is pretty easy to use. I was given PolaNight – which has it’s own instructions for how to use it, by my dentist advised me to just put a small amount of the product on to the teeth moulds and wear them for 15 minutes before rinsing and brushing. And honestly – this stuff works! I really truly wished that I could have just bought this kit alone instead of getting the dentist to apply it first.
I mean, I could definitely see a difference in how white my smile was after my dental appointment – the more intense treatment by the hygienist certainly works too. But would I do it again? Most certainly not. The price and discomfort was more than I bargained for. Maybe next time I’ll ask if I can just purchase the at-home kit alone. Either way I’m happy with my result. My teeth are whiter and that’s exactly what I wanted for the wedding day. I’m just not sure I’ll be doing it again.
Have you ever had your teeth whitened? I’d love to hear what your experience was like!