Teeth Whitening FAQs

Frequently asked questions about teeth whitening solutions


How does teeth whitening work?

By using different formulations and concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, teeth whitening solutions remove external stains from the enamel of your teeth.

The in-office Zoom Teeth Whitening System that we offer uses a specifically formulated, pH balanced hydrogen peroxide gel that gets activated by a high-intensity light to gently penetrate your teeth and remove deep stains and discolouration.

There are many teeth whitening systems, from over-the-counter strips, take-home kits, and in-office systems.

They all work to some degree but are not equal. In-office systems are the most effective and over-the-counter solutions are typically the least effective.

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Is teeth whitening painful?

No needles or drills are used in the teeth whitening treatment, the high-intensity light generates no heat, and there is very little discomfort.

Some patients may experience temporarily increased sensitivity to cold during or after the treatment, but symptoms will disappear within 1-3 days after treatment.

To decrease sensitivity we recommend special toothpastes before treatment, and desensitizing gel used after treatment in take-home touch-up trays.

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Is the Zoom Teeth Whitening system safe?

Absolutely! The active ingredient in the teeth whitening gel is hydrogen peroxide, and extensive research and clinical studies have indicated that whitening your teeth with this product is entirely safe.

Citations are available upon request, or you may do further research online.

Teeth whitening won’t soften, damage, or weaken the enamel of your teeth.

However, treatment is not recommended for children under 13 years of age or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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How will teeth whitening affect my existing restorations?

Our teeth whitening treatment has no adverse affects on your existing restorations, fillings, dental crowns, veneers or dental bridges; however, these restorations also don’t benefit from teeth whitening the way natural enamel does.

After whitening, your teeth may no longer match the colour of your restorations and it’s possible you’ll need to replace the restorations with a whiter material to keep all of your teeth consistently bright.

We will be able to assess your specific circumstances during your pre-whitening appointment.

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Does teeth whitening work the same for everyone?

The results of teeth whitening will differ for every patient, but your teeth will always be noticeably brighter once treatment is complete.

Clinical studies have shown that the Zoom Teeth Whitening System can improve teeth whiteness by up to 12 shades, with the average being 8 shades.

Individual results will vary based on age, the type of stains, initial tooth colour and the extent of restorations used on your teeth (e.g. fillings, dental crowns, dental bridges).

Depending on individual results, we may recommend additional bleaching at home or another teeth whitening session at our downtown Calgary office.

Otherwise, with proper care and an occasional touch-up at home, your smile will sparkle for years to come.

To ensure the best results, we also encourage clients to refrain from staining products for at least 48 hours after treatment, such as coffee, tea, red wine or tobacco products.

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How do teeth become stained or discoloured?

There are many reasons that teeth can become discoloured over time.

Staining foods - Consumptions of foods like coffee, tea, wine, cola, berry juices, tobacco or even dark vegetables can lead to the staining of your teeth.

Poor dental hygiene - failing to properly care for your teeth with regular cleaning, brushing and flossing can worsen the effects of staining foods or other causes of discolouration.

Aging - the enamel surface of your teeth will gradually and naturally wear down over time, revealing the yellow material below (dentin) that comprises the core of your teeth

Microscopic cracks - simply from chewing and natural wear, millions of microscopic cracks will form in the enamel surface of your teeth and stains, and debris can build up to cause discolouration

Medications - Excessive consumption of fluoride or tetracycline during childhood can lead to discoloured teeth, as can certain diseases and medical conditions

Teeth whitening removes the stains and debris that can build up on your teeth to restore the natural brightness of even the darkest teeth.

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How can I keep my teeth bright?

To maintain a whiter smile, before and after your teeth whitening treatment:

  • Try to avoid staining foods like coffee, tea, red wine, cola, and tobacco
  • Maintain your regular hygiene appointments
  • Practice good oral hygiene and brush and floss regularly, especially after consuming the staining foods listed above
  • Avoid frequent exposure to acidic foods such as strong citrus fruits or vinegar, as they contribute to enamel erosion
  • Never smoke or use tobacco products
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Still have questions

You didn't find the answer you were looking for?

If you have more questions about teeth whitening solutions for you please don't hesitate to ask us at your next visit!