Teeth whitening in Costa Rica is becoming more and more popular with the rise of dental tourism. With affordable prices and high-quality dental care, visitors have been coming to Costa Rica for their dentistry since the 1970s.
With the unreasonable and rising costs of dentistry in America, it can be a far cheaper and more pleasant experience to get the sparkling white smile you’re looking for in Costa Rica.
But once you’ve made the decision to go for your teeth whitening in Costa Rica, what should you expect when you get there?
Check out our handy tips that’ll make your next trip to the dentist a breeze.
Laser Light, or Tray Teeth Whitening in Costa Rica?
The surface of a tooth is full of tiny ridges. These are actually microtubules – the kind of holes you’d find in a sponge. These microtubules are filled with saliva, which protects the nerve within the tooth from changes in temperature.
The tubules also fill with colorants, like the dark hue of your coffee, or the beautiful rich deep-red of your wine.
When your dentist fills these microtubules with the whitening mixture, this activates the process of whitening your teeth. When the saliva reenters the tubes, the process stops.
There are 2 popular methods of teeth whitening – laser light, and whitening trays.
Both methods include the use of a hydrogen peroxide solution but have distinct differences.
When you choose laser teeth whitening in Costa Rica, you’re in for immediate and painless results!
Laser whitening is a very safe process and is made more comfortable by the precautions your dentist will take.
First, your dentist will place a lip-retractor into your mouth. This is to expose your teeth for maximum accessibility and coverage. Then they’ll paint a rubber solution onto the gums, to protect them from the laser process.
You’ll also get a protective coating on the inside of your cheeks, and on your lips.
Your dentist will mix together a combination of hydrogen peroxide gel and an activator in a quantity that’ll work perfectly together to give you the gleaming smile you’re after.
The Whitening Cycle
With what’ll look like a tiny paintbrush, they’ll start to paint the mixture onto each individual tooth. Once it’s on, the fun starts!
A high-intensity laser light will be aimed at your teeth and will stay there for 20 minutes. The light changes the chemical composition of the gel solution and forces it inside the tubules. This removes the stains and colorants that have penetrated into each tooth, from the inside.
After 20 minutes, the light switches off. Your layer of bleaching solution will be wiped off, and a fresh coat applied.
This happens up to four times, depending on the original color of your teeth, so the process will take between 1.5 to 2 hours.
Once you’re finished, your dentist or hygienist will remove the protective barriers and lip-retractor, and you can have a rinse.
Then… take a look in the mirror. Within just 2 hours, your teeth will have been transformed by the laser whitening process. They’ll be up to 10 shades whiter than before!
Once your treatment is over, you’ll be given a set of whitening trays to take home, and use to maintain your treatment between visits. Keep reading to find out more about them.
Whitening trays are made by your dentist and are perfectly molded to fit your teeth. These are usually an at-home treatment, so won’t require a lengthy seat in the dentist’s chair.
First, an impression is made of both sets of teeth. Using this, your dentist will then make trays that slip over and grip your teeth tightly, yet comfortably. You’ll also be given some vials of a clear hydrogen peroxide gel to use along with your trays.
Once you’re at home with your whitening kit, you’ll syringe a little gel into each tooth impression in your trays. Dry teeth work best, so blot yours a little with a paper towel, and then slip your trays on.
The gel will probably ooze a bit. To counter this, run a damp paper towel around the inside of your mouth to mop up some of the excess gel. But don’t remove your trays!
Keep your trays in for the length of time specified by your dentist, and keep up the routine as per your dentist’s instructions.
Timeframe and Results
Using whitening trays as your sole method of teeth whitening reduces the cost, and doesn’t require much time at the dentist compared to laser whitening. The end result is a beautiful set of white teeth.
The process takes much longer, though (up to 6 weeks), as the peroxide concentration is low and takes longer to work.
Hydrogen peroxide bleach can make a person’s teeth more sensitive, as it is a strong chemical solution. However, these effects should go away within a couple of days.
If you feel any sensitivity at all while in the dentist chair, tell your dentist immediately, and they’ll adjust your treatment accordingly.
If you experience sensitivity after an at-home treatment, again, it’s best to speak to your dentist.
There are ways to manage the sensitivity you may experience, including things like avoiding hot and cold foods for a couple of days, avoiding sugary treats, and brushing your teeth more gently during this time.
Maintain that Brilliant Smile
All whitening treatments require some maintenance. After all, you got the stains from things like food, drink, and tobacco. But, you’ve gotta eat! So what next?
For the week following your treatment, avoid food and drink that’ll stain your teeth. Once that week is up, try and minimise your contact with these foods, to prolong the effects of your whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening aficionados swear by tricks like drinking their stain-inducing beverages through a straw. But dentists recommend drinking water between sips, or even brushing your teeth afterward.
With highly professional treatment at dramatically lower prices than you’ll find in America, going for teeth whitening in Costa Rica is a no-brainer.
Depending on the treatment you choose, you could have the pearly white smile you’ve always dreamed of in just a couple of hours.
With so much going for teeth whitening in this gorgeous country, why wait!
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