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Teeth Whitening

This video shows you how the appearance of your teeth can be improved using custom-made trays and whitening gel applied by your doctor.

Get Whiter Teeth In-Office or At Home

Is a cup of coffee how you like to start your day? Do you enjoy tea in the afternoon or a glass of wine at dinner? These are just a few of the habits that may make your life more pleasurable but have a negative impact on the appearance of your teeth. Dark liquids, acidic foods, and various other factors can stain your teeth over time, making them appear yellow and dull. Teeth whitening products remove surface stains, giving you whiter teeth and confidence in a brilliant smile.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening in San Diego

When it comes to tooth whiteners, patients have two options: in-office whitening treatments or home whiteners. Both options use a peroxide gel bleaching agent. At-home systems contain from 3% to 20% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides.) In-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide and usually yield the best whitening results.

Generally, the longer you keep a stronger solution on your teeth, the whiter your teeth become. However, the higher the percentage of peroxide in the whitening agent, the shorter it should be applied to the teeth. Side effects of keeping the gel on too long include tooth dehydration and increased tooth sensitivity.

Your dentist can help you decide which type of bleaching agent is right for you. Not everyone will see similar results. Tooth bleaching will not whiten porcelain crowns or composite tooth-colored bondings.

Whitening toothpaste contains chemicals or polishing agents that brighten tooth enamel by about one shade. Whitening strips come in a home whitening kit and must be applied once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days, with results lasting approximately four months. These teeth whitening products may be appropriate options for patients with sensitive teeth.

Professional teeth brightening generally gets teeth three to eight shades brighter. In-office treatments usually take a few 30-to-60-minute visits, though some dentists use techniques that can be performed in a single, two-hour appointment.

Dentist-prescribed, at-home tooth bleaching systems use molded trays filled with bleaching gel to achieve similar results. Trays are placed over the teeth for one to several hours a day for up to four weeks, depending on tooth color.

Professional tooth whitening gets teeth brighter, faster, and with longer-lasting results.

Many factors can contribute to stained or yellowed teeth:

  • Coffee and dark teas
  • White and red wine
  • Dark and light-colored carbonated beverages
  • Sports drinks
  • Acidic or strongly colored foods
  • Smoking
  • Some prescription medications
  • A lack of a proper oral health routine
  • The aging process
  • Trauma
  • Genetics

Patients with stained or discolored teeth due to these or other factors are good potential candidates for teeth whitening.

For in-office treatments, peroxide gel is applied to the teeth. A laser or special LED light may be used to create a chemical reaction in the teeth, breaking down stains and lightening the color of your teeth.

For an at-home whitening system, your dentist will first take a mold of your teeth. Custom trays that fit your teeth exactly will be made from the mold. These trays are yours to keep and can be used whenever you feel your teeth need additional brightening. The whitening gel is placed in the trays, then fitted onto your teeth. The trays are kept in place for the amount of time prescribed by your dentist to achieve the best whitening results, then removed and cleaned, so they’re ready for the next application.

Both office and home teeth whiteners are completely non-invasive and painless, and both are remarkably effective. Most teeth will only get so white before they cannot be made any brighter by additional applications.

Although whitening can’t prevent stains from forming again in the future, good oral hygiene will help to preserve your brighter smile. Some patients slow the speed at which stains accumulate by drinking beverages that stain through a straw and reducing their consumption of those beverages. Swishing your mouth with water after eating or drinking will also help maintain the brightness of your teeth. And quitting smoking can have a tremendous impact on keeping your teeth their whitest.

Contact Us Today

A dazzling, bright smile boosts confidence and is a wonderful way to greet the world. Contact us today to discuss if teeth whitening can help you look your best.