Coast Dental Blog
Ways to Remove Stains and Whiten Teeth

Are you looking to remove stains and brighten your smile?  You can whiten your teeth many ways, from professional in-office teeth whitening by your dentist to using over-the-counter products.

Some spas and tanning salons also provide teeth-whitening services, although typically the staff members are not trained to perform dental examinatins which may uncover issues that need correcting before safely whitening your teeth.

Tarpn Springs dentist Dr. Jose Avila, who practices at Coast Dental Tarpon Springs in Florida, has more than 20 years of dentistry experience.  He says bleaching works only on natural teeth, not on implants or crowns, and many people like to begin with a professional whitening application in the dental office, then follow up later with a take-home system for maintenance.

However, in some cases, the teeth may be so stained or damaged, bleaching them will not help.  In that case, you should ask your dentist about other options such as crowns or veneers to get the cosmetic result that you want, said Dr. Avila.

Here's a quick look at the different teeth whitening options and the benefits of each:

BriteOn!® In-Office Professional Whitening

BriteOn whitening

  • Professional one-time procedure that typically takes about 30 minutes
  • May whiten teeth up to 8 shades
  • Removes stains from food, beverages, medication and smoking
  • Proprietary photodynamic technology uses light energy to strengthen whitening power of the ingredients
  • Hydrogen peroxide-based whitening solution is 5 to 7 times stronger than most over-the-counter strips
  • Non-abrasive technology is proven safe for gums and tooth enamel
  • Includes a take-home touch-up brightening pen

Take-Home Whitening Kit

  • Purchase from a dentist, in-stores or on-line
  • If purchased from a dentist, typically involves filling a custom-made mouthguard-shaped tray with a whitening gel
  • Over-the-counter kits typically do not include custom-made mouthguard-shaped trays, so they are not molded properly to the tooth and gums, which could cause ulcerations and gum injuries
  • Often contains carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide when exposed to your saliva
  • The concentration of the whitening ingredient is much lower than professional-strength, which means it will take longer to see measurable results

Whitening Strips & Whitening Gels

  • Lower-strength whitening products available over the counter
  • Thin strips that have been coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel are applied to teeth or the gel is applied directly to teeth
  • Many people have difficulty keeping the strips in place
  • Many people have difficulty keeping the teeth dry so the gel can be correctly applied in the right amount
  • Typically apply to teeth for a half-hour once a day for two or more weeks
  • Typically promise to lighten teeth one to three shades
  • Cost varies

Whitening Toothpastes

  • Available over the counter
  • Cheapest option
  • Typically contain mild abrasives which gently polish the teeth and help remove some stains
  • May contain additives such as sodium tripolyphosphate to also help break down and dissolve stains
  • However, the whitening agent in the toothpaste is only in contact with the tooth for a short amount of time, so the active ingredient has very little time to work

Power Toothbrushes

  • Some power toothbrushes like the Revolation and the InteliSonic use a brushing motion that naturally whitens teeth by helping to remove stains

Before using any teeth whitening product, see your dentist for a complete dental examination and ask about the products he or she recommends to achieve the results you desire!

Tarpon Springs dentist Dr. Jose AvilaTarpon Springs dentist Jose Avila, DMD, has been a practicing dentist since 1992.  He provides general dentistry services and emergency dental services to patients age 12 and older.  Services include crown lengthening, dental implant restorations, extractions, gummy smile, periodontal disease management, teeth whitening, and root canal therapy and retreatment.  Dr. Avila is a member of the UPCDA and Academy of General Dentistry and is fluent in English and Spanish.  He practices at Coast Dental Tarpon Springs, 41324 U.S. Highway 19 North, Tarpon Springs, FL, 34869.  The telephone number is (727) 942-4144.

Written by: Beth Gaddis
Reviewed by: Jose Avila, DMD
Reviewed by: Cindy Roark, DMD

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