Teeth Whitening

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening solutions contain various concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide, which penetrates the tooth structure & removes stain.

Are yellow teeth normal?

Variation in color of teeth can be as natural as variation in color of skin, eyes, and hair. This variatio is primarily due to difference in structure of teeth among different individuals.

Teeth are composed of two primary layers: 1. The outer enamel layer 2. The inner dentin layer.

Enamel is white and translucent, while dentin is yellow. Different individuals have different thickness of enamel and various shades of yellow for their dentin layer. The thicker the white enamel layer and the lighter yellow shade of dentin, the whiter teeth will appear. Conversely, the thinner the white enamel layer and the darker yellow shade of dentin, the more yellow teeth will appear.

However, it's important to realize that aside from the structure of the teeth, other factors can contribute to how white or yellow teeth will appear. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  1. Diet--Any food/drink that would stain a white shirt could potentially stain teeth.
  2. Smoking--Tobacco smoke could severely stain the enamel layer and result in yellow teeth.
  3. Poor oral hygiene--In absence of good oral hygiene, bacteria will attach to the surfaces of teeth and establish the plaque layer, which will then absorb the stain from the color of foods and drinks we consume, resulting in yellower teeth.

Therefore, yellow teeth can be a normal phenomenon or can be caused by external factors such as the ones discussed above.

What are my options for teeth whitening?

For simplicity, we will divide the whitening options into three major categories. The main difference between these categories is the concentration of the whitening solution used:

  1. Over the counter products: These products have the lowest concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide. They can be effective for addressing light stains, but are often ineffective, when it comes to dealing with heavier stains.
  2. Custom-fitted whitening trays: In this case, your dentist will fabricate "bleaching trays" that are custom fitted to your teeth. These trays are filled with a whitening gel that can be obtained from your dentist. These gels often have intermediate concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide. Once the trays are loaded with the solution, you will wear the try for 30-45 minutes per day for a few days till the desired shade is achieved. This is a convenient solution, because you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, anytime you like. Also, due to intermediate concentration of the whitening gel, this option can be used to tackle heavier stains compared to the over the counter products.
  3. In-office whitening/bleaching: This option requires the patient to make an appointment at the dentist office. During the appointment, your dental team will apply the whitening solution onto your teeth. This process usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour. The whitening solution used for in-office whitening usually has the highest concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide and can be effective for removal of heaviest of stains.

Is teeth whitening harmful to the teeth?

No! Done correctly & conservatively, teeth whitening is not harmful to the teeth. However, the higher the concentration of the whitening solution used, the higher the risk of temporary teeth sensitivity post-op. This is usually not a major problem as sensitivity usually resolves, after few days. However, if your teeth are sensitive to begin with, you might want to consider whitening options that use lower to intermediate concentration of the whitening solution.

Does teeth whitening guarantee results?

There are no guaranteed results for teeth whitening. Results vary from patient to patient. Some patient can achieve major change in the shade of their teeth by using even the weakest of whitening solutions; whereas, others may not see any noticeable change in the shade of their teeth even with the strongest of whitening solutions.

What should I consider, before whitening my teeth?

-Realistic expectations: As mentioned above, not all individuals will see drastic change in the shade of their teeth. So, it's important to have realistic expectations.

-Possibility of post-op tooth sensitivity: This is often temporary & will resolve on its own, after a few days.

-Choosing the right product: Depending on the level of staining of teeth, certain whitening options may be more effective than others.

Don't let yellow teeth ruin your smile. Dr. Naman Zia Ebrahimi is a top dentist in Fountain Valley, CA, who is here to help you achieve the beautiful smile you deserve. Following a thorough examination of your oral health, Dr. Ebrahimi will provide you with expert advice and recommend the most suitable treatment option tailored to your specific needs. 

Your journey towards improved oral health and well-being begins with a simple step – contacting us. Reach out to Naman Zia Ebrahimi, DMD today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ebrahimi and take the first stride towards a beautiful, healthy smile.

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