Can teeth whitening improve my smile?

Teeth whitening can brighten your grin by multiple shades, eliminating any yellowing or stains that have built up over the years. With in-office and take-home options, you can whiten your smile in a single visit, or gradually over the course of a few weeks. With a brighter set of pearly whites, you’ll look and feel younger and more confident in your smile. A simple, non-invasive teeth whitening treatment may be the solution you need to achieve a sparkling smile.


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Did you know…

Your teeth have microscopic pores that cause them to absorb stains like a sponge.

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How at-home teeth whitening works

Treatment Plan

First, you’ll discuss your smile goals with your dentist during your consultation. Together, you’ll decide If teeth whitening is the best option for your unique needs. If teeth whitening is right for your situation, your dentist will recommend a treatment plan designed to help you achieve the bright smile you deserve.

Impressions for Custom Trays

After deciding that at-home teeth whitening is right for you, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth using trays and putty or an intraoral scanner. The impressions then will be sent to a dental lab, where your custom trays will be crafted to your unique specifications.

Instructions & Application

Once your trays have been completed, you’ll return to the office to pick them and the rest of your whitening products up. Your dentist will also provide you with detailed instructions on how to use your whitening trays to brighten your smile in the comfort of your own home.

Types of whitening treatments

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Take-Home Whitening

Take-home whitening allows you to address your stained or discolored smile with a set of reusable custom-fitted trays and professional whitening products, all in the comfort of your own home. Take-home whitening is great for patients who are looking to brighten their smile at their own convenience.

Take-home whitening is also a more gradual and gentle process, which makes it a fantastic option for patients with sensitive teeth, or those who want a more subtle, less obvious change in their smile.

In-Office Whitening

In-office whitening is performed by your dentist, and provides quick, professional results in a single visit. In-office whitening is ideal if you’re looking to dramatically whiten your teeth for a special occasion, like a wedding, or some other event. 

During the procedure, your dentist will apply a powerful whitening agent to your teeth, while being careful not to let it come into contact with your gums or cheeks. They will then activate the whitener with a UV light before rinsing it away. The whole process may be repeated to achieve your desired level of whiteness.

KöR Whitening

KöR Whitening is one of the best selling teeth whitening systems, and with good reason. Because of its versatility and overall effectiveness, KöR at-home whitening allows you to brighten your smile in the way that suits your needs and lifestyle. With both take-home and in-office options, its teeth whitening on your terms.

For patients looking to whiten their smiles in the comfort of their own homes, we offer both KöR-Day™ or KöR-Night™ options for subtle, gradual treatment that results in a brighter smile in just 2 weeks. ‍Nighttime whitening is the most cost-effective and convenient option, as it allows you to whiten your teeth while you sleep. Daytime whitening is worn for shorter periods, making it a great option for patients with existing teeth sensitivity, or for those who prefer not to wear trays while they sleep.

For patients who desire quicker results, KöR in-office whitening can brighten your grin by multiple shades in a single visit. We can even combine in-office and at-home whitening treatments to treat stubborn stains and help you achieve your ideal smile.

UV Whitening

UV (ultraviolet) whitening is a part of the in-office whitening procedure, and involves the use of a special UV light that helps to excite the peroxide molecules found in teeth whitening products. The UV light allows the whitening agent to more thoroughly penetrate the tooth and helps to speed up the whitening process, so you can have your ideal smile in no time.

Chemical Whitening

All commonly-used and ADA-approved teeth whitening products use peroxide-based chemical whitening agents. Most frequently, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are used.

These chemicals work by destroying and removing stains, whitening your teeth at a molecular level. When peroxides, which contain highly-volatile oxygen molecules, come into contact with surface stains, they break the bonds that hold stains in place on your teeth. Peroxides effectively eliminate stains from your teeth, leaving behind your natural, white enamel, and a beautiful smile.

Did you know…

An increase in teeth sensitivity after whitening is normal, but should subside within a few days.

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Have questions about teeth whitening? Find answers here.

Can teeth whitening damage teeth?

When overseen and administered by your dentist, professional teeth whitening should never cause damage to your teeth. By using the proper whitening products and minimizing the amount of time the whitening agent is in contact with your teeth, your dentist can ensure that you don’t over-whiten your smile.

Over-whitening your teeth can result in permanent damage, as the peroxide-based whiteners used can weaken the enamel if they are used improperly, or too frequently. For this reason, it’s best to avoid over-the-counter teeth whitening kits from questionable sources, as they may contain dangerously-high levels of peroxide. 

If you don’t want to turn to your dentist for professional teeth whitening services, but still desire a brighter smile, keep an eye out for ADA-approved whitening products like Crest Whitestrips. By sticking to ADA-approved products, you can ensure that you are using a teeth-whitener with relatively low concentrations of peroxide, lowering the risk of enamel damage from over-whitening.

Which teeth whitening products actually work?

There are two categories of teeth whitening products that work to remove stains without causing irreversible damage to your enamel. 

Abrasive whiteners are the first category, and include products like toothpaste that contains baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and other mild abrasives. Baking soda, for example, works like sandpaper, rubbing away plaque and stains from the surface of your teeth. Abrasive whiteners work on minor stains, but they aren’t strong enough to cause damage to your enamel.

However, we recommend that you avoid abrasives like charcoal toothpaste, as the abrasives may be hard enough to damage your teeth. Just like with over-the-counter whitening strips, it’s best to stick to an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste.

Chemical whiteners are the second category of teeth whitening products that actually work, and are available from your dentist and over-the-counter. For the best results with the lowest risk, it’s best to work with your dentist to whiten your teeth. Over-the-counter whitening products can have varying levels of peroxide, making them potential causes of over-whitening and enamel damage.

Ask your dentist about what kind of teeth whitening is best for you and your smile at your next visit.

Why does teeth whitening cause sensitivity?

The leading theory behind whitening treatment causing teeth sensitivity is that the sensitivity is caused by the slight weakening of tooth enamel during the whitening process. This exposes microscopic pores in your teeth called “dentinal microtubules,” which connect the tooth’s exterior enamel to the interior nerve, allowing us to feel sensation in our teeth. When exposed, the microtubules can become more sensitive to temperature and pressure.
The good news is, post-whitening teeth sensitivity is usually a temporary condition lasting only a few days. This is because your body quickly remineralizes the teeth, sealing up the dentinal microtubules, and returning them to their less-sensitive original state.

Did you know…

The best way to keep your teeth white after treatment is to avoid staining foods & drinks.

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