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"Whiter teeth" is the most common answer we hear when asking patients what they would most like to

improve about their smile.  Despite brushing and flossing regularly, over time our teeth can lose that

sparkle and begin to turn yellow.  This can be due to any number of reasons:


  • Foods and drinks that have dyes and substances can adhere to the enamel, our outer layer, of your teeth.  Common culprits include coffee, tea, wine, and dark soda drinks;

  • Tobacco use, by way of nicotine and tar, often leads to stained, yellow teeth;

  • As we age the inside, more yellow layer of our teeth called dentin, will start to show through as the white enamel becomes thinner due to brushing;

  • Traumatic injuries can cause teeth to change color as our teeth will lay down a thicker layer of dentin;

  • Certain medications (high blood pressure, antipsychotics, and antihistamines to name a few) can cause staining.  Young children exposed to drugs such as tetracycline or doxycycline (either in the womb or as a baby) can have an intrinsic staining in their adult teeth later in life.  Cancer treatments can also darken teeth.


Fortunately, advanced teeth whitening systems have enabled dentists to effectively whiten teeth without damaging them.  Most systems are similar in concept, but other factors, such as delivery method and concentration, are what can make one system more effective than another.  Our preferred delivery method is take-home whitening gel trays.  This involves taking an impression to have custom fit trays made for your teeth.  You will then get a supply of gel to put in the trays and wear them until you reach your desired result.  Teeth can become sensitive during the whitening process, but this is typically a temporary issue and will only last a short time after treatment is completed.  Whitening does not work on all discolored teeth, so it is important to discuss your options with our staff before making any decisions. 

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