Teeth can get stained or discolored over time as a result of eating or drinking certain foods and beverages, using tobacco products, or just the natural aging process. To fix this discoloration of the teeth, many patients opt for teeth whitening procedures. Whitening your teeth is one of the quickest methods to enhance the appearance of your smile and boost your confidence.

We at La Puente Advanced Dentistry provide comprehensive teeth whitening procedures in La Puente. We always recommend that you schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist before settling on a whitening treatment option. A dentist can recommend the appropriate teeth whitening solutions for you and oversee your procedure to prevent further problems.

Understanding Teeth Whitening

Demand for white, brighter teeth and a more beautiful smile has been on the rise for some time. Tooth whitening, also referred to as dental bleaching, is a common cosmetic procedure that may be conducted using a variety of methods and application procedures in a professional setting. Many over-the-counter (OTC) whitening treatments are also readily available for self-application at home. They include strips, gels, rinses, chewing gums, or paint-on films.

What Causes Teeth to Change Color?

Teeth discoloration refers to any alteration in the color or opacity of a tooth, as well as discoloration affecting numerous teeth or the whole dentition. Tooth discolorations are generally classified as extrinsic, intrinsic, or a mix of the two.

Here are common reasons why teeth change color:

Foods and Beverages

Coffee, tea, and red wine all contribute to tooth discoloration. They contain a substance called chromogens, which are strong color pigments that adhere to the white outer layer of your tooth known as enamel. To avoid discoloration from these beverages, drink through a straw to keep the stain-causing colors far from your teeth.

Using Tobacco

Tobacco contains two compounds, tar and nicotine, which combine to form a persistent stain. Tar is a black substance by nature. Nicotine is colorless, but it takes on a yellowish hue when combined with oxygen. The stain on your teeth is created by combining the two compounds.


Tooth darkening is usually caused by the normal aging process. The outer hard tissue coating our teeth, known as enamel, wears naturally as we age, exposing the darker dentin underneath. Your teeth may seem gray or yellow instead of white as a result of this.


If you have had a mouth injury, your teeth may change to a different color. This is because your tooth responds to the stress by depositing additional dentin, which is darker than your teeth's outer enamel to the injured area.


Many medications have the risk factor of darkening your teeth. Additionally, children who are exposed to medicine while their teeth are developing, whether in the womb or as newborns, may have adult tooth discolouration later on in life.

Some of the above-mentioned factors are avoidable, while others occur naturally over time. Try to stay away from some of these substances and clean and floss your teeth on a daily basis.

How Teeth Whitening Works

The term "tooth whitening" refers to any procedure that makes teeth whiter. Bleaching and non-bleaching whitening products are the two most popular approaches used in teeth whitening.

Although the phrases "bleaching" and "whitening" are frequently interchanged, the FDA specifies that the term "bleaching" can only be used when a product has bleach. When a product eliminates food or debris from the teeth without using bleach, it is referred to as a whitening product.

Extrinsic and intrinsic stains are the two types of stains found on teeth. Extrinsic stains form on your teeth's enamel. Intrinsic stains form deep into your dentin and in between the microcracks in the enamel.

Some extrinsic stains on your teeth may be removed with whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Only teeth whitening treatments, however, can eliminate the obstinate extrinsic stains as well as the unpleasant intrinsic stains that cause discoloration.

What are the Ingredients in Bleaching Products?

Peroxide is the active component in teeth whiteners sold by dentists or drugstores. However, the real bleaching agent is hydrogen peroxide, which is formed when carbamide peroxide is broken down.

Bleaching products available from a dentist are far more powerful than those sold over the counter. Dentist-recommended whiteners can include up to 45 percent peroxide, but store-bought whitening kits, like whitening strips or trays, often contain only 7 percent peroxide.

Glycerin, carbopol, sodium hydroxide, and flavorings are among the other ingredients in both dentist-recommended and over-the-counter teeth whiteners.

Patient Preferences and Considerations

Tooth whitening is often an optional procedure and a popular, non-invasive cosmetic treatment for people who want to improve their smile. A dental examination, with radiographs as well as other screening and diagnostic procedures as needed, prior to the commencement of tooth bleaching procedures can accurately identify multiple contributing factors to the patient's tooth discoloration. A standard oral examination, starting with a medical and oral history, often include inquiries about the patient's perception of the source of the teeth discoloration.

The amount of effectiveness of the whitening procedure is also influenced by the patient's dental features. Patients with tooth-colored replacements (such as crowns or implants) must be informed that the bleaching chemical will only impact natural teeth, and therapy may cause color variations between normal teeth and restorations. 

Teeth Whitening Options

If you decide to bleach your teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests seeing a dentist beforehand. If you are thinking about having your teeth whitened, here are some options that your dentist may take you through:

In-office Bleaching

In a dental office, whitening may be completed in about an hour. Here treatment entails applying a tooth whitening gel containing 25% to 40% hydrogen peroxide to your teeth, followed by placing a special heating lamp at your teeth for three 20-minute intervals, with reapplication of the gel in between intervals.

A laser may be used by some dentists. This is said to speed up or stimulate the whitening process. During the teeth whitening treatment, a protective shield is applied to keep your lips, gums, and tongue away from the whitening gel, ensuring that the bleach stays put on your teeth. The dentist will offer you whitening trays that are custom-made for your teeth, which you may use at home with bleaching solutions for best results.

A teeth whitening procedure at a dentist's office can cost between $300 and $400 for the light therapy and $300 to $400 for the custom-made trays.

Teeth Whitening at Home

Drug store bought teeth whitening kits are a popular alternative because they are cheap and easy to apply. Although they contain less peroxide than dentist-recommended whitening solutions, some individuals can get satisfactory results, but it may take longer. Whitening trays, strips, rinses, and toothpastes are examples of over-the-counter whitening kits and products. Their costs vary from $25 and $100.

Dentist-supervised whitening procedures will always be the best for your tooth enamel, according to the American Dental Association. Dentist-recommended solutions are also more successful in removing deep stains.

If you do decide to buy whitening goods from the pharmacy, seek for the mark of approval from the American Dental Academy. The ADA seal indicates that a product has been reviewed and proven to be safe and effective.

Whitening Trays

One way to whiten your teeth at home is by using tooth whitening trays. Dentist-dispensed take-home whitening kits are recommended by dentists because they have a high percentage that results in good outcomes.

The dentist will make fitting application trays out of flexible plastic using unique casts of your teeth. Fitted trays keep the bleach in direct contact with the teeth, prevents saliva from weakening the bleach, and reduces the quantity of bleach that leaks out and irritates your gums. Over-the-counter trays do not fit perfectly, resulting in bleach leaks and irritated gums.

Dental bleaching materials are either pre-loaded into trays or kept in syringes and applied to the trays prior to usage. A dentist may also modify the bleach concentration and prescribe a desensitizing substance to use before or after the bleaching procedure. Kits typically include enough gel for a two-week treatment each year, as well as a few touch-ups.

Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are one of the most common techniques used to whiten teeth. These are composed of a thin, flexible plastic that has been overlaid with a small concentration of bleach. The whitening strips are directly applied to the teeth, conforming to their contour. They may be worn while performing other chores, and they are disposed of once the administration time is up (typically approximately 30 minutes). The majority of them are used twice a day for two weeks.

Although whitening strips are much more efficient than whitening toothpastes, they might irritate sensitive teeth and gums. If you apply whitening strips and encounter any adverse effects, contact your dentist.

Because saliva can slip beneath the strips and neutralize the bleach, strips are less efficient than custom-fitted trays. Strips may not be long enough to accommodate a wide smile, and they may frequently fall out of position.

Because the peroxide concentration is small, most whitening strips are deemed safe. Strips containing chlorine dioxide, on the other hand, should be avoided since they can erode tooth enamel.

Whitening Rinses

Whitening rinses are among newest products that claim to whiten teeth. These treatments contain bleaching chemicals such as peroxide, which whiten teeth in addition to refreshing breath and decreasing dental plaque and gum disease.

Simply swirl the rinse around your mouth twice a day before brushing, and wait 12 weeks for results, according to the manufacturers. Some specialists, however, feel that using mouthwash for a short period of time is insufficient to detect effects.

Whitening Toothpastes

Silica, aluminum oxide, calcium carbonate, and baking soda are mild abrasives included in toothpastes that effectively eliminate surface discoloration. Whitening toothpastes do not include bleach like professional whitening treatments, but they do generally include extra polishing or chemical agents to assist eliminate more superficial discoloration. Unfortunately,  they will not assist you get rid of stubborn stains.

Whitening toothpastes can also be harsh, which some dentists advise against. The majority of whitening toothpastes can only lighten your teeth by one shade. If you do decide to use whitening toothpaste, seek for the ADA Seal to ensure that it has been thoroughly evaluated for safety and efficacy.

Adverse Effects of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can have these effects.


Tooth sensitivity is a frequent side effect of OTC or dentist-prescribed tray-based whitening. It is more common with larger concentrations of active chemicals, but it is usually moderate and temporary. All types of bleaching are linked to a risk of transient dental sensitivity perhaps due to pulp inflammation caused by peroxide exposure during the treatment.

Placid tooth sensitivity can result in approximately two-thirds of users during the early phases of bleaching therapy when it comes to dental hard tissues. Sensitivity can appear two to three days after beginning a whitening strip or tray-based treatment and normally subsides by the fourth day.

Irritation of the Gums

When using whitening strips or any gel-based product for whitening, contact with peroxide-based gels might cause gingival irritation. It's usually due to ill-fitting trays or a failure to apply the protective barrier or gel properly.

Local anesthesia should be avoided during in-office bleaching, according to dentists, so that patients can identify any burning sensations that could signify gel leakage through the barrier. Patients should also be instructed to notify the dentist if they experience any irritation during the treatment so that the barrier's credibility can be tested.

Do You Qualify for Whitening?

Most people can safely whiten their teeth, and those with slight discoloration are often the best candidates. However, some forms of discolouration are resistant to whitening procedures, and certain oral or medical illnesses might limit the likelihood that teeth whitening will work in your case. These are some of them:

  • Bleaching products do not work well with certain synthetic fabrics such as dental crowns, veneers or fillings. If you wish to improve your smile, you might need new crowns or veneers if you want them to appear whiter.
  • Brown teeth may not whiten as well as yellow teeth. Gray, white patches, or discolouration from a "dead" tooth may not be bleachable.
  • Bleaching teeth may worsen some conditions. Individuals with bruxism or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD) are among those who suffer from sensitive teeth or teeth with damaged enamel. In certain situations, in-office whitening treatments may be possible with these conditions. Make an appointment with your dentist to be made aware of your options.
  • If tooth discolouration is caused by medicines or a dental trauma, teeth whitening may not be effective

The most efficient and safest approach to achieve the quickest results is to have teeth whitening done in your dentist's office. Stronger bleaching chemicals are employed, and the mouth and gums are protected. The bleaching agent concentration may as well be tailored by the dentist. A dentist can also handle any tooth sensitivity or other complications that may occur as a result of therapy. In just one hour, teeth may be whitened by up to ten shades.

A dentist-supervised at-home bleaching solution that uses custom-made teeth trays is the second-most effective whitening technique. The bleaching chemical typically includes 10 percent carbamide peroxide which is applied for two weeks at a time, for roughly eight hours each night.

How Long Do the Results of Teeth Whitening Last?

Your dental care routine following treatment determines how long your teeth whitened results will last. It is vital to avoid staining drinks and meals as much as possible to maintain teeth white. If you drink red wine, coffee, or eat dark berries, you may prevent stains by using water to rinse your mouth with water, a dental wash or brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking these foods or beverages.

Tobacco use is a habit that also causes tooth discoloration. You should therefore consider stopping, reducing your use, or switching to non-staining nicotine-based products instead. Maintain your oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings as well.

Choosing the Best Whitening Treatment

How do you decide what whitening product is appropriate for you when there are so many options? Whether you want to have the whitening treatment at your dentist’s or want to use a drug store bought solution, the first step should be to contact your dentist. If you have problems that will not react well or may be worsened by bleaching, your dentist will let you know.

Think about the time you are prepared to commit to the process. An in-office teeth whitening procedure will take approximately an hour and cost you more money. Over-the-counter treatments are far less expensive, but they must be used twice daily for a number of weeks.

Finally, remember that it does not matter which whitening procedure you settle on, the benefits will fade with time. Re-staining your teeth can be caused by foods, beverages, smoking, and medicines. You must maintain proper dental hygiene for the results to last a long time.

Find Teeth Whitening Services Near Me

Brushing and flossing your teeth are simple ways to maintain bright, white, and healthy teeth . However, you're not alone if you think your teeth have lost some of their luster or have become yellow.

At La Puente Advanced Dentistry, we provide our patients with the best and most up-to-date dental treatments. While dentistry emphasizes on the prevention and treatment of dental problems as well as the aesthetics of your smile, we add a personal touch by recognizing that your smile is unique. Call us at 626-626-7075 today.