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Whitening Solutions

Hello again everyone, one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that people request is tooth whitening. There are a lot of different products out there but we will focus on a few of the basic methods and how whitening works.


Whitening works through the application of either Hydrogen Peroxide(HP) or Carbamide Peroxide(CP), which penetrates the tooth surface and breaks down the chemicals that accumulate in the tooth, causing the staining. The higher the concentration of either Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide increases how quickly it works as well as how many shades whiter you get per treatment. There are many many different products out there that claim tooth whitening, but they generally fall into a few different categories:

1. Toothpastes and rinses
2. Whitening Strips
3. Take home custom trays
4. Professional In Office whitening

Whitening toothpastes and Oral rinses are made by most of the big companies like Colgate and Oral-B. There are even a few holistic brands that claim whitening properties as well. Of all the categories, you will get the slowest and least impressive results with these types of products. That being said, they can do wonders preventing additional staining, especially if you are someone who drinks red wine frequently, or if you are a smoker. Generally, these products use very low levels of either whitener

Whitening strips are usually made by the same makers of the toothpastes and such. They are placed over the teeth for anywhere from 20-60 minutes and are used as much as daily depending on the type and the kind of results that you are looking for. Comparatively, they are much more effective at whitening than the toothpastes or rinses, but are also much more likely to cause tooth sensitivity or damage to the enamel if used too frequently or for an extended period of time.

Take home custom trays are made by your dentist and they dispense prescription grade HP or CP gel depending on the clinical preference of your dentist. When Dr. Pan makes custom trays for patients, they are generally cautioned to start off slowly so that patients do not get sensitive teeth. Because the gel is generally much stronger than the ingredients in the white strips, you tend to see results much faster with less applications as well. It is important to remember that if the gel is harmful to your gums, so you have to be careful with how much you put in the trays.



Professional whitening is performed in a dental office under the supervision of your dentist. Treatments can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on what type of whitening agent is being used and the desired results. You can get AMAZING results in just one treatment through this method. However, with great results can come great sensitivity. Some in office whitening treatments recommend taking a mild pain killer like ibuprofen before the treatment! Make sure to ask your dentist what they use and what the level of sensitivity to be expected is before undergoing treatment.

As ever, if you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at (916)781-6688 or visit our Website. You can chat live with us during business hours, or request more information.

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