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Teeth Whitening: The Simplest and Least Expensive Way to Transform Your Appearance

Jul 14, 2023
Keeping your teeth clean is important, but it doesn't mean they will stay as bright as you want them. Teeth whitening is an effective way to get the brighter teeth, and we have many options to help you get the look you want.

A healthy lifestyle should be everyone’s goal, including making sure to properly care for your teeth to prevent conditions that damage them and your overall health. But that doesn’t mean that your teeth will stay their whitest, as several things affect the color of teeth including lifestyle, genetics, and your environment. 

Two parts of your teeth determine their color: enamel and dentin. Dentin is located just underneath the enamel, and in healthy teeth it has a light yellow color, while the enamel is actually translucent. So, there is a good chance some of the yellow will show even if you care for them routinely. 

However, teeth can change color for many reasons, and teeth whitening is an option for people that want to make their teeth as bright as possible. There are many ways we can help you get the look you want, so let’s examine these methods by looking at the reasons for tooth discoloration, how the tooth whitening works, and your options to get those shiny pearly whites.

If you live in the Sacramento, California, area and you want to get your teeth as bright as they can be, Dr. Peter Kim and his skilled medical team at Sierra Oaks Dental can help you brighten your smile.

Reasons for discoloration

Changes in tooth color can happen for a lot of reasons, and breaks down into two categories: changes affecting the enamel of your teeth (extrinsic), and changes that affect the dentin (intrinsic). Common causes of discoloration include:

  • Dietary staining: the foods and drink we ingest can directly affect the color of out teeth, and things like coffee, tea, soy sauce, and red wine can make teeth darker.
  • Poor oral hygiene: not taking care of teeth can lead to the buildup of plaque, which can cause discoloration among other problems.
  • Tobacco use: smoking and other tobacco products causes significantly more yellowing of teeth in people that use them.
  • Excess fluoride: fluoride is healthy for teeth in normal doses, but too much can stain teeth and lead to other problems.

How the tooth whitening works

Making teeth whiter is done through either bleaching using whitening agents applied directly to teeth for a period of time or through bleaching done with light therapy. Whitening can be done at a dentist’s office or at home with bleaching kits. 

Bleaching methods generally use peroxide based bleaching agents, such as carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, and the concentration of agents depends on whether or not you’re getting it done in the office or doing it yourself at home. Light therapy is applied to teeth after the bleaching agent is placed on them to enhance the effects and make teeth even brighter.

Types of treatment available

We offer a few options for whitening your teeth:

BIOLASE Epic™ laser

This method uses a diode laser that can be used for several dental problems, but we can use it to help you get whiter teeth.


This technique employs a 25% concentration of hydrogen peroxide and LED light technology to help whiten teeth faster. It also uses amorphous calcium phosphate to protect enamel.

Boost™ teeth whitening

This procedure uses a chemically activated gel with 40% hydrogen peroxide time released over a longer period of time over the other methods listed, but under controlled conditions to avoid damage to teeth. 

Getting whiter teeth can help you feel better about your smile, and we can help you get them their whitest. Make an appointment with Dr. Kim and Sierra Oaks Dental today to get started.