Everyone loves functional and aesthetic teeth. When you speak, people first notice your smile and teeth. A flawless smile will leave a lasting impression, improve your confidence, and depict a good picture of your oral hygiene. Nonetheless, your teeth might not be as sparkly as you would like because of habits like smoking and diet choices. Particular foods and beverages can cause your teeth to lose their luster.

Stained teeth will affect your appearance, leading to low self-esteem and social anxiety. Whenever you go out with stained teeth, you feel uncomfortable because people have the misconception that discoloration is due to poor oral habits. This can cause you to withdraw from society.

Do not allow discolored teeth to prevent you from living life to the fullest. The smile you have always wanted can now be restored with whitening procedures thanks to advancements in dental technology. In Aliso Viejo, California, South Coast Dentistry provides teeth whitening services to give you a radiant smile.

Teeth Whitening Definition

Whitening is a dental procedure that involves restoring the tooth’s surface to its natural color by removing stains, dirt, discoloration, and debris. On the other hand, bleaching is defined as the whitening of the teeth past their natural color. The treatment utilizes bleaching products like hydrogen peroxide.

As teeth age, they are prone to many issues like discoloration, trauma, and staining. Some of the factors that determine whether your teeth will stain include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Injuries or trauma
  • Smoking
  • Certain medication
  • Diet choices

Let us discuss these tooth discoloration causes further:

  1. Age

As you age, your teeth lose their sparkle and darken because of wear and tear and debris accumulation. Teenagers who undergo whitening procedures will notice a dramatic improvement. However, between the ages of twenty and thirty, the teeth take on a yellow cast, necessitating more work from the dentist performing the whitening procedure. By the time you turn forty, the yellow dentin will have turned brown, which will require a more complex whitening treatment. In your fifties, your teeth will have persistent stains that are almost impossible to remove.

  1. Translucency and Thickness

Typically, teeth appear translucent, but opaque and thick teeth are more resistant to stains. Contrary to thin, transparent teeth, which are more prone to staining and discoloration, they appear brighter and more sparkling and are easier to bleach. Additionally, teeth with light and transparent enamel are more difficult to bleach because other whitening procedures cannot remove the transparency. However, these changes in genetic traits happen with age.

  1. Particular Drugs or Chemicals

You risk experiencing tooth discoloration if you consume fluoride in excess. Fluoride discolors your teeth by causing faint white marks around the white mottling. The use of tetracycline when teeth are forming can cause brown and sometimes dark gray stains that require a lot of effort to whiten or bleach.

  1. Eating Habits

You stain your teeth over the years when you consume deeply-colored foods and beverages. Acidic diets like those containing citric fruits can also erode the enamel, making the teeth transparent and the yellowish cast visible.

Moreover, smoking causes discoloration of the teeth when nicotine leaves brown deposits, which, over time, cause intrinsic discoloration.

Teeth Whitening Options

Several treatments are administered to eradicate stains and debris from the teeth and restore natural and smooth enamel. These treatments are categorized as home and professional-in-office whitening.

Home Whitening Treatments

Some teeth-whitening techniques can be carried out at home without a professional's assistance. However, before opting for these remedies, we at South Coast Dentistry encourage you to come in for an examination. The examination is essential because it allows us to distinguish between oral issues that are caused by over-the-counter whitening products and those that are underlying. It is after a thorough oral examination that we recommend the following whitening options:

  1. Whitening Toothpaste

Specific kinds of toothpaste contain mild abrasives, whitening agents, and polishing chemicals that extract stains from the tooth’s surface. Compared to regular toothpaste, whitening toothpaste possesses a more profound ability to remove stains from the enamel. Nevertheless, the deep-whitening capabilities lack bleaching and other in-office agents to remove intrinsic stains.

Whitening toothpaste lacks hydrogen peroxide and carbamide, in-office whitening products that help make your teeth’s deep surface brighter. This home remedy is effective when you have minor discoloration. If you have significant discoloration, you must visit us for an in-office treatment.

  1. Whitening Strips and Gel

Another method for whitening your teeth is to use over-the-counter strips and gel that contain hydrogen peroxide as the main ingredient. The at-home solution entails applying the gel to the surface of the teeth with a small brush. Note that the gel's usage instructions vary based on its strength. Therefore, read the packaging instructions to understand how to use the product to whiten the teeth effectively. The results for the gel and strips are not immediate. It will help if you wait a couple of days before the effects manifest. You will enjoy the results for at least four months, after which you will be prompted to reapply the gel or strips.

  1. Whitening Rinses

Rinses operate the same way as mouthwashes, which help prevent plaque and keep your mouth fresh. Whitening rinses contain agents like hydrogen peroxide that help remove stains, but the results are not immediate. You can wait for twelve weeks before the results are visible. It takes this long before the results are visible because, like mouthwashes, you swish the rinse in the mouth for one minute, twice daily, before brushing the teeth. The rinse only interacts with your teeth for 120 seconds daily, reducing its effectiveness. Home whitening products like gel and strips are more effective because they stay in contact with the teeth longer than rinses.

  1. Tray Whitening

A mouthguard-like tray filled with hydrogen peroxide can be made by your dentist or a nearby retailer using an impression of your teeth. You should then wear these trays for several hours a day, depending on the level of staining and your desire to obtain teeth with a brighter shade. Our dentists recommend that you wear the trays at night because this is when you will be most comfortable with the mouth guard. To obtain results from this home remedy, you must wear the trays for no more than four weeks, although you can wear them longer if your teeth are deeply stained.

In-Office Whitening

The most effective way to whiten your teeth is through in-office treatment. To remove stains, a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide gel is carefully applied to the teeth during the procedure. The process has the advantages of immediate results and removing intrinsic stains. When you visit us for an in-office whitening treatment, our dentists will follow the following steps:

Conduct an Oral Evaluation and Plan for Treatment

Even though teeth whitening treatments are cosmetic, when you visit us in our offices, we will not go directly to whitening the teeth just because you want it. You should have your oral health thoroughly examined, which includes checking for cavities, gauging the condition of your jawbone, and examining any tooth discoloration.

We can choose the kind of bleaching agent to use and the concentration after determining the type and potential causes of the staining. One common form of stain is extrinsic, which occurs on the teeth’s surface. Smoking, particular foods, and beverages cause these stains. The stains can be easily removed with in-office or home whitening solutions. However, stubborn stains require more effort from the dentist. If these stains are not removed, they penetrate the dentin and become embedded in the tooth.

Another type of tooth stain is intrinsic. The stains from when your teeth discolor as a result of fluoride exposure during tooth development and become deeply embedded beneath the surfaces of your teeth. Intrinsic stains are challenging to remove at home or in a dental office. However, just because they are challenging does not mean they are impossible to extract. Our cosmetic dentists will remove them, but with a lot of effort. You will need months or years of supervised home whitening, and even when this fails, you can opt for dental veneers to treat these stains.

Other stains are caused by aging. Age-based stains can be both intrinsic and extrinsic. As you age, the dentin turns yellow due to the wear and tear of the enamel. With thin enamel, teeth become transparent, which explains the yellowish cast you see on older adults.

Additionally, the dentist will check your teeth for debris and any cavities that need to be filled before the bleaching process. You will feel tooth sensitivity after a whitening procedure if you have gum disease or tooth decay.

Our dentist will take a picture before and after the whitening to compare the results. In a tray whitening procedure, we also make an impression of your teeth for the mouthpiece trays.

How Teeth Whitening Treatment Works

You must visit a dental clinic for the procedure regarding in-office whitening. Professional teeth whitening performed in offices has demonstrated that the procedure is very effective and yields results quickly. Before the treatment begins, our dentist protects your gums by covering them with a dental dam like rubber or gel. Additionally, we use protective materials like face bibs, cheek retractors, and gaze for tissue protection.

Once the gums are covered, and the tissues around the mouth are protected, the dentist assigned to your case applies teeth whitening products or a mixture of several bleaching agents. The agent interacts with the teeth for thirty to sixty minutes. If the stains are stubborn, our dentist will apply the bleaching agent several times until you obtain the desired brightness.

Additionally, we can intensify the effects of the whitener by combining it with a bleaching light, laser, or heat. Your dentist will monitor the bleaching process to ensure your enamel is polished and brilliant. After, they will rinse the whitening products on the teeth and remove the protective gear and the dental dam protecting the gums. The next step involves administering fluoride to reduce tooth sensitivity after treatment.

Once the treatment is completed, you will notice a dramatic transformation. Even though the results are immediate, it is difficult to determine the outcome of the treatment right away. Once the treatment is complete, the instant brightness you see is caused by dehydration from the hydrogen peroxide used in bleaching the teeth. After the teeth rehydrate, they appear darker.

As you get older, natural processes like dehydration, aging, dietary habits, and lifestyle choices will darken the color of your teeth, necessitating additional treatment. However, you will benefit from the whitening procedure results for a while if you avoid lifestyle or dietary decisions that raise the risk of teeth staining. Once more, we will advise using at-home whitening products to keep your teeth looking bright.


Follow-up visits to the dentist after treatment to analyze the progress of professional in-office and at-home whitening solutions are crucial. Recall that you cannot immediately determine a whitening procedure's success. Additional visits are necessary to determine success. The follow-ups involve checking the teeth’s shade and determining whether extra whitening is required.

Our dentists will address any complications that arise after the in-office or at-home whitening treatment.

Side Effects and Risks of Whitening

When teeth whitening is performed by following all the guidelines, it is safe. Nonetheless, there are particular risks associated with the procedure. The first risk is that you will develop tooth sensitivity when exposed to temperatures, contact, or pressure following the treatment. You are at an elevated risk of teeth sensitivity when you undergo an in-office procedure because of the highly-concentrated whitening products used by dentists.

Also, you are more likely to experience sensitivity if you suffer from gum recession or have cracked teeth. The sensitivity stemming from a whitening treatment lasts between one and two days. However, in rare cases, the sensitivity can last for months. If your sensitivity continues after the procedure, our dentists advise using toothpaste with potassium nitrate to eliminate the side effects.

You will experience tissue irritation if your dentist does not carefully cover your gums for protection. Most of the patients with gum sores are those whose treatment involved using hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent or opting for tray whitening procedures. The soreness reduces after the peroxide concentration drops, which takes a few days.

Another effect of whitening is Technicolor. If you have dental veneers or crowns, they will not be affected by the bleaching or whitening agents used. Their color will remain the same, but that of the natural teeth will change, resulting in Technicolor teeth.

You should stop the whitening procedure until the side effects stop if you experience issues like tooth sensitivity or gum sensitivity.

Whitening Cost

The whitening treatment cost depends on the bleaching agents and the procedure required. The cost of professional in-office whitening treatments ranges from $500 to $1,000, with a national average price of $650. Although it is the priciest whitening option, it has advantages. A qualified cosmetic dentist carries out an in-office procedure, increasing the possibility of obtaining the desired result.

On the other hand, there are OTC and home remedies that are pocket friendly. All you need to do is buy the whitening products and perform the whitening yourself at home. The whitening or bleaching agents can cost $20 to $100, making them an appealing option for many people in Aliso Viejo who want to improve their smile aesthetics by removing stains and plaque from the teeth. Nonetheless, the price does affect the results of the procedure. Using cheaper whiteners will not obtain the same results as using expensive ones. Whatever price you pay for the treatment, you must understand that the results are not permanent. Therefore, if you want to keep your smile flawless in the future, you must be prepared to have additional whitening procedures.

Teeth Whitening Advantages

Whitening treatment is prevalent around the globe because of its many benefits. It boosts your self-esteem because people will see your sparkling teeth, which create a good impression every time you smile. Therefore, whitening can help you regain the self-confidence and self-esteem you need to enjoy life if having stained teeth has made you feel unattractive and shy.

Cosmetic dentistry is expensive because many insurers do not provide coverage. However, teeth whitening is the most affordable cosmetic treatment. Although an in-office procedure is costly, you have OTC and home whitening solutions costing as little as $20, which you can comfortably pay without denting your budget or finances.

Also, whitening is non-invasive because no pain is involved in the treatment. Your dentist will not need anesthesia for the treatment. Again, you do not require time to recover.

Lastly, whitening, especially in a dental office, enhances oral health. When you ask for whitening, we do not just give you what you want. Our dentists clean your mouth thoroughly and look out for oral problems like decay or cavities, which are addressed before they get out of hand.

Find a Profound Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Professional whitening is the solution for you if you struggle with stained teeth because it produces better results than at-home options. Due to this, you ought to speak with South Coast Dentistry before having the procedure in Aliso Viejo so that you can obtain a complete dental evaluation and decide on the best course of action. Along with suggesting and carrying out the correct procedure, we'll also give you some pointers on how to keep your smile bright. Call us today at 949-274-9086 for a free consultation.