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How Professional Teeth Whitening can brighten smiles

We all want to have a bright, dazzling smile. But some of our favorite foods and beverages work against our smiles. That morning cup of joe, the glass of cabernet with dinner, raspberries and blackberries for dessert — lots of foods and drinks combine to stain the enamel of our teeth. Even the passing years tend to make our teeth yellow and dingy.

But at Gentle Dentistry, we can put the sparkle back in your smile. We offer both lightning-fast in-office whitening and custom at-home whitening, both of which will make your teeth many shades whiter and give you a smile you’ll be happy to show off. Professional teeth whitening works exceptionally well and is entirely safe!

No two people have the same shade of tooth enamel. Plus, the porosity of enamel can vary among people, making some teeth more prone to staining. Most staining occurs on the enamel layer of the teeth and responds well to whitening agents. Some stains, however, are in the inner part of the tooth, the dentin. These stains can result from tooth trauma or a reaction to medications such as tetracycline. This type of staining improves slightly with whitening but not dramatically. In these cases, porcelain veneers or dental bonding can cover the deep staining.

Why Do Teeth Become Stained?

Here are the reasons your teeth are stained:

  • Food – Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even dark chocolate have natural pigments that can stain your teeth.
  • Drinks – Coffee, tea, red wine, cranberry and other juices, and even soft drinks can leave stains.
  • Smoking – Nicotine leaves yellow stains on your teeth.
  • Drugs – As mentioned above, tetracycline has stained the teeth of many kids. This antibiotic was used heavily in the 1960s and 1970s, and caused the dentin in many patients to become gray.
  • Genes – Some people have darker teeth than others, and their parents likely did too.
  • Fluorosis – This is an example of too much of a good thing. Too much fluoride can stain a child’s teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Remove The Stains?

Many patients ask if teeth whitening really works. The goal of teeth whitening is to return your teeth to their natural bright white color in a process similar to bleaching a stain out of a shirt. The bleaching agents we use are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide for in-office and at-home whitening, respectively. The enamel on your teeth is somewhat porous; that’s why it stains in the first place. The peroxide penetrates the tooth enamel and breaks down the stains, usually whitening from three to seven shades.

Teeth Whitening Options at Gentle Dentistry, Tampa

At Gentle Dentistry, we offer both in-office and at-home whitening. Both options usually result in a similar degree of whitening. The difference is time. Our in-office whitening takes just about an hour, and our at-home whitening takes a couple of weeks.

  • Boost™ in-office whitening – We use the Boost™ whitening system from Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems. It uses a 38 percent hydrogen peroxide concentration to remove stains. Plus, Boost™ contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to minimize sensitivity and strengthen your enamel during the whitening procedure. Unlike light-activated whitening, Boost™ is chemically activated, so our patients don’t need to worry about an uncomfortable hot light. We apply the Boost™ gel with a brushed tip to all of your teeth and then activate it. In an hour, your teeth are dramatically whiter.
  • At-home whitening – For our at-home whitening program, we take impressions of your teeth and use them to create custom trays for your upper and lower teeth. Unlike over-the-counter trays made in standard sizes, our custom trays provide the snug fit required for the whitening gel to be the most effective. We then provide you with syringes of carbamide peroxide whitening gel, ranging in strength based on your tooth sensitivity and degree of staining. With teeth whitening at home, you wear the filled trays for 15 minutes to one hour every day for one to two weeks to remove teeth stains.

Will Teeth Whitening Make My Teeth Sensitive? Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Whitening can make your teeth a little more sensitive for a brief period after the application, but this sensation passes quickly. If you have particularly sensitive teeth, be sure to tell the team at Gentle Dentistry beforehand because we can desensitize your teeth before we perform the whitening.

How Long Will My Teeth Stay White After My Teeth Whitening Treatment?

Just how long your teeth stay bright white is up to you. If your teeth were stained before by coffee and the like, they would become stained again. But you don’t have to give up that glass of red wine. When you feel your teeth are becoming a little dingy again, come back in, and we’ll whiten them again. Or, if you have at-home trays, we will supply your whitening gel annually with our “White for Life” program.

Home hygiene also makes a difference. Brushing teeth for two minutes twice daily using a whitening toothpaste (ADA approved, of course) and coming in for twice-yearly professional cleanings at Gentle Dentistry are equally essential to keep your teeth at their whitest.

Does Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening?

Insurance does not usually cover teeth whitening, as it is considered a cosmetic procedure. If you have a flex spending account, you can use it to cover the whitening cost. Call and ask about our “White for Life” Program and our “Dental Savings Plan”!

Schedule A Consultation

To learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our office today at (813) 734-7102 to schedule an appointment.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening video thumbnail
At a young age our teeth are healthy white. But overtime the enamel coating the tooth is so slowly worn down. Causing our teeth to become stained and yellow, which is why teeth whitening is become increasingly popular today. There are a few methods for whitening. They include at home and in office. With in office treatments, you will see faster results, receive the safest treatment for bleaching the teeth, and yield the whitest smile. So, don’t settle for teeth that have become stained from years of coffee drinking, tobacco use, or just aging. Ask your dentist about whitening options that may be right you.

Dr. Loc Tong, D.D.S.

Dr. Tong

Angela Rasmussen, D.D.S.

Dr. Rasmussen

Dr. Loc Tong and Dr. Angela Rasmussen are the two experienced dentists at Gentle Dentistry, serving the communities of Tampa, FL.

Loc Tong, DDS, the practice owner, obtained his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Nova Southeastern University, his Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Barry University and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington, DC.

Dr. Tong is proficient in all facets of general dentistry and is particularly interested in implant and cosmetic dentistry. He is an active member of professional organizations, like the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and Florida Dental Association. He is committed to serving underserved communities globally.

Angela Rasmussen, DDS, is an alumnus of Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY, and State University of New York, Buffalo. She completed a General Practice Residency and was Chief Resident at University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her Fellowship at the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Rasmussen is a member of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, AGD, Academy of Osseointegration, Florida Dental Association, West Coast Dental Association, and Hillsborough County Dental Association. She is dedicated to continuous education and has received many industry honors.
Dental insurance plans

At Gentle Dentistry, we believe that insurance plans and financial concerns should not prevent anyone from receiving quality, proactive dental care. Our In-House Dental Savings Plan is designed to help our patients receive the consistent, high quality dental care they need to maintain optimal oral and overall health at an affordable price. Individual annual membership plans start at $349, and cost-effective family plans can be customized to meet the needs of everyone in the family. Each membership plan includes free treatments, special discounts, cosmetic treatments, and much more.

Sign up for our Dental Savings Plan to start enjoying incredible benefits at Gentle Dentistry right away.

Click here to learn more about our dental savings plan