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Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening woman smiling

5 Ways to Get Whiter, Brighter Teeth:

1. 1 hour: Laser/light-activated teeth whitening (in our office)
2. A few weeks: Whitening trays
3. 1-2 weeks: Whitening strips
4. 1-3 weeks: Whitening pens
5. Several weeks to months: Whitening toothpaste

*Based on our best teeth whitening/brightening results, we recommend that you use a whitening toothpaste or bleach tray to help maintain your light-activated, whitened smile.




Teeth whitening and teeth bleaching: Know what works!

Teeth whitening and teeth bleaching are very popular these days, and provide the most convenient means to transform your smile.

You can achieve a whiter and brighter smile in as little as one hour with light-activated whitening at Optima Dental.

Because there are so many whitening products on the market today, we understand how difficult it can be to choose the best and safest options.

The five most common ways to whiten your teeth today include:


1. Light or laser teeth whitening

Light activated teeth whitening is usually performed in a clinical setting at the dental office. This is by the far the fastest, most effective way to achieve a whiter smile. There are several systems out there. The popular whitening systems within this category include Zoom and BriteSmile, among others. There are many other systems on the market. These systems utilize hydrogen peroxide as the main active ingredient, with variable degrees of concentration.

What is the active ingredient?
The whitening ingredient is 25% hydrogen peroxide.

How long does it take?
Whitening results are achieved within one hour.

What is the process?
The process starts by complete isolation of soft tissue including your cheeks, lips and gums. This is followed by application of the whitening solution and exposure to the laser activating light for 15-20 minute increments. A new application is then applied, and the process is repeated to complete 3 applications.

laser teeth whitening before and after


2. Utilizing whitening trays and gels to whiten your teeth

This is also known as “at-home” teeth whitening. In addition to purchasing these trays over the counter at your local store you can also have the tray professionally made to fit your teeth at your dentist office.

As shown in the photos, a professionally made tray provides a custom fit to your teeth and gums. An accurate fit tray ensures even distribution of whitening gel and also protects your gums from potential chemical burns making them a safer option.

Because the trays are the same patients can utilize different strengthen whitening gels. Lower concentration whitening gels can be purchased over the counter. However, higher concentration medical quality-whitening gels can be purchased at your dentist office.

What is the active ingredient?
The whitening ingredient is often Carbamide Peroxide, with various concentrations of 10%, 15%, 20% and 35%.

How long does it take?
Patients find that they receive some results in about 1-3 weeks.

What is the process?
After placing a small amount of whitening gel in the trays:
35% concentration is used – wear the tray for 30 minutes once a day.
20% concentration is used – wear it for 2-4 hours once a day.
10-15% concentration is used – you can wear the trays over night.

teeth whitening tray
teeth whitening tray


3. Whitening pens

Whitening pens offer a quick and convenient way to whiten your teeth on the go. The active ingredient in teeth whitening pens is hydrogen peroxide with varying concentration, usually 6%-12%.

Application: Apply to teeth 2 to 3 times per day to achieve a desired shade in 2-3 weeks.


4. Whitening strips

Crest introduced whitening strips in 2001 and have been a popular choice. Currently, Crest whitening strips come in several concentrations, most commonly 5% to 10%. Additionally, patients can wear their whitening strips 1-2 times per day and their results should be achieved within 1-2 weeks.


5. Whitening toothpastes

The majority of the whitening toothpastes due remove minor stains through abrasive particles. Although many dentists believe that the long-term effect of the abrasive toothpastes can compromise the structure and the integrity of teeth. Many studies are split when it comes to determining he amount of damage that does or does not happen as a result of using whitening toothpastes. Results are varied and may take weeks to months to become evident. In addition most patients find that they receive limited amounts of success.


To find out what teeth whitening can do for your smile, call us today or schedule your free consult online in the comfort of your own home.

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Meet Your Portland Cosmetic Dentist

dr-saleh-90x100Dr. Saleh has been providing our Portland community with the latest in cosmetic dentistry procedures for over 13 years. A leader in the field, Dr. Saleh has extensive training and experience in the latest techniques in dental veneers, crowns, and restorations.





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