Time after time, oral health specialists have explained the importance of maintaining a regular brushing and flossing routine. Brushing and flossing help remove tartar and other coloring agents that impact the color of the enamel. The enamel is the outer part of the tooth that over time changes color and it can be due to age, to the types of food we eat, and to oral infections or infractions. To maintain a white stainless enamel, it is crucial to keep up with regular dental visits and every day cleaning practices.

Brushing and flossing are very good habits that help maintain a white smile for a prolonged period of time. However, after some time, the enamel can be treated with whitening agents that remove some of the stains caused by coffee, wine, smoking, and other products that contain chromogen (coloring agents). Products with high levels of chromogen are used for dyeing purposes and when consumed they may produce tough stains on the enamel. Tough enamel stains can be treated with a variety of products and through different methods that differ in cost and in time. In-office procedures tend to last between 30 to 90 minutes depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. An in-office procedure is the fastest way to remove yellow stains from your teeth and in most cases, the process only needs to be done once to achieve the preferred shade.

Teeth whitening is a process that is not the same for everyone. In most cases, individuals with healthy unworn enamel and with teeth that have not undergone a root canal treatment can be eligible for a whitening process known as vital tooth whitening or vital tooth bleaching. On the other hand, patients that have fractured teeth or who have undergone a root canal treatment will want to speak to their dentist about a procedure known as nonvital tooth bleaching. In vital tooth whitening procedures, the patient’s teeth are treated with a whitening agent that contains a carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Before applying the whitening agent, the patient's gums will be protected with a protective gel and the bleaching agent will be applied directly to the tooth enamel. In the process, the dentist will shine a light on the teeth to activate and expedite the bleaching process.

On the other hand, patients may need a nonvital tooth bleaching procedure in order to reach a certain shade of white on their teeth. Individuals that have undergone a root canal or who have a dental infraction may have yellowish brown teeth due to internal problems. For these patients, the dentist will apply a whitening solution to the inside of the tooth and will cap the tooth for several days. The treatment is usually done once unless there are other complications or depending on the process to reach a certain shade.

In any case, before you take the next step, teeth whitening is a procedure that should be consulted with a dentist. The two main options for teeth whitening include an in-office treatment and an over-the-counter whitening treatment. An in-office treatment is usually the quickest route to white teeth and after a visit, you will understand how to maintain a white smile for a longer period of time. Whether you are going over the counter or if you are considering an in-office treatment, you will want to discuss your intentions with your dentists to ensure you are fit for the procedure you seek. Individuals that wish to consult with a dentist about teeth whitening may visit our office in Southern California or may contact us at 562-746-0350. We are ready to discuss the different teeth whitening options available over-the-counter and the different procedures that are carried out in our office. To schedule a tooth whitening consultation, you are encouraged to speak with us today.

To learn more about stained teeth and the process to remove those stains, you may read the following section. The following section will discuss how your teeth are stained and the different types of whitening procedures. The following is not a consultation, to learn about the specific procedure or options for your teeth, you will want to speak with a qualified local dentist.

Different Factors Change Our Teeth Color

Flossing and brushing, when done right, prevents plaque build-up which helps maintain good oral health for a prolonged period of time. According to the American Dental Association in order to maintain that good oral health brushing should be performed at least two times a day while flossing should be performed at least once a day. Flossing and brushing help prevent plaque build-up and helps remove food from between the teeth that may cause stains to the enamel. To learn about the proper way to brush your teeth you may visit the American Dental Association - How to Brush. In addition to the guide, according to a study published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health entitled The Efficacy of Brushing and Flossing Sequence on Control of Plaque and Gingival Inflammation, it is better to floss first and then brush.

Practicing daily oral cleaning habits will ensure that your smile stays fresh, but there are a variety of factors that cause yellow and brown teeth despite daily maintenance. Some factors affecting the color of the teeth include the types of foods and beverages we consume, our age, visible grey stones, cavities, the use of tobacco or other products that contain tar such as chewing tobacco, or an infraction or root canal treatment on the tooth.

Foods to Avoid to Maintain a White Smile

If you want to maintain white shining pearls you should avoid the following foods: berries, coffee, (red/white) wine, balsamic vinegar, pasta sauce, curry, coke and other sodas. In addition, if you are a smoker, you’re going to have to put the cigarette or bong down. However, if you’re like most of the world and you refuse to give up berries and pasta sauce, then you may consider a whitening treatment that can help remove these tougher stains.


After brushing through the ages, our tooth enamel is worn down and the color of the dentin (the inner part of the tooth) begins to show. When the enamel is worn down the tooth develops a brownish color.

Internal Stains

Internal teeth stains are caused for the following reasons: 1) when a tooth experiences an infraction or dental injury, 2) a tooth has undergone a root canal treatment, 3) when the person is exposed to fluoride and certain types of medications. If you want to take care of an internal stain, the procedure will be different than for those with stains on the enamel (the outer part of the tooth).

As discussed above, there are certain factors that have an effect on the color of the enamel and the type of treatment that is right for the type of stain. To learn more about the stains that appear on the teeth and to learn the procedure that is right for you, you may contact your local dentist.

Internal stains may also be caused by cavities. Cavities are openings that should be closed before a whitening treatment to avoid irritation caused by the bleaching agent. A cavity that is left untreated may penetrate to the center of the tooth and infect the pulp of the tooth. The infected pulp will need to be removed through a root canal procedure. If a cavity makes it this far, you may need a dental crown. As mentioned earlier, non-vital teeth require a whitening procedure that breaches the teeth from the inside.

Whitening Options

Traditional teeth bleaching procedures are not for everyone. Before you engage with a bleaching treatment, you are advised to consult with your dentist to ensure that you are not causing harm to your teeth and to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Teeth whitening is different for teeth that are living and for teeth that are dead or have been replaced with an implant. There are vital and nonvital teeth and the procedure is different for each. If a tooth is living, it means that the tooth still receives blood flow. A tooth that is vital can be treated in a multitude of ways.

Over the Counter Options

Over the counter, products include toothpaste, homemade treatments, bleaching gels, whitening strips, and other agents that aim to remove stains. The solution used in over the counter products is not as potent as the bleaching agents used in office. An over-the-counter bleaching treatment may require multiple attempts to achieve the shade desired. On the other hand, an over the counter whitening product may be integrated into the daily cleaning routine to prolong the life of your shining pearls. If you choose the over the counter option, you may want to consult with your dentist to ensure the products are right for you.

In-Office Bleaching

An in-office procedure is the quickest way to achieve the shade you want on your teeth. The process can take anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes, however, on average, patients are smiling out of the office within 60 minutes. The in-office bleaching procedures consist of two parts. First, the teeth must be cleaned to ensure that all plaque and other coloring agents are removed before the bleaching process. Then, each tooth is examined for cavities. When you apply a bleaching gel to a cavity, the gel seeps down to the inner part of the tooth resulting in an irritating sensation. It is best to cover them up before applying a bleaching solution.

Once your teeth are clean and ready to go, a dentist will guide you through the bleaching process. The process is painless and quick. In the bleaching process, to prevent the bleach from getting on the gums the dentists will first cover the gums with a gel. The gel applied to the gums is different from the whitening solution. The stain fighting solution is placed on the teeth and then, a light or laser is aimed at the patient's mouth/teeth (some whitening solutions require heat activation). The process should only be done once, however, the process varies for everyone. It may take up to three times to reach the desired shade depending on the gravity of the stains. In addition, the process will vary depending on the procedure used. In some cases, a dentist may send you home with an at-home product that you will apply on your teeth for a couple of days or weeks.

Home Bleaching

As mentioned above, your dentist may send you home with a tray of products, a mouthpiece, and instructions on how to apply the bleaching agent at home. If you choose an at-home procedure, you will have a mouthpiece made to fit the precise measurements of your mouth. This will ensure that the agent remains close to your teeth. These procedures can last anywhere from two days to a couple of weeks depending on your situation.

Whitening Options for Non-Vital Teeth

Patients that have undergone a root canal or who have a dead tooth may find that the stain is coming from the inside of the tooth. Over time teeth begin to develop brown or yellow stains and can only be treated with an in-office procedure. Patients that want to whiten a non-vital tooth will need to speak to a dentist about the procedure that is right for them. In most cases, a dentist will use a whitening agent on the inside of the tooth and then cap it for several days. The procedure may only need to be done once, but every situation will need to be assessed by a dentist for an accurate analysis.

Contact The Downey Dentist Near Me

Individuals who want a white confident smile should call us today to schedule a consultation. Our dental practice offers a free examination of your teeth and free digital x-rays. You are welcomed to visit our offices located in Downey, CA, or you may contact us at 562-746-0350.

We have other convenient locations near you: Los Angeles Dentist, Lomita Dentist, Carson Dentist, Hawthorne Dentist