Modern Teeth Whitening Options – Q&A

It is difficult to maintain white teeth and still partake in the teeth-staining food and drink we all have come to love. What is the best way to achieve and sustain a great looking smile? Sounds like a question a dentist would be able to answer best.

teeth whitening illustration

Is teeth whitening bad for your teeth?

Almost all teeth whitening methods involve the use of a form of peroxide (as in hydrogen peroxide) as a whitening agent. The effectiveness of the solution will depend on

  • The strength of the peroxide
  • The length of the application

The longer and the stronger the method, the brighter the results.

However, peroxide may damage the protein layer beneath the enamel of your teeth (called the dentin layer) – it remains to be seen if this damage is lasting or is reversible with time. Either way, be sure to mitigate the potential for damage by following product recommendations to the letter, not leaving them on longer to try and get better results. Or come in to our office to receive a teeth whitening treatment from our experienced team.

Besides being done in the care of a dentist, our treatments are more effective at brightening your smile in one go than at-home options – which means less application of whitening agent and less possibility of damage. Contact us to learn more.

What is the best whitener for your teeth?

Most teeth whiteners use a form of peroxide to achieve brilliant results for your smile. While there may be differences in concentration and the form that the peroxide takes, this means that there is little difference in the product itself. So answering this question this will not come down to comparing brands, but evaluating factors such as

  • Method of application
  • Strength of whitening agent
  • Cost
  • Frequency of application


Methods of application range from gels to solutions to strips. This will be down to your personal preference.


Teeth whitening products you can buy in the store are going to range from 3% to 20% peroxide. Dentists have higher concentrations available to them. Lower strength options will need to be applied more frequently and will achieve slower results. You will see a more dramatic change with a high-strength option, but be careful to use it according to specifications – and don’t use it very often, as it may have a negative effect on your dental health.


This varies greatly – but keep in mind that cheaper products will likely have to be used more frequently, resulting in higher costs over time.


While teeth whitening is never permanent, the methods provided by a dentist mean that you only need a touch up every few years. At-home products will involve more regular use and may be appropriate as a way to maintain your bright smile.

The best method for achieving white teeth is to avoid stains in the first place. This means staying away from some of the common foods such as

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Berries
  • Soy sauce
  • and others

We realize that you are probably not willing to give those up for a whiter smile – so when you’re ready to undo the effects on your teeth that these foods and drinks can cause, give us a call.

Oak Street Dental performs professional teeth whitening

Is it Safe to Brush Your Teeth with Charcoal?

Charcoal makes use of its abrasive properties to work as an effective teeth whitener. However, this can backfire by prematurely wearing down your enamel. The enamel of your teeth is what protects them, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Enamel loss can lead to teeth sensitivity, among other things.

There are safer ways to whiten your teeth than using activated charcoal. But if you are bound to do it, stick to the charcoal that can be found in a charcoal toothpaste.

How Long does Tooth Whitening Last?

The more intense the results of each procedure, the longer the results will last. This is one of the benefits of getting your teeth whitened at the dentist. Since the in-office process gets your teeth whiter than what you can achieve at home, the results will last longer. You can go even longer between visits if you perform some at-home maintenance as prescribed.

Can I Get My Teeth Whitened if I Have Fillings, Veneers, or Crowns?

Teeth whitening methods will not work the same on different materials. This means that whitening may not be the best option for prospective whitening patients who have dental implants to deal with, as your natural teeth may end up quite a different color than those teeth which have had some work done. Of course, you will need to talk with your dentist to successfully avoid these problems. Together, you can likely come up with a way to get you the whiter smile you’re looking for.

To get started on your journey to whiter teeth in the Central Point area of Oregon, get in touch with us today!

Call Oak Street Dental for your free consultation today!
(541) 664-2210