Teeth Whitening

Tooth Whitening Webster TX | Houston

Tooth enamel is an incredibly hard and durable substance, but it has its weaknesses. Among them is the propensity to stain when we eat and drink certain foods and beverages: coffee, tea, red wine, various berries, even Texas’s own Dr. Pepper! Plus, simple aging yellows our teeth. This combination can make our teeth dingy and yellow — it can get to the point where you may subconsciously avoid smiling or otherwise showing your teeth.

At Clear Lake Dental Care, we offer in-office teeth whitening to put the gleam back in your smile.


What causes teeth to become stained?

It may not appear so, but your tooth enamel is unique to you. The color varies slightly for every person. Some enamel starts a little bit darker, and some seems to stain more easily. The good part about this is that most staining occurs in the enamel, the outer layer of the tooth. These stains can be removed with whitening agents.There is another type of staining that occurs in the dentin, the inner portion of the tooth. This staining usually is the result of a drug reaction — tetracycline is the main culprit here — and it cannot be whitened. The way to cover this type of staining is with porcelain veneers, which cover the front portion of the teeth.

These are typical reasons your teeth become stained:

  • Foods — Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, even dark chocolate all contain pigments that can make their way into tooth enamel.
  • Drinks — Coffee, tea, red wine, darker fruit juices, and cola drinks leave stains.
  • Smoking — Nicotine makes the enamel yellow.
  • Genes — Darker enamel tones are usually passed on from your parents.
  • Drugs — Tetracycline, a popular antibiotic used especially in the 60s, was found to make the dentin in teeth grey. There are now recommendations to not use tetracycline with children due to this problem.
  • Fluorosis — If a person has too much fluoride, or if it is ingested, it can cause fluorosis, which stains the teeth a grey color.

How does teeth whitening remove stains?

The concept behind teeth whitening isn’t all that different than removing stains from laundry. Stains work their way into the enamel, which is somewhat porous. The active ingredients in whitening gels penetrate the enamel and break up the pigment in the stains. Our in-office whitening lightens your teeth anywhere from five to seven shades, depending on your degree of staining.


How is your in-office whitening done?

At Clear Lake Dental Care, we use silicone trays filled with a 22-25% carbamide peroxide whitening gel. Before we apply the trays to your teeth, we protect your lips and gums with a barrier. Then we place the trays on your teeth and activate the gel with a blue LED light. The process takes approximately one hour, and your teeth are dramatically whiter.

How Does In-Office Whitening Compare with At-Home Strips?

At Clear Lake Dental Care, our in-office teeth whitening lightens your tooth color from five to seven shades, depending on how stained your teeth are to begin with. Our in-office whitening gel is professional strength; we can use this because our dental hygienists apply it to your teeth. We protect the gums and precisely apply the gel.

At-home strips are inconsistent for a couple of reasons. First, the whitening solution used in the strips is nowhere near as strong as our professional gel. Second, applying the strips to your teeth isn’t easy to do. It can be very difficult to get an even application, as the strips adhere better in some places than others. They can slip. Plus, you can get the gel on your gums. That’s why strips cannot use a stronger concentration in the gel.

Finally, you need to consider how much time you want to invest. Our in-office professional whitening takes about one hour. At home strips take a couple weeks, placing the strips on your teeth for an hour or so every night. Even after that time investment, your teeth won’t be as white in the end as they would be with our in-office treatment.


Can I Continue to Whiten My Teeth At Home After An In-Office Treatment?

To keep up with daily staining from things such as coffee or red wine, you can do some whitening at home. Our in-office teeth whitening doesn’t preclude any of that. Using a whitening toothpaste with fluoride could be all you really need to do between having our office do your whitening once every year.

Will whitening make my teeth sensitive?

Teeth whitening can make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold for a brief period after your procedure, but this passes quickly. If you do have overly sensitive teeth, however, tell us beforehand and we can desensitize them before we apply the whitening gel.

How long will my teeth stay white?

As you would expect, this is up to you. Your whitening results are instant. But your teeth can become stained again with the same foods and drinks. Home hygiene plays a role in how white your teeth will stay. Brushing twice daily with whitening toothpaste helps, as does making sure to keep your twice-yearly professional cleaning appointments with us. And if you feel they are becoming a little dingy again, come back in and we’ll whiten them.

How Often Can I Have My Teeth Whitened?

Our in-office whitening at Clear Lake Dental typically keeps our patients’ teeth bright white for about one year. Of course, this varies by the patient due to what you eat and drink. There’s really no reason to go overboard with whitening, so once a year is probably a good timetable.

If I Am Going to Get Porcelain Veneers Do I Whiten My Teeth First?

We like to whiten your teeth prior to the placement of porcelain veneers simply because we want your teeth to be as close to their natural whiteness as possible first. We then match the veneer color to your natural whiteness, and the veneers blend in perfectly. If you are placing veneers on all of your visible front teeth, this isn’t as important, but we still usually recommend whitening first.

Can Porcelain Veneers or Dental Implants Be Whitened?

Dental porcelain cannot be whitened. But this really is a moot point because it is almost impervious to staining. Veneers or implants maintain their bright white color and don’t stain. What’s more likely to happen is that your adjacent teeth, say if you have a single dental implant surrounded by your existing natural teeth, can stain and need whitening to bring them back to the whiteness of the implant.

Ready for a new smile?

People choose Clear Lake Dental Care because of our experienced staff and elite dental services! If you want to choose us, call 281-557-8097 now to make an appointment with your Webster, TX dentist. You can also request an appointment online. Clear Lake Dental Care: changing lives, one smile at a time!

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Clear Lake Dental Care | General Dentistry Webster TX | Houston

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202 W. Medical Center Blvd
Webster, TX 77598