Teeth Whitening in Rancho Santa Margarita
Here’s the real deal on tooth whitening, one of the best, most cost effective, easiest ways to improve and brighten your smile. And smiling more improves your general health because, if you smile more, and you will when your teeth look better, you’ll actually feel better and your whole body will work better.
The Chemistry of Whitening
The colors in a stain or dye are the result of molecules containing chromatophores. The color comes when a molecule reflects or absorbs certain of the wavelengths of light. Peroxide-type oxidizers contain a weakly bonded pair of oxygen atoms. When that bond breaks, the two relatively reactive individual oxygen atoms change the chromatophores to the extent that they no longer reflect or absorb visible light, making whatever the problem substance is disappear.
Sunlight changes the chromatophores via its reactive photons in the violet and ultraviolet wavelength range. That’s what makes clothes fade.
Now, the surface of tooth structure enamel is porous, and these pores are good places for substances containing chromatophores to hide. These stain or yellow or make the teeth gray looking.
Whitening Tooth Enamel
We whiten the teeth in two ways. We use the one hour Zoom 2 procedure in the office, where we apply the whitening solution to the teeth, then shine a white light on them which activates the solution, making it more effective. Patients like this procedure because it’s done in one sitting- great for weddings or family portraits. The other whitening technique that we use is the take-home whitening kits where the whitening solution is held against the tooth structure by a custom-fitted invisible plastic tray, for several hours a day for several days, giving the peroxide-based active ingredients more time to get into the pores of the enamel to do their chromatophore-changing thing, allowing the teeth to return to their original color. Either way, we polish the teeth with pumice (volcanic ash) beforehand so that the whitening solution can get into the enamel pores.
The great thing about whitening teeth is that it does not harm, or damage, or weaken the tooth structure…at all. Some peoples do get sensitive from either technique, but we have convenient and friendly desentizers for that occurance.
Now, the pores in the enamel will fill up staining stuff, like from coffee or tea or cola or smoking, so we have our “White for Life” program where, when the patient comes back for teeth cleaning, every six or twelve months, we GIVE them more whitening solution to use in the trays they already have.
Interestingly, it’s grandchildren who are most likely to tell you that your teeth are dingy, or yellow looking.
And, here again, when we whiten someone’s teeth, and that person smiles more because they’re not embarrassed by their dingy old choppers, they get a free facelift because their previously little-used smile muscles get used more and so tone-up.
Don't hesitate to call the office (949-459-7212) to make an appointment, or if you have a question.