We all want to get the most out of our dental treatment. With the anxiety that so many of us feel when sitting in the dental chair, we want to keep that time brief, and the results long-lasting. Cosmetic investments should make you feel like you have a truly new smile - not like you have a grin you need to constantly tend to in order to keep it.

With that in mind, it's time to talk effective teeth whitening. Far and away the most popular cosmetic treatment, teeth whitening leads to smiles that really stand out. Less exciting than the bright results are the steps you need to take in order to keep your teeth on point. After months of whitening touch-ups, doesn't permanent bleaching sound pretty intriguing?

It's not an impossibility. If you're interested in giving your white smile longer life, read on for some tips from our Shoreline cosmetic dentist.

How Teeth Whitening Works

We want you actually understand what's going on when a bleaching agent is applied to your teeth - this will help you make sure the effects last. It all starts with staining compounds. These substances are contained within dark foods and liquids, and tobacco. When you expose your teeth to red wine, coffee, or cola, the drinks deposit stains in your porous enamel. The outermost layer of your teeth ends up accumulating these stains, leading to an overall yellowed smile as well as smaller stained patches.

Most whitening agents contain hydrogen peroxide, which reacts with oxygen to bring about a chemical reaction. This reaction busts apart the staining compounds, allowing them to harmlessly dissipate - and leave a brighter smile behind.

While whitening produces immediate changes, they aren't going to last forever. Your enamel remains porous, and the foods and drinks you consume deposit stains in your teeth. Fight back with anti-staining habits to keep your smile stunning:

  • Floss regularly - Your toothbrush can't reach every nook and cranny of your mouth. Bringing floss into the equation will clean additional spots, and help keep them stain-free.

  • Schedule cleanings every 6 months - Professional cleanings remove superficial stains, and help keep your teeth healthy.

  • Use a straw - When you're drinking dark liquids, try to use a straw as you sip. This will keep the beverages from washing over your teeth, and help protect them from unnecessary staining.
  • Rinse often - Follow a cup or coffee or a glass of wine with some water. This will keep your teeth clean, improve your oral health, and even benefit your entire body. Water's just the best!

Want to Whiten Teeth For Good? Try Veneers


While the methods we mentioned will help keep your smile bright, your enamel remains porous, and susceptible to future stains. If you're interested in the kind of whitening you won't have to touch up, then veneers are the solution.

These thin shells of porcelain fit over your natural teeth, creating a new, external layer. They shield your teeth, providing protection from stains and damage. The veneers aren't porous, although they do imitate enamel wonderfully - but they keep dark beverages and plaque from affecting their shade. The color of your veneers will be determined at the time of placement, and it will last. Some patients choose to whiten their entire smiles by getting veneers placed on every front tooth - and they love the results.

Your smile should require only minimal upkeep - you have so many other ways to spend your time and energy. Let us help you create a smile that you love, and that doesn't make big demands. If you're interested in learning more about teeth whitening or porcelain veneers, all you have to do is contact our Shoreline dentist.

Shoreline Cosmetic Dentist | Shoreline Teeth Whitening | Shoreline Dental Veneers
Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.