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Would you like whiter teeth? A lot of people do.

That’s why you can buy mouthrinses, toothpaste, gels, and strips at any store with a toothpaste aisle.

Do they work? Well, sort of, but probably not as well as you would like.

If you truly want whiter teeth, you should seek professional help from a dentist. If you live in or near Oregon City, the team at Pioneer Dental Group is here to give you the better smile you want.

Not so white smiles

The American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recently conducted a survey of American adults. You might be surprised by some of their findings.

Nearly every person they spoke to, 99.7 percent, said a good smile is important in social situations, and 96 percent said that a smile makes a person more attractive.

On the other hand, 74 percent of adults said a bad smile could hurt someone’s opportunities with their career.

Perhaps you won’t be surprised at the final answer, however. Can you name the most common thing that people wanted to improve about their smiles? Whiter and brighter teeth.

You probably already know things that can cause your teeth to become yellow or discolored, but we will review the most common ones with some help from the AACD.

First and foremost, age is a factor. If you drove around in the same car for 60 or 70 years, you would try to keep it clean, but you wouldn’t expect it to look like it had a factory fresh paint job after all that time. (Unless of course you had it repainted.)

This is one reason that whiter teeth also make people look younger.

Genetics, medications, and certain foods and drinks all affect the color of our teeth. Foods and drinks (like wine) with tannins are particularly likely to cause stains. Coffee, tea, carrots, and oranges also can contribute to yellowing of your teeth.

Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products can play a major role in making your teeth darker and yellower (due to tar and nicotine).

And last but not least, poor oral hygiene can change the color of your teeth as well. If you don’t take care of your teeth, you smile will show it.

Professional whitening

We already alluded to the many whitening products you can find at your local grocery store (not too far from the candy aisle).

Those products are convenient. You can find them anywhere, and you don’t have to make a special trip to get them.

They will whiten your teeth … eventually, if you use them correctly and you don’t do anything that may create new stains.

According to webmd.com, whitening toothpaste can improve the whiteness a little, but it takes a few months. The strips and gels you’ll buy at a retail store are a little more effective than whitening toothpaste, but the effects don’t last more than a few months.

And whitening rinses may not show results for up to 12 weeks. That’s three months for slightly whiter teeth.

If you are looking for whiter teeth, you probably want faster results with effects that will last longer.

At Pioneer Dental Group, we offer some those options for people looking to whiten their teeth professionally.

The most effective teeth whitening treatments are the ones we do in our office. These treatments last about one hour, but you will see an immediate improvement in your teeth.

We offer two products for in-office treatments KöR and Opalescence. Like some of the over-the-counter products you can buy, KöR and Opalescence use whitening gels. The difference is the concentration of the whitening agent, which allow these gels to work much faster.

It’s the difference between having noticeably whiter teeth in an hour compared to slightly whiter teeth in a few months.

We also offer at-home whitening products for our patients who prefer a DIY approach.

We will create custom trays that fit your mouth (rather than the one-size-fits-all trays you’ll find with some over-the-counter products). When you receive your trays, you also will receive whitening gel to put in the trays, which you’ll wear overnight.

In about two weeks, you will be able to see a dramatic difference in your smile.

Our take-home treatment isn’t as fast as our in-office treatments, but it is much more efficient than commercial products.

Talk to us about whitening

Don’t deal with the frustration of using a product that only delivers part of what you want. If you want whiter teeth, you want them now, and you want the results to last.

When you are ready to discuss teeth whitening, come to Pioneer Dental Group. Our staff will discuss our products and help you find the one that best suits your needs.

Call our office in Oregon City at (503) 388-4691 or use our convenient online appointment form to schedule your visit.