Teeth Whitening

About 90 percent of patients request teeth whitening procedures at the dentist, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. Although our teeth are not 100 percent white by nature, most people believe they can improve their smile with brighter teeth. At Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer teeth whitening treatments that can help you get a whiter and brighter smile.


There are two types of stains that affect your teeth: intrinsic and extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic stains develop inside the tooth and can be due to the mother taking antibiotics during pregnancy, ingestion of fluoride during a child’s enamel development years, and treatment with tetracycline during childhood.

Extrinsic stains affect the surface of the tooth and can result from drinking dark beverages like cola, coffee, red wine, tea, and eating pigmented food like blueberries. It can also be due to tobacco use, accumulation of plaque, and the natural aging process.


At |Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Emerson Rowley, DMD can whiten your teeth in one of two ways: bleaching and abrasion.


Bleaching can remove both deep and surface stains. Bleach contains an active ingredient, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, in concentrations of 10-22%, depending on the severity of the stains. Bleaching can brighten your natural tooth color by five to seven shades.

At Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer you different bleaching procedures:

  • Light-activated chairside bleaching can instantly and dramatically brighten your teeth. However, the treatment is not permanent, and after a year or two, you may have to repeat the procedure.
  • We can also create a custom-fit mouthpiece for you, which you can fill with a bleaching agent. This mouthpiece should be worn several hours a day for a period of two weeks. If you start to get stains again, you can simply refill the mouthpiece with the bleaching gel and wear it for a couple of nights to take off the stains.

Non-bleaching procedures like abrasion can help to remove surface stains on your teeth. At Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we may recommend abrading and polishing the surface of your teeth to remove extrinsic stains caused by tobacco and pigmented food.


Everyone responds differently to teeth whitening procedure, and the treatment may not be enough to correct all types of teeth discoloration. For example, people with yellow teeth may get a brighter smile after a treatment, while people with brown teeth may not respond well to the treatment. Grey-toned teeth may not brighten at all, and you may need to get veneers to hide the discoloration.

Teeth whitening procedures also do not work on crownsveneers, and dental fillings. Tooth discoloration caused by trauma or medication won’t be fixed by whitening procedures either.

Practicing good oral hygiene and dietary habits is essential for those who want white and bright teeth. People who don’t smoke or drink colored beverage can retain white teeth for as long as five years after a bleaching treatment. However, people who regularly consume these foods may need regular appointments every few months.

Keeping your teeth brushed and flossed also help remove plaque built up, which can result in yellowing teeth.

If you want to have your teeth whitened, call us at (503) 878-7474 today.