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Teeth Whitening: 
A Brighter and More Radiant Smile

Why do my teeth change color?

There are several reasons why teeth change color. You may experience one or more of these causes, resulting in a smile that’s less than perfect white. While some causes of tooth discoloration respond well to whitening, other causes may be affected very little or not at all by the process. Talking to your River City Dental Solutions professional in San Antonio, TX, will help you understand what to expect.

The most common causes of tooth discoloration include:


With age, the outer enamel layer gets thinner and translucent and shows more of the yellow color of the inner dentin layer.

Food and beverages:

Coffee, tea, red wine, and some foods have pigments called chromogens that bond with your outer tooth enamel and stain it.

Tobacco use:

Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco discolors your teeth through two substances, the naturally-dark tar and the colorless nicotine that turns yellow on contact with oxygen.


Teeth respond to some kinds of trauma by creating more dentin, which is naturally darker than your enamel.


Some drugs have side effects that result in tooth discoloration, including blood pressure medications, some antihistamines, antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline, as well as cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation to the head and neck.

How do teeth whiteners work?

Teeth whitening refers to several techniques used to correct tooth discoloration. While teeth whitening and teeth bleaching are often used interchangeably, typically teeth whitening procedures can only lighten teeth to your original natural tooth color, while bleaches can make your teeth brighter than they were originally.

The active ingredients for most in-office whitening treatments are one of two bleaches, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Bleaches break down large stains into smaller pieces, diluting the pigments that cause discoloration.

The bleaching agents used by Dr. Shields and Dr. Perry are typically much stronger than anything you can purchase for at-home care. As well, the chemicals used may be activated using one of several methods, such as exposure to special ultraviolet light to aid the action of the peroxide.

How many teeth whitening treatments do I need?

Best results are often achieved with several visits to River City Dental Solutions. While you can extend the effects of tooth whitening with an effective dental care regime at home, effects of whitening are temporary, lasting one year or more.

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Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.

-Channa B.