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It’s in Your Smile! Teeth Whitening and Braces ICON Okanagan Spring 2012


In the past few years, professional teeth whitening has exploded as one of the most asked about dental procedures. ICON Okanagan sat down with Jen Burton from the Okanagan Smiles in Kelowna to have a look at the most common procedure available to uncover that beautiful smile!

It is estimated that one fifth of the population conceal their teeth in photos, generally, due to cosmetics imperfections. This is primarily the result of crooked or discolored teeth.

Reality television shows like “Extreme Make Over” showcase great results people have achieved with professional dental whitening products such as “Zoom”, whereas celebrities like Justin Bieber have made braces popular with the younger crowd by proudly showing off his Invisalign retainers in magazines.

Both of these procedures do correct the most common cosmetic flaws most patients have questions about when coming to see our Kelowna dentists at Okanagan Smiles.

Teeth Whitening

Most common dentist-supervised tooth whitening products use 15-35% carbamide peroxide gels. Some of these gels are accompanied by high intensity light to amplify the bleaching process. Of late, multiple research studies have questioned the need and effectiveness of a light source used during in—office whitening. One of the effects of heating the tooth with a light while keeping moisture way is tooth dehydration. The tooth starts to lighten in color by means of dehydration and bleach infusion, essentially dehydrating tooth structure giving the illusion that the enamel has been whitened.

As the tooth re-hydrates from your own saliva following the procedure, these effects diminish and the actual shade of white you leave the office with tends to fade in a matter of days. This entire process can irritate nerves of teeth, causing immediate discomfort and potential long term sensitivity.

With the amount of feedback our Kelowna dentists have had regarding patients’ past experiences with uncomfortable in-office bleaching products, we have added very effective alternative options to help eliminate sensitivity while providing long-lasting results.

One option is a whitening pen that eliminates trays, strips and light sources that patients have reported almost no post-operative sensitivity with.

This no hassle system is a paint-on at home kit that we distribute to you, so using it is at your leisure. This produce uses a fast acting neutral PH gel while you sleep. This time of day is the ideal opportunity to whiten as your teeth are at rest from extreme hot and cold temperature changes which help ensure little to no sensitivity during the bleaching process. An alternative option to the whitening pen would include custom trays for at-home use.

Invisible Braces

Another option to help improve your smile could include Invisalign, which the Kelowna dental clinic offers. These clear retainers have been made popular by media icons because they are nearly invisible and can be removed to eat, drink, brush and floss.

The most common complaint youth and adults alike have in regular braces is that they are unattractive and bulky which makes brushing and flossing a daunting chore and terrible to kiss with! Invisalign braces don’t have any wires you have to floss under, you can remove them for grad photos and you can take them out temporarily for a night out on the town.

I currently use an Invisalign retainer myself and I’m sure if you asked any of my friends if I had braces they would reply with a no. This is because they are so clear and conspicuous that you can barely tell they are there.

Invisalign can correct spaced teeth, overly crowded teeth, crossbite, underbite and overbite which accounts for the most common issues patients present with when they are unhappy with their smile.

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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