Do yellow, stained teeth keep you from taking pictures, laughing freely, and even speaking up in work meetings? A dull smile can be a major source of low self-esteem. Thankfully, professional teeth whitening can effectively brighten your smile and drastically improve your confidence. 

Dr. Mina Levi at California Dental Innovations in San Francisco, CA, offers in-house teeth whitening and take-home kits to remove discoloration and dental stains. 


Chair-side whitening uses safe ingredients (carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide) and is applied safely by a dental professional. Before applying the whitening gel, Dr. Levi will cover your lips and gums. Then, she will use ultraviolet light to activate the gel. You’ll leave with a bright, new smile! 

Take-home whitening kits gradually brighten your smile over a few weeks. Dr. Levi will show you how to apply the whitening gel, how long to use it, and how often to use it to achieve your desired results. 

In both instances, your teeth can be lightened up to 12 shades. 


There are two types of dental stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. Whitening solutions only impact extrinsic dental stains. Intrinsic ones cannot be brightened, only covered up with veneers or crowns. 

Extrinsic dental stains occur for a variety of reasons: 

  • Drinking coffee, teas, and colas often
  • Eating dark-colored foods like tomato sauce, peppers, and berries
  • Tobacco use
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Medications and medical treatments

Reasons for intrinsic dental stains: 

  • Dental trauma
  • Aging
  • Medications
  • Disease
  • Excessive fluoride use
  • Nerve degeneration

Visit our San Francisco dental practice to learn if your tooth discoloration is due to intrinsic or extrinsic dental stains. 


Store whitening kits do not have the same ingredients or the strength of professional whitening systems. Therefore, you won’t see the same results using OTC whitening as you would with professional whitening treatments. Additionally, OTC whitening can damage your teeth and gums if not used properly. 

Overall, professional whitening is safer and will provide faster and better results. 


Aside from the safety of professional whitening and the quick and incredible results, professional whitening offers several more benefits: 

  • Personalized care: OTC whitening systems are a one-size-fits-all option that, honestly, doesn’t work well for most people. In-office whitening means you’ll receive personalized care from an experienced dental professional. Dr. Levi will know exactly how much product to use to keep your teeth strong and make them bright. 
  • Younger appearance: A bright smile can immediately make you appear ten years younger! Think about what that would do for your confidence. 
  • More opportunities: According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, people with beautiful smiles are perceived as smarter, more successful, and more interesting. Though professional whitening only enhances your natural abilities, a bright smile can make dating, job interviews, and everyday life scenarios much easier and more comfortable. 


Ready to drastically improve your smile, and possibly your life? We can help! Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mina Levi.