Kopiko Plaza 75-5660 Kopiko St., #B2 Kailua Kona, HI 96740(808) 329-0889

Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: Teeth Whitening

By Sweet Tooth Dental
October 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Do you avoid smiling because your teeth are stained? Just one professional teeth whitening session can dramatically improve the teeth whiteningappearance of your dull teeth. Kona, HI, dentist Dr. Garrett Oka shares some information on the whitening process.

How does whitening eliminate stains?

Stains can be a natural part of aging or may occur when dark pigments from tobacco, foods and beverages sink deep into the pores of your tooth enamel. When stains penetrate your enamel, no amount of brushing will remove them. Getting rid of those stains requires hydrogen peroxide, a very effective stain buster.

Hydrogen peroxide targets the darkly colored pigments and breaks them apart, effectively eliminating stains. The chemical compound is the active ingredient in both over-the-counter and professional whitening agents. Because drugstore whitening kits contain a weak formulation of hydrogen peroxide, it may take a few weeks or months until the product begins to produce results. Professional-strength hydrogen peroxide used by dental offices offers much quicker results, which is an important consideration if you know you won't have the patience to follow through with do-it-yourself whitening.

How long does professional teeth whitening take?

When you visit our Kona office, you can choose from in-office or at-home whitening. Both options offer impressive results, although an in-office session whitens your teeth in about an hour, while you'll need to use take-home trays and whitening gel for a few weeks to achieve maximum whitening.

How can I keep my teeth white and bright after whitening?

Avoiding the things that originally caused your stains can help you maintain your results for several years. Quit smoking and avoid or limit these foods and beverages:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cola
  • Wine
  • Sports Drinks
  • Berries
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce

If you do happen to notice that your teeth are beginning to look a little dull, you can touch them up with at-home whitening gels and trays provided by our office. Regular brushing and flossing will also keep your teeth looking their best.

Teeth whitening can give you the bright smile you deserve. Call Kona, HI, dentist Dr. Garrett Oka at (808) 329-0889 to schedule your appointment.


Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”

Whether you're a member of the wedding party or a guest, you'll want to look your best for the 2016 wedding season. Professional teeth teeth whiteningwhitening is an excellent way to quickly brighten and whiten your smile. Kona, HI dentist, Dr. Garrett B.K. Oka, shares some information about professional whitening.

Professional teeth whitening is quick and easy

After just one one-hour teeth whitening session, you'll see a significant difference in your teeth. If you use an over-the-counter teeth whitening kit, it may take weeks to notice a change.

Professional whitening offers better results

The hydrogen peroxide gel that your Kona dentist uses to whiten your teeth is stronger than the products used in drugstore kits, but still gentle. You can expect to see a three- to eight-shade difference in your teeth after whitening. Professional whitening results also lasts longer. While over-the-counter products brighten your teeth for weeks or months, depending on the product, professional results can last several years. You can keep your teeth looking white by avoiding or limiting foods and beverages that stain teeth, such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, popsicles and sports drinks.

Professional teeth whitening is safer

Your dentist will apply a protective barrier to your roots and gums before proceeding with your whitening session. He'll also use retractors to hold them away from your teeth, reducing the risk of irritation or sensitivity. If drugstore products don't fit well, your teeth and gums can be damaged or irritated by the whitening agent.

Professional whitening offers flexibility

If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, your dentist can give you an at-home whitening kit. He'll make molds of your teeth to ensure that the trays fit well and give you whitening gel to add to the trays. The whitening trays can also be used to touch up your teeth from time to time after your initial whitening session.

Want your smile to look extra bright in those wedding photos? Call your Kona, HI dentist, Dr. Garrett B.K. Oka, at (808) 329-0889 to schedule a professional teeth whitening treatment. Transform your smile with teeth whitening!

By Sweet Tooth Dental
September 11, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Teeth WhiteningGet a brighter smile that will be sure to turn heads this school year.

Always wanted to get teeth up to 10 shades whiter in just one hour? Then ditch those over-the-counter products from your drugstore and head on over to your Kona dentist Dr. Garrett B.K. Oka, who can give you a visibly brighter smile in just one visit. How’s that for fast? It might seem too good to be true, but professional in-office whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments in the US, and there’s a reason.

How Professional Teeth Whitening Works

Before we talk about our whitening system it’s important to know a little about teeth. Your teeth are made up of an inner layer (dentin) and an outer layer (enamel) that helps to protect your teeth. Unfortunately, food, smoking, drinks and even natural aging can form another layer on your beautiful enamel. Because enamel is porous, if this grimy film is left on teeth, it can actually seep in. This means that you now have stains in layers of your teeth that you can’t brush or clean away. While these stains aren’t harmful, they aren’t the most attractive.

This is where your Kona dentist’s whitening system comes in. The whiteners we use contain strong chemicals like carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, which penetrate enamel and break down the stains through oxidation. This leaves you with a smile that is brighter and stain-free.

The Teeth Whitening Process

While you can also opt for at-home whitening treatments, if you are looking to get results before the school year or a special event, then time is of the essence. This is when you should opt for in-office whitening.

Before your treatment, your Kona dentist will clean your teeth and check to make sure there are no cavities or signs of gum disease. What makes our system so effective is that it uses a high-grade hydrogen peroxide gel (between 15 to 35 percent). Couple this with a high-intensity light beam, and you have the quickest way to a whiter smile.

After cleaning your teeth we will apply a protective coating over your gums to reduce sensitivity to the bleaching gel. Then the hydrogen peroxide gel will be painted on the teeth and left for several minutes, rinsed off and then reapplied multiple times. On average, most patients get smiles that are four to six shades whiter after only 45 minutes, but a lot will depend on the severity of your stains.

Ready to get a more radiant smile before the new school year? Then call your Kona dentist with Sweet Tooth Dental and don’t be afraid to flash those pearly whites.

By Sweet Tooth Dental
March 05, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Have years of soda, tobacco or poor dental hygiene habits caused your teeth to become dingy and discolored? You aren't alone. Many Kailua Kona, HI residents visit local dentist Garrett B.K. Oka, DDS for teeth whitening treatments every year, and it's not hard to see why.

A dingy or discolored smile may not be particularly dangerous to your health, but it can cause more harm than you know. Not only Teeth Whiteningcan a discolored smile cause you to lose your self-confidence and much of your self-esteem, but it can even prevent you from smiling, making friends, and engaging in social events as much as you would otherwise.

Thankfully, the solution to a dingy or discolored smile is quick and easy. A simple visit your favorite Kailua Kona, HI dentist, Dr. Oka, for teeth whitening can make a world of difference.

While over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments may claim to give you amazing teeth whitening results, the truth is that they can never compare to a professional teeth whitening treatment performed by your Kailua Kona, HI dentist. Over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments can only lighten your teeth a few shades, and some don't even do that. Plus, some even damage your teeth and make them more likely to stain in the future.

This is why - if you want a beautiful, white smile you can be proud to show off--you need to visit a Kailua Kona, HI dentist for professional teeth whitening treatment. Not only will you achieve real, remarkable results, but you won't need to commit too much time as it is generally completed in one office visit. Plus, when you visit Dr. Oka, you know that your whitening will be safe. You won't have to worry about damaging your teeth or accidentally whitening them unevenly.

If your teeth are dingy or discolored, what are you waiting for? Visit your favorite Kailua Kona, HI dentist, Dr. Oka, for teeth whitening and get beautiful teeth that look brand new once again.