My Blog

Posts for tag: teeth whitening

March 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Teeth whitening can be an excellent investment in your appearance and overall dental health. Your teeth can be up to eight shades teeth whiteningwhiter after a treatment at your Grand Haven, MI, dentist's office. Dr. John Leitner and his skilled staff offer in-office whitening treatments that typically take less than an hour, meaning you can have a more attractive and healthy looking smile in just one lunch break. Is teeth whitening right for you? You'll find out here!

Would I benefit from teeth whitening?

For people who have discolorations from coffee, tea or other foods, teeth whitening often makes a huge difference. These stains react well to the peroxide in the whitening gel, which oxygenates them and causes the stain particles to break up into tinier pieces that can be easily rinsed away. The results from in-office teeth whitening are longer-lasting and more dramatic than those from over-the-counter strips or trays.

Who should not use whitening?

Certain stains on the teeth do not respond to the whitening agents because of their chemical makeup or where they originate. For example, people who received rounds of tetracycline, a type of antibiotic, in their childhood may have had their adult teeth permanently discolored gray. This is due to the dentin inside being affected by the chemicals. In these cases, your Grand Haven dentist may suggest bonding or veneers as a way to remedy the stains. Those with decay on their teeth are advised against whitening until those problems are treated.

The best way to find out if teeth whitening is good for you is to contact Dr. John Leitner's office in Grand Haven, Michigan, to schedule a consultation. Your dental health is unique and so is our approach to treating it. We have many different cosmetic procedures available to help you achieve your best smile!


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.”

By John Leitner DDS
February 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Should I Whiten My Teeth? Reasons to consider teeth whitening treatments.

Do your teeth look dark, dull and faded to the point where you don’t want to smile very often? Do you remember when you were teeth whiteningyounger, and your smile was bright and beautiful. Where did that smile go? The truth is there are many factors which have combined to make your teeth dull; but more importantly, there is something you can do about it. It’s time to call Dr. John Leitner, your cosmetic and family dentist in Grand Haven, MI. He can give you back the smile you want and deserve.

You have probably tried some of the whitening products available at your neighborhood grocery store, only to find the results didn’t last long enough or the products made your teeth hurt. Many of the products contain harmful abrasive agents which can damage tooth enamel.

Dr. Leitner has a better idea--it’s called Lifetime Whitening! It works like this:

After your initial exam and cleaning, he will provide you with bleaching trays and solution for a small fee. After that, at each six-month visit, he will give you a FREE complimentary tube of whitening gel, so you can have brightened and whitened teeth for a lifetime. Reasons to consider this procedure include:

  • Professional whitening treatments often have much better results that last longer
  • White teeth help you look younger
  • White teeth boost your self-esteem and confidence
  • You make a great first impression with a bright white smile
  • White teeth make you look better to yourself and others
  • You might have a special event coming up and want to look your best

Whitening results can vary depending on the frequency of treatment and your individual characteristics, but you can be assured, when you choose Dr. John Leitner, in Grand Haven, MI, you have chosen the very best. He is your expert on dental whitening treatments. So are you ready to get started on a new smile? Give him a call today!

By John Leitner DDS
June 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: teeth whitening  

There are many reasons why teeth may need a whitening treatment to achieve an appealing brightness: what we eat and drink, natural aging, genetics, and the lack of dedication to oral hygiene can all play a role in how we look.

For vital (living) teeth, there are basically three different options for teeth whitening, and we’d be happy to help you decide which is right for you:

  • In-office tooth whitening: The fastest way to get your smile radiant. A high concentration of a peroxide gel solution is applied directly to the tooth surface. Gums and other soft tissues are completely protected for your safety. This technique is excellent for whitening deep surface stains as well as general tooth whitening. This professional treatment requires the least amount of time to achieve the desired whiteness.
  • The professional take-home option: Custom-made bleaching trays are prepared by our office. This technique is convenient and less expensive, but the desired whiteness will take longer to achieve than the in-office option.
  • Over-the-counter products: These offer the least expensive option but use weaker whitening agents. For example, whitening strips, like the ones advertised on television, are popular and easy to use but will generally take the most time to achieve the desired success. Also, even agents that are not the strongest available may cause damage to teeth if used inappropriately and without professional supervision.

While there are normally no serious side effects after professional whitening treatments, there is a potential risk of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If either one or both of these occur, it should disappear within a few days.

It should come as no surprise that bleaching is not permanent. The whiteness will fade eventually depending on your diet, habits, hygiene, etc., but it usually will last at least six months — more often up to two years. Obviously, if you avoid drinking coffee, tea, or red wine, don’t smoke, and have a diligent oral hygiene routine your results may last longer.

Advertisements for teeth-whitening products are everywhere. If you have any questions about what you see, or simply want to do a reality check on their claims, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening: Brighter, Lighter, Whiter...,” and “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”


If you’re considering tooth whitening, you may be torn between using a home product and undergoing a professional application in our office. Here’s a brief comparison of both approaches to help you in your decision process.

It helps first to know what we’re trying to correct — that dull, discolored tooth stain. Tooth staining comes in two varieties: intrinsic, which occurs deep within the tooth and can be caused by aging, old root canal treatments, tetracycline antibiotic use or excessive fluoride intake during childhood development; or extrinsic, which occurs mainly on the tooth surface and is caused by substances like coffee, tea, wine or tobacco. Intrinsic stains can only be treated through an in-office procedure — the comparison we’re making between home and professional whitening refers only to extrinsic staining.

Whitening, then, is the use of a chemical agent to bleach those stains. The majority of both home and professional products use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (which also contains hydrogen peroxide) as its primary bleaching agent. Depending on the application, either of these chemicals can effectively bleach extrinsically stained teeth. The two approaches differ, however, in the strength of the bleaching agent: home products usually contain a 10% or less concentration, while professional solutions usually contain between 15% and 35%. As a result, the home application takes longer than a dentist’s treatment to achieve desired results — two to three weeks as opposed to one or two office visits.

Whichever option you choose, remember teeth whitening isn’t a permanent solution. The brightness will fade over time — six months to a year if you restrict foods and habits that stain teeth. You can also receive a touch-up once or twice a year to help extend brightness.

There’s also a middle of the road option — you can use a home application with guidance from our office. It’s also a good idea to visit us for an examination beforehand — we can then advise you on what options will work for your particular type of staining and teeth condition.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Tooth Staining.”