With spring coming soon (and hopefully some warmer temperatures) everyone has thoughts of a brighter, whiter smile. Whether it is part of getting ready for beach season or applying for a new job, we all think about first impressions. And when you think about it, it’s no wonder why. Studies have shown that men and women are attracted to a bright, white smile.

In Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, we’re up and #hustling early daily, which typically means a few cups of your local favorite coffee.



Coffee, wine, soda, and smoking are the biggest contributors to a smile fading from its natural brightness.

As a Lakeview dentist, we’re asked all the time “what’s the quickest and safest way to whiten my smile?”

To that end, we’ve laid out our “Quick Guide to Teeth Whitening”



At-Home Teeth Whitening


Whitening Toothpaste

If you are looking for a small boost to your smile before spring and summer hit Chicago – whitening toothpaste can help. The typical whitening toothpaste contains 1-1.5% carbamide peroxide (a whitening ingredient). This small dose is capable of cleaning surface staining, but if coffee is your morning “pick-me-up” you’ll need something stronger!

Dr. Brittany Dickinson’s Tip: Check out our blog post on Sugar Fix’s Top Picks for Whitening Toothpaste!



Teeth Whitening Strips & Gels

Whitening strips and gels contain a concentration of carbamine peroxide roughly six times stronger than toothpaste (6-10%). This amount of solution is enough to start penetrating your dental pores and lifting some deeper staining. Although stronger than whitening toothpaste, strips and gels need to be applied carefully and evenly. Without even application, you could end up with some residual staining or odd patches.

Dr. Dickinson’s Tip: If wine is causing your staining (and you aren’t alone) – check out our video review on wine wipes here!




Dentist Teeth Whitening Tray & Gel

We offer custom teeth whitening trays that are fitted perfectly to your teeth. You get to take these trays home and use them with an even stronger solution of carbamide peroxide (10-15%) to obtain brighter, whiter teeth. These systems are a little pricier than the above options, but because the trays are molded specifically to your teeth, they offer better ease of use than traditional teeth whitening strips from the grocery store. Also with these take-home systems, you can reuse the trays for future teeth whitening sessions.

Get to know the KOR whitening system!



At Sugar Fix Dental Loft


Professional Teeth Whitening

The most efficient, fast, and safest way to whiten your teeth is at a dentist’s office. We offer our patients the Zoom 2 teeth whitening system. With in-office treatment, we’re able to use a solution that contains 35% carbamide peroxide (that’s a ton of whitening power).

Nearly all of our patients see such a dramatic difference after just one session! If your teeth are badly stained, this is by far your best option.



Keep Your Smile White After Treatment


Here are a few quick tips from Dr. Brittany Dickinson if you’d like to know more about how to maintain your smile after teeth whitening treatments!

Think Before You Sip

Remember, as much as we love coffee, tea, soda, and red wine – they’re also the most common factors when staining occurs. If you can opt for water or other clear drinks as a replacement – do it! If you must have that can of Coke with lunch, use a straw to draw the liquid past the teeth as much as possible.

See Sugar Fix Regularly

The absolute best thing you can do to keep your teeth healthy and white is to see your hygienist regularly. Routine dental cleanings and care can prevent stains from coming back and protect your teeth from damage and discoloration.

Do the Work

Daily brushing and flossing not only help your oral hygiene but will also help your teeth stay whiter longer! Rinse your mouth with water after drinking stain-causing beverages, or brush if possible. You may even want to try oil pulling! Oil pulling is a natural, safe preventative therapy to maintain good oral hygiene. Check out three great articles on oil pulling here, here, and here!


Ready to talk teeth whitening? Call us at 773-883-1818 to set up your appointment today!