Virginia Dental Care

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Teeth Whitening Arlington, VA


Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the color of your teeth and improve their overall appearance. It is a popular treatment option for individuals looking to achieve a brighter and more attractive smile. Teeth whitening is a non-invasive and relatively simple procedure that can be performed either by a dentist in a dental office or at home using over-the-counter products or dentist-prescribed kits. Here’s how teeth whitening works:

Teeth Whitening Arlington Va
  • Surface Stains: Teeth can become discolored and stained over time due to various factors, including consumption of certain foods and beverages (like coffee, tea, and red wine), smoking, aging, and poor oral hygiene. These stains are often located on the outer layer of the tooth called enamel.
  • Bleaching Agents: Teeth whitening typically involves the use of bleaching agents to break down and remove these surface stains. The most common bleaching agent used is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
  • Professional In-Office Whitening: For in-office teeth whitening, a dentist or dental hygienist applies a high-concentration bleaching gel directly to your teeth. They may use a special light or laser to activate the bleaching process. This method can produce significant whitening results in a single session, and it is usually the fastest and most effective option.
  • At-Home Whitening: Dentists can also provide custom-made trays and lower-concentration bleaching gels for at-home use. You wear these trays with the gel for a specified period each day, usually over several weeks, until you achieve the desired level of whitening. Over-the-counter whitening products, like whitening strips and toothpaste, are also available but may be less effective than professional options.
  • Results: Teeth whitening can make your teeth several shades lighter, effectively reducing or eliminating surface stains. However, it may not be as effective on intrinsic stains (those that originate from within the tooth) or severe discoloration.
  • Maintenance: The results of teeth whitening are not permanent, and the duration of whiteness depends on your habits and diet. Avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene can help prolong the results.
  • It’s essential to consult with a dentist before undergoing any teeth whitening procedure, especially if you have existing dental issues like cavities, gum disease, or dental restorations (e.g., crowns or veneers). They can assess your oral health and recommend the most suitable whitening method for your specific needs.
  • Teeth whitening is generally considered safe and can be an effective way to enhance your smile’s appearance. However, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully and not overuse whitening products, as excessive use can lead to tooth sensitivity and other dental problems.

Am I Suitable for Teeth Whitening ?

Not everyone can get their teeth whitened, and there are many things that can change the colour of your teeth, such as:

  • Tobacco use
  • Staining foods and beverages, such as wine and coffee, should be avoided.
  • Not cleaning teeth
  • Age (as we age, the enamel becomes thinner)
  • Extrinsic stains, or those on the tooth’s surface, are the most amenable to teeth whitening.
  • Intrinsic Stains – Some teeth get discolored because of root canals, or have stains that were the result of developmental issues, or antibiotic use in childhood. These stains require a different type of treatment.