Teeth Whitening

Alexandria Total Dentistry

General & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Alexandria, VA

Your smile is one of the first things people see, so the last thing you want them to notice is dull or stained tooth enamel. At Alexandria Total Dentistry in Alexandria, Virginia, Daniel J. Lee, DMD, and Steven J. Lee, DDS, offer in-office teeth whitening services to help patients in the greater Washington, D.C., area get the white, vibrant smile they want. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more this cost-effective way to improve your smile quickly and easily.

Teeth Whitening Q & A

Alexandria Total Dentistry

How do teeth become discolored?

Teeth come in various shades of white, much in the same way that hair and skin come in a variety of natural hues. While some people have a naturally whiter smile, no one wants their teeth to appear dull, yellow, gray, or otherwise discolored.

In many cases, tooth enamel slowly becomes discolored over time, either due to repeated staining, inadequate oral health habits, or a combination of both.

Although your teeth look and feel smooth, the surface of your enamel actually contains tiny imperfections where food particles and liquid residues can become trapped. When these particles build up over time, they can make your teeth look dull and stained, particularly if plaque buildup is also a problem.

Tooth discoloration can also get worse as you get older, even if you have excellent oral health habits and get regular dental cleanings. That’s because enamel gets thinner with age, allowing the dentin layer beneath your enamel to show through and make your teeth appear more yellow.

Other factors that contribute to tooth discoloration include smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, tea, or red wine, and taking certain prescription medications.

What is chairside bleaching?

There are a variety of professional teeth whitening methods available, including laser whitening and customized take-home bleaching trays. The team at Alexandria Total Dentistry offers clinical-strength chairside bleaching, which is generally considered the safest, most convenient, and most economical whitening treatment available.

During chairside bleaching, either a protective gel or a rubber cover is used to shield your lips and gums when the bleach is applied directly to your teeth. As the powerful whitening agents (either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) begin to break down, oxygen penetrates your tooth enamel to help lift stains and visibly lighten the color of your teeth.

The personalized whitening formula your dentist at Alexandria Total Dentistry uses depends on the degree of staining and your desired level of whitening.

Is professional teeth whitening right for me?

Before your teeth can be professionally whitened, your dentist will perform a quick dental exam to make sure you’re a good candidate for the treatment. That’s because whitening treatments are only effective on natural teeth, and won’t work on dental restorations like crowns, bridges, bonding, and veneers.

Professional whitening treatments aren’t equally effective for all types of discoloration, either. Yellowed teeth respond best to chairside bleaching, while teeth that are brown or grey usually show little or no improvement.

To find out about the latest teeth whitening special at Alexandria Total Dentistry, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.