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Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening Dentist in Gaithersburg, Potomac, Rockville

Portrait of a Beautiful Smiling Woman

How to make your teeth whiter

 Why are my teeth yellow?

There are many factors that can lead to stained teeth. Some lifestyle habits include:

  • Drinking coffee, tea, soda, or dark wines

  • Smoking

  • Thinning enamel from old age revealing the inner yellow dentin layer

  • Certain antibiotics during childhood

  • Genetics


Easy teeth whitening at home?

Some online fads have recommended lemon juice, charcoal, baking soda, and other DIY whitening methods at home. While they might seem to work, these abrasive and acidic substances can permanently damage your enamel, the strongest part of your tooth. The acid in lemon damages your teeth by dissolving your enamel, and the abrasive components of charcoal and baking soda wear away your teeth. The long term result of thinning enamel is a yellower appearance as the inner layer of the dentin starts to show through. Instead of DIY methods, try using drugstore whitening strips for modest at-home whitening. Over the counter whitening can be successful to a limited degree. 


The safest, most effective way to whiten teeth is by working with your licensed dental professional for whitening. Studies have found that professional dental whitening leads to faster, more dramatic results. Your dentist will also be able to monitor your whitening to prevent injuries to your gums and other soft tissues during the procedure. 


The materials that your dentist uses are more concentrated and safer than OTC or DIY products. The whitening agents penetrate your tooth, breaking down the bonds in the molecules that cause discoloration. Whitening can be done either in office or with custom bleaching trays at home. Both options are equally effective and take approximately the same amount of time to see your final results. 

Does charcoal toothpaste work? 

Charcoal is an abrasive substance that is not tested, proven, or approved by the FDA or ADA. 


What to expect with professional whitening with a dentist

Teeth whitening is an effective, non-invasive method of achieving a brighter, whiter smile for special occasions like weddings, proms, or for everyday life. When you visit your dentist, s/he will be able to tell you if you have any fillings in the teeth that you are trying to whiten. Unlike natural tooth structure, fillings do NOT whiten. It is important to consult with a professional to achieve even, natural results. Older fillings will likely have to be replaced after your shade stabilizes. Whitening should be performed on healthy tooth structure.


Your teeth will be noticeably whiter and brighter after professional in-office or custom at-home bleaching. If you are whitening your teeth with custom bleaching trays, you must use the trays every day for at least 2 weeks to see results. It is important not to eat or drink anything that could re-stain your teeth at this time. Rule of thumb: If it can stain a white t-shirt, it can stain your teeth. It will take another 2 weeks after you complete your teeth whitening for your color to stabilize. 


You will have to occasionally whiten your teeth with at-home trays to maintain your desired shade. If you continue to smoke or consume dark food and drink after whitening, your teeth will become stained again and you may have to repeat the whitening process to achieve your desired shade. 


Professional dental whitening in Gaithersburg, Potomac, and Rockville can cost $400-600. 


Side effects of whitening

The most common side effect of teeth whitening is sensitivity. Sensitivity can be minimized by the use of Sensodyne toothpaste, started at least 2 weeks before your scheduled whitening visit. Consult with your dentist to find out whether you should take any over the counter pain-relief medications before your in-office teeth whitening visit.  

If you would like to schedule for teeth whitening, call us at 301-963-9690 or contact us here

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