Teeth whitening has become a popular cosmetic treatment. Many cosmetic dentists find that it’s the most-requested of all their offerings.
You have probably seen all the tooth whitening products for sale in drug stores and supermarkets. Don’t buy them.
Store-Bought Teeth Whitening Products
Teeth whitening products at the store are not effective. Tooth enamel whitens only while it’s in contact with a whitening agent. So “whitening” toothpaste is a non-starter, unless you spend an hour or so each day brushing your teeth. Those toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients, most often baking soda. If you use them for an extended period, you’ll be making your teeth more yellow in the long run. They gradually scrape off tooth enamel along with whatever remains of food are stuck to it. As the enamel becomes thinner, the layer below it, the yellow dentin layer, will show through more.
Whitening kits will give uncertain and probably uneven results. The whitening agent in store-bought gels is weaker than what a cosmetic dentist uses. Also, the trays are generic and will almost certainly not fit your individual teeth well. That means the whitening agent will be in uneven contact with your teeth and will yield patchy results.
In-Office Tooth Whitening
Dr. Chung’s in-office teeth whitening treatment uses the Zoom! tooth whitening system, which will whiten your teeth by at least five or six shades in a little over an hour. There is some time for preparation, when Dr. Chung will get you comfortable and apply protection to your gums and lips. He will apply the whitening agent to your teeth and shine a special light on it for 20 minutes. Then he gives you a break while he removes it and applies new whitening agent. This is repeated three times.
Afterwards, there is some time for discussion and for explaining how to use your take-home follow-up kit. You can use this to further whiten your teeth if you think that’s possible, or for future touch-ups.
Some people have more sensitive teeth, and if you start to feel any increased sensitivity during your procedure. Dr. Chung will stop the treatment and apply a de-sensitizing gel. Your take-home kit will contain some of that gel also.
If you’d rather your tooth whitening be done on your own time, we can give you a kit with a custom-made pair of trays which will fit your upper and lower teeth closely. It will also have professional-strength gel, a shade strip to mark your before and after colors, some de-sensitizing gel, several syringes of whitening gel, and an instruction booklet.
If you use this kit daily for a couple of weeks, you’ll be amazed at the change in your smile. Our cosmetic dentistry patients are usually exuberant about their tooth whitening results. It’s so quick and dramatic they can hardly believe the difference and they keep checking again in the mirror. Whether it’s done in-office or at home with the effective take-home kit Dr. Chung can give you, you’ll have plenty of reason to smile.
Please call 703-319-6990 to set up a consultation to discuss teeth whitening options with Dr. Chung at Softouch Dental Care. Plan on about an hour, during which you can meet Dr. Chung and our team, get your teeth whitening questions answered and discuss what you’d like to have done with your teeth. Our office is very welcoming and “guest-centered”. We provide teeth whitening treatments to patients in Oakton, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, and nearby areas of Northern Virginia, as well as patients visiting from Washington D.C.