Have you considered whitening your teeth? Are you embarrassed by dull-appearing teeth and want to refresh the appearance of your smile? Teeth whitening is a popular and safe cosmetic treatment that enhances your smile quickly and painlessly. There are many options available to choose from. Before you take action, the team at Reston Serenity Smiles wants to help you weigh the options between in-office and store-bought whitening treatments.
Your teeth can become discolored by surface stains caused by drinking coffee, soda, or wine, or smoking. Discoloration can also occur from changes inside your teeth from tetracycline antibiotics, trauma, or a genetic condition. A combination of surface stains and changes within the teeth is responsible for age-related staining. For some stains, whitening products will not help, and we can explore other options in those cases. Let’s compare the differences between in-office and store-bought whitening treatments.
Ingredients — Professional-grade teeth whitening products contain more of the active ingredient (up to 40 percent) to get the best results. Store-bought whitening products
pale in comparison with much smaller amounts of active whitening ingredient (up to 10 percent).
Trays — Professional whitening trays are custom-fitted to keep the gel inside the trays, which helps the teeth whiten evenly and protects the soft tissues. Whitening trays included in store-bought kits are one size fits all, which can cause uneven whitening and sensitive teeth and gums.
Protection — In a professional setting, your gums and soft tissues are protected, and dental professionals monitor your treatment. And help is available if you experience pain or sensitivity. Whitening kits from the store offer package instructions, but beyond that, you’re on your own.
Quality Control — Dental professionals select the gel containing the right amount of the active ingredient to get optimal results. Going two or three shades lighter may be enough of a difference for you, or perhaps you want your teeth even whiter. Professional products afford you the option to choose. When you use store-bought products, you can’t control the results.
Professional Care — Before whitening treatment, you will have a dental examination to confirm there are no underlying issues that need to be addressed first. When you rely on store-bought kits, there’s no safeguard. You use your judgment.
The Product We Use
We use Zoom!® products in our office. Zoom!® in-office treatment works by applying the whitening gel to your teeth and using a special blue light to activate the gel. This process repeats several times during your visit, and it takes about an hour to complete the session. The resulting color can be up to eight shades whiter than before treatment. After you finish, you get a kit for home use with custom trays to maintain your results.
Zoom!® at-home whitening kits include custom trays and come in a wide range of whitening agent concentrations. It’s an alternative to our in-office treatment.
Remember, some teeth have discolorations that won’t respond to whitening agents. Also, restorations such as fillings and crowns can’t be whitened. Dental professionals can offer alternative solutions to get your desired results. Are you interested in a whiter smile? Contact our office to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Reston, Virginia, and the surrounding areas.