There are many reasons you might want your teeth whitened before a certain date rolls around. That day may be a special event, picture day, or a first date. Unfortunately, over-the-counter toothpastes and products don’t always provide results in a timely manner. If you need a brighter smile fast, professional whitening might be your best option.
Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc in Washington, DC, provide fast, effective teeth whitening services to keep your smile looking its best all year long.
How teeth whitening works
To understand how whitening agents work, you have to understand why your teeth grow discolored in the first place. The outer layer of your teeth is called enamel, and it is susceptible to all kinds of stains. Yellowing is most often caused by exposure to sugar, acid, and dark fluids like cola, wine, or berry juice.
Aging can also cause your enamel to thin, revealing the yellowing dentin underneath. Over-exposure to certain antibiotics or fluoride can also lead to discoloration, causing your teeth to lose their luster with time.
There are many ways to whiten your teeth: The stained enamel can be sanded away, bleaching agents can brighten it, and a blue light can help penetrate deep discoloration. Depending on the time frame, your dentist might recommend one of several options.
Fast tooth whitening options
Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton offers both take-home tooth whitening kits and in-house chairside whitening, depending on your needs. If you aren’t in a rush, and feel confident in your ability to use an at-home kit, you might feel more comfortable whitening your teeth gradually.
Unlike OTC whitening trays and pens, the gel used in these kits is professional strength. However, since the trays are custom-fitted using molds of your teeth, they’re safe to wear without harming your gums or swallowing the solution.
However, many people prefer faster, more dramatic results in a single visit, which we provide using the Philips Zoom!® system. With just a single 90-minute session, we can brighten your teeth by up to 10 shades lighter.
We isolate your teeth with a rubber dental dam to protect your gums, cheeks, and tongue. Next, we apply a bleaching agent and use a blue light to break up stains. Your teeth might be somewhat sensitive in the days following your treatment, but the results won’t go unnoticed by anyone who sees your smile.
To learn more about teeth whitening and discuss which option is best for you, schedule a consultation with Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, by calling 202-833-1111 or visiting our contact page for more information.