Everything You Need To Know About Professional Teeth Whitening

If you are like the majority of Americans, chances are good that you have considered whitening your teeth at some point. Maybe you have tried an over the counter whitening product, or maybe you have had your teeth professionally whitened at your dental office.

But how do you know what the best teeth whitening option is for you? What are the benefits of different whitening methods, and how long should you expect the results to last? It’s normal to have many questions about professional teeth whitening, which is why we are here to break it down for you!

Who Should Consider Whitening?

We all want a white smile, but it’s important to know that professional teeth whitening isn’t necessarily for everyone.

For example, tooth-colored crowns and fillings will not be affected by whitening. So if you have dental restorations that will be visible when you smile, whitening your teeth may not be your best option.

It is also important to know that whitening your teeth can cause temporary sensitivity. If your teeth are already sensitive, we recommend that you proceed with professional teeth whitening cautiously.

 What Types of Professional Teeth Whitening Are Available?

Everywhere you look there are products that claim to whiten your teeth. From strips to trays to mouthwashes to toothpaste to gels, how are you supposed to know where to begin?

It’s important to understand that the main difference between over the counter whitening products and professional whitening procedures available at your dental office is the strength of the whitening agent. Most over the counter products are applied for a very short duration and contain between 3% and 10% hydrogen peroxide. Professional teeth whitening products however typically contain between 15% and 40% hydrogen peroxide and are applied for longer periods of time.

The 2 main types of professional teeth whitening are take home trays and in-office bleaching. With take home trays, custom trays are made specifically for your teeth. You are sent home with a strong whitening agent that is be loaded into the tray and used up to 2 hours a day until your desired level of whitening is achieved. When you whiten in-office,  a more concentrated whitening agent is used and patients can expect to see instant results, ranging from 2-8 shades whiter.

When Is The Best Time To Whiten?

The great thing about professional teeth whitening is that is can be done at just about anytime and it can always be touched up in the future! Even if someone whitens their teeth at a dentist’s office, we still recommend that they are going to need some type of touch up every 6 months – 1 year in order to maintain their results. Of course, it helps to stay away from foods that are notorious for staining your teeth in order to preserve your whitening results as well!

Talk To Your Dentist

Our team of cosmetic dentists in Richmond, VA always recommend that, if you are interested in professional teeth whitening, you should begin by having a conversation with your dentist. They will be able to make the best recommendation based on your overall oral health and will help you achieve the whitening results that you desire.

Let’s Discuss Your Whitening Experiences

What other questions do you have about professional teeth whitening? Have you ever professionally whitened your teeth? Comment below and let us know your experience!

POSTED IN: Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Tips, Dentistry


  1.   Brian J McCarthy

    Please ask Dr. Rusnak, with all of the dental work that I have had over the years coupled with the loss of enamel on my teeth, is it a good idea for me to consider whitening? I personally think it’s a bad idea however I trust Dr. Rusnak’s opinion.

    Tell him the fish are biting!

  2.   Virginia Davis

    Thanks for the information. I didn’t know that teeth whitening doesn’t work on crowns and fillings. I will take that into consideration when deciding how best to whiten my teeth. You mentioned some foods stain your teeth, but are there foods that help whiten them?

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