Teeth Whitening

Or call 540-886-1979


601 Greenville Avenue

Staunton, VA 24401

Take back your smile!

Are you embarrassed by your yellowing teeth every time you smile when taking a picture or looking into the mirror? If so, Dr. Jesse Myers & Dr. Alan J. White are happy to offer teeth whitening in Staunton, Virginia, to give you the bright, brilliant smile you are proud of.

Teeth whitening is generally indicated when your teeth become dull because of age or because of the use of coffee, tobacco products, red wine, tea, or soda. This is a very common condition that can be treated with simple whitening techniques in as little as 3 weeks, you can have the whiter and brighter smile you desire!

To learn more about the whitening solution we have for you, call our office today!

Comprehensive Guide to Professional Teeth Whitening:

Everything You Need to Know

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure designed to improve the appearance of teeth by removing stains and discoloration. To understand how it works, it's essential to know the sources of tooth discoloration.

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration:

  • Extrinsic Stains: These stains occur on the outer surface of the teeth and are typically caused by the consumption of staining substances like coffee, tea, red wine, tobacco, and certain foods.
  • Intrinsic Stains: Intrinsic stains originate from within the tooth structure and can be caused by factors such as aging, genetics, certain medications (e.g., tetracycline), or excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development.

Now, let's explore how teeth whitening works:

1. Oxidation Process: Most teeth whitening procedures use a bleaching agent, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, as the active ingredient. These bleaching agents work through an oxidation process.

2. Breaking Down Stains: The peroxide molecules penetrate the tooth enamel and dentin, where they encounter the molecules responsible for discoloration. The oxygen released by the peroxide breaks down the chemical bonds of these stain molecules, effectively reducing or eliminating the stains.

3. Restoration of Natural Color: As the stains are broken down and their color is removed, the teeth gradually regain their natural, lighter color. This process effectively whitens the teeth.

It's important to note that teeth whitening does not alter the structure of the teeth or remove enamel. Instead, it targets the discoloration within the tooth's layers, improving the overall appearance of the teeth without causing harm.

There are two primary methods for teeth whitening:

1. In-Office Whitening: This method involves a dental professional applying a higher concentration of bleaching agent to the teeth. In-office treatments offer rapid results, often within a single appointment.

2. Take-Home Whitening Kits: Dental offices also offer take-home whitening kits, which include custom-fitted trays and a milder bleaching gel. Patients use these kits daily for a specified period, typically a few weeks, to achieve gradual whitening.

The choice between in-office and take-home whitening depends on factors such as the patient's preference, the severity of staining, and the timeline for achieving results.

Teeth whitening can effectively remove or reduce stains caused by extrinsic factors. However, it may have limited effectiveness on intrinsic stains, which may require alternative cosmetic solutions like veneers. It's crucial to consult with a dental professional to determine the most suitable teeth whitening method based on individual needs and the cause of discoloration.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Teeth whitening, when performed under the guidance of a dental professional and with approved products, is considered safe and generally does not pose significant risks to dental health. However, it's essential to address common concerns and considerations related to the safety of teeth whitening procedures:

  • Professional Supervision: Professional teeth whitening treatments, whether conducted in a dental office or with take-home kits provided by a dentist, are designed to ensure patient safety. Our dental professionals assess the patient's oral health before initiating any whitening procedure to identify potential contraindications.
  • Gum and Tooth Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience temporary tooth sensitivity or gum irritation following teeth whitening. This sensitivity typically subsides within a few days and can often be managed with over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste or gels.
  • Enamel Damage: Properly administered teeth whitening procedures do not damage tooth enamel. Whitening agents primarily target stains within the tooth structure and do not affect the enamel's structural integrity. However, overusing or misusing whitening products, especially those obtained over-the-counter, can potentially lead to enamel erosion.
  • Dental Health Assessment: Before teeth whitening, it's essential for individuals to undergo a dental health assessment. This ensures that underlying dental issues, such as untreated cavities or gum disease, are addressed before whitening, as these conditions could cause complications.
  • Moderation: Excessive or frequent teeth whitening procedures can lead to tooth sensitivity and temporary discomfort. It's crucial to follow the recommended treatment guidelines provided by your dental professional to prevent overuse.
  • Natural Tooth Shade: Teeth whitening cannot change the natural color of teeth. It can only restore teeth to their natural shade or lighten them beyond their natural color. Patients should have realistic expectations about the potential outcome of the procedure.
  • Alternative Treatments: In cases where teeth staining is due to intrinsic factors (e.g., dental trauma or medication-induced discoloration), teeth whitening may not be effective. Dental professionals can explore alternative cosmetic options, such as veneers or bonding, for these situations.
  • Professional Guidance: It's essential to consult with one of our dental professional for teeth whitening. They can recommend the most suitable method based on individual needs, assess dental health, and monitor the procedure to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

In conclusion, teeth whitening, when performed by a qualified dental professional, is generally safe and effective for most individuals. However, it's essential to approach teeth whitening with informed decisions, follow professional guidance, and prioritize oral health. Consulting with one of our experienced dentists is the best way to address any concerns and determine if teeth whitening is an appropriate option for achieving a brighter smile.

Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Whitening:

Professional teeth whitening, performed at a dental office, and over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products are two common approaches to achieving a brighter smile. Each has its own set of advantages and considerations, and the choice between them depends on individual preferences, budget, and the desired level of whitening. Here's an exploration of the key differences between these two methods:

Professional Teeth Whitening at a Dental Office:

  • Supervised by a Dental Professional: Professional teeth whitening is conducted under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist or dental hygienist. This ensures that the procedure is performed safely and effectively.
  • Customization: Dental professionals can tailor the treatment to meet individual needs. Customized trays or in-office procedures can address specific staining issues and achieve consistent results.
  • Higher Concentration of Bleaching Agents: Dental offices use whitening agents with a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide than OTC products. This typically leads to faster and more noticeable results.
  • Quick Results: In-office treatments often provide noticeable results after a single session, making them an excellent choice for individuals seeking immediate whitening for special occasions.
  • Reduced Sensitivity: Dental professionals can take steps to minimize tooth sensitivity during the whitening process, making it a more comfortable experience.
  • Longer-Lasting Results: Professional teeth whitening results tend to last longer compared to OTC options, especially when combined with proper post-whitening care.
  • Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment: Before proceeding with whitening, a dental examination ensures that there are no underlying dental issues that need to be addressed first.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Products:

  • Accessibility: OTC whitening products are readily available at drugstores, supermarkets, and online, making them convenient for consumers.
  • Lower Cost: OTC whitening products are generally more budget-friendly than professional treatments, making them accessible to a wider range of individuals.
  • Self-Administered: OTC products are designed for self-administration, allowing users to whiten their teeth at their own convenience without dental supervision.
  • Variety of Options: OTC products include whitening toothpaste, strips, gels, and trays, providing consumers with a variety of choices.
  • Gradual Whitening: OTC whitening products typically achieve results more gradually compared to professional treatments, often requiring several weeks of consistent use.
  • Potential for Sensitivity: Some users may experience tooth sensitivity or gum irritation when using OTC products, especially if they misuse them or exceed recommended usage.
  • Limited Customization: OTC products offer less customization and may not address specific staining issues as effectively as professional treatments.

In summary, the choice between professional teeth whitening and OTC products depends on individual preferences, the desired level of whitening, and budget considerations. While professional whitening offers advantages in terms of speed, customization, and safety, OTC products are accessible and cost-effective for individuals seeking more gradual results. It's important for users of OTC products to follow instructions carefully and consult with one of our qualified dentists if they experience any adverse effects or have questions about the best approach for their specific needs.

Tooth Sensitivity when Whitening and How to Manage It

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, whether it's done professionally at a dental office or using over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products. Understanding why sensitivity occurs and how to manage it is essential for a more comfortable whitening experience. Here's an explanation of tooth sensitivity related to teeth whitening and tips on how to address it:

Why Tooth Sensitivity Occurs:

  • Open Dentinal Tubules: Inside your teeth, there are tiny channels called dentinal tubules that connect the tooth's nerve endings to the surface. When you whiten your teeth, the bleaching agents penetrate the enamel and reach the dentin layer underneath.
  • Dentin Exposure: The whitening process can temporarily open these dentinal tubules, exposing the nerve endings to external stimuli like temperature changes, air, and certain foods or drinks. This exposure can lead to tooth sensitivity.

How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity During Teeth Whitening:

  • Consult Your Dentist: Before beginning any teeth whitening treatment, consult with one of our dentists. They can assess your dental health and recommend the most suitable whitening method for your specific needs.
  • Choose a Lower Concentration: If you're using an OTC whitening product, consider starting with a lower concentration of whitening gel. This may reduce the risk of sensitivity while still providing results.
  • Follow Instructions: Always follow the instructions provided with your chosen whitening product. Overusing whitening gels or strips can increase the likelihood of sensitivity.
  • Use a Toothpaste for Sensitivity: Switch to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain ingredients like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride that help block the transmission of nerve signals and reduce sensitivity.
  • Limit Whitening Frequency: Space out your whitening sessions to give your teeth time to recover between treatments. Avoid consecutive days of whitening.
  • Shorter Whitening Sessions: If you experience sensitivity, reduce the duration of each whitening session. Instead of wearing whitening trays or strips for the maximum recommended time, use them for a shorter period.
  • Avoid Extremely Hot or Cold Foods/Drinks: Immediately after whitening, it's a good idea to avoid very hot or cold foods and beverages, as temperature changes can trigger sensitivity.
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production, which acts as a natural buffer for your teeth, potentially reducing sensitivity.
  • Take Breaks: If you're using an OTC whitening product, take a break from whitening for a few days if sensitivity becomes uncomfortable. Resume the treatment when your teeth feel more comfortable.
  • Professional Supervision: If you experience severe or prolonged sensitivity, or if you have underlying dental issues, consult one of our dentists. They can provide guidance and potentially recommend alternative whitening options or products designed to minimize sensitivity.

It's important to note that tooth sensitivity during whitening is usually temporary and should subside within a few days to a week after the treatment is completed. If sensitivity persists or worsens, it's advisable to seek professional dental advice to rule out any underlying dental concerns and ensure your oral health is not compromised.

How Long do Teeth Whitening Results Typically Last?

The duration of teeth whitening results can vary depending on various factors, including individual habits and the method of whitening used. Managing expectations and understanding how to maintain those results is essential for achieving a lasting, bright smile. Here's a discussion on how long the effects of teeth whitening typically last and tips for maintaining your whitened teeth:

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Typically Last?

The longevity of teeth whitening results is influenced by several factors:

  • Whitening Method: The method used for teeth whitening can impact how long the results last. In-office professional whitening tends to provide longer-lasting results compared to over-the-counter (OTC) products.
  • Oral Hygiene Habits: Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings, can help preserve the brightness of your teeth.
  • Dietary Choices: Avoiding or limiting consumption of stain-causing foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored sauces can extend the longevity of whitening results.
  • Tobacco Use: Smoking or using tobacco products can quickly diminish teeth whitening results due to nicotine stains.
  • Hydration: Staying well-hydrated and drinking water after consuming staining substances can help reduce their impact on your teeth.
  • Oral Care Products: Using a toothpaste designed for maintaining whitened teeth can be beneficial. These toothpastes often contain mild abrasives to help remove surface stains.
  • Whitening Maintenance: Some individuals may benefit from periodic touch-up treatments or using at-home maintenance products as recommended by their dentist.

Tips for Maintaining Teeth Whitening Results:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent stains from adhering to the teeth.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings to remove surface stains and monitor your oral health.
  • Limit Staining Foods and Drinks: Reduce consumption of foods and drinks known to stain teeth. If you do indulge, consider using a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
  • Quit Smoking: If you smoke or use tobacco, quitting can not only improve your overall health but also help maintain whiter teeth.
  • Use Whitening Toothpaste: Consider using a toothpaste formulated for maintaining whiter teeth. These products can help prevent the accumulation of new stains.
  • Touch-Up Whitening: For individuals who want to extend the whitening results, occasional touch-up treatments, either in-office or with at-home products recommended by one of our dentists, can help.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after consuming stain-causing substances, to help rinse away potential stains.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Pay attention to the appearance of your teeth and adjust your oral care routine or dietary choices accordingly if you notice signs of staining.

While teeth whitening results are not permanent, with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a bright smile for an extended period. Keep in mind that individual results may vary, and it's essential to follow the advice of your dentist to maximize the longevity of your teeth whitening results.

Is Teeth Whitening Results Typically Last?

Ready to take the first step in revealing your bright, white smile? Our experienced dental team would love to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact Dr. Jesse Myers & Dr. Alan J. White's office at 540-886-1979 in Staunton, VA, and our dedicated team will assist you promptly. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form at the bottom of this page at your convenience.

Trusted by 3000+ patients in Virginia

"I cannot say enough good things about Dr. White and his staff. The staff are friendly and professional, the facility is high quality and well maintained. I always feel welcome and that I am receiving the best service possible. For me, an extra bonus is the in-house crown service. Thank you Dr. White and team for making my dental visits top notch!" - Allison

Why choose us?

Because dental expertise makes a difference. We love people and we love dentistry here at Dr. Myers & Dr. White's office. We're in the business of creating beautiful smiles for all ages. Your smile is important to us. But before you choose us as your dental home, here are several before and after examples of the level of dental care we provide our patients. Our team is trusted throughout Staunton and the surrounding area and we’d love the chance to earn your trust, too. If there is anything we can help you with, please feel free to give us a call!

“My dental experience with Dr. White was excellent! I arrived early to complete some necessary paper work and was taken back for care immediately. My procedure was pain free and the results were great! All staff are friendly and very professional!” - Steven

Request a Time that Works for You!

Thank you for visiting the dental practice of Dr. Jesse Myers, D.M.D. and Dr. Alan J. White, D.D.S. online! Our dentists provide world class dentistry at valley prices! We are excited to work with you and your family members to resolve all of your dental needs. Call us or schedule your dental appointment today! We're honored to help you become proud of your smile!


601 Greenville Avenue

Staunton, VA 24401



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