When you are deciding to get teeth whitening in Rockville, Maryland, the first step in deciding whether or not to whiten teeth should always be a proper dental examination — with x-ray pictures — to determine the cause of the tooth discoloration. This is the best context in which to explore whitening options, with the person who is in the best position to advise you: your dentist. The optimal, most natural-looking tooth shade is always the one that creates a match between the whiteness of the teeth and the whites of a person’s eyes.

The pre-bleaching exam may reveal a need for a particular treatment, before or even instead of bleaching. For example, there are several causes for discoloration — abscessed teeth, decay, and root canal problems, to name a few — for which bleaching will mask but not resolve the problem. There are also some aesthetic considerations, such as how much of your teeth and gums show when you smile. Typically, short teeth and a gummy smile do not look better with bleaching because whiter teeth will accentuate the gummy smile. Also, exposed tooth roots don’t bleach, so if you have root exposure, your results won’t be ideal. In either of these cases, you may want to consider other cosmetic options.


For teeth whitening, there are three basic options: in-office whitening (done by a dentist), at-home bleaching with custom-made flexible plastic trays (called nightguard bleaching), and over-the-counter products. Within each of these methods the technique can vary, as does the concentration of bleaching solutions and duration of treatment. The in-office bleaching solutions are the strongest, so precautions must be taken by the dentist to protect the gums from coming in contact with them. To compare the three options to achieve a six-shade change: three in-office applications; one week of whitening solution used at home nightly in a custom-made tray; or 16 daily applications of solution on a strip. Your own preferences, lifestyle, and finances will come into play when making a treatment choice. It’s important to keep in mind that all three of these options should eventually achieve the maximum whiteness allowed by the tooth given enough time to work.  Working together with your dentist in Rockville, Maryland, you’ll be able to achieve your teeth whitening goals!

We are always accepting new patients in our beautiful dental office in North Bethesda, Maryland.  Schedule an appointment today online or give us a call at (301) 679-0398 to discuss your teeth whitening options.