Cosmetic |3 min read

Teeth Whitening FAQs: How to Prepare, How Long It Lasts, and More!

dentist holding up teeth shades to a patient's smile

Have you ever wondered what teeth whitening actually is?

We’ve compiled the top questions patients tend to have and answer them in this quick blog.

Keep reading to find out how teeth whitening can improve your confidence!

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry service that instills newfound confidence in your smile.

With an in-office teeth whitening treatment, your dentist can safely whiten your teeth up to several shades without damage to your teeth or gums.

What can I do to prepare for a teeth whitening treatment?

Visit your dentist for a routine cleaning before your teeth whitening appointment!

Plaque and bacteria build-up can cause the whitening gel or solution to be uneven, possibly even leading to a splotchy smile.

With a clean foundation, you’ll walk out of the dentist with a bright and uniformed whiteness.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Professional teeth whitening lasts anywhere between six months to 3 years, depending on the method used.

However, over-the-counter home whitening products may only last a few months.

The longevity of your smile also depends on your lifestyle habits!

Proper oral hygiene will keep your newly whitened teeth lasting longer.

Is professional teeth whitening safe?

Yes, in-office teeth whitening SAFELY brightens your smile.

In fact, it’s considered one of the safest forms of cosmetic dentistry.

Teeth whitening removes:

  • Stains
  • Discoloration
  • Dullness

You’ll find yourself smiling, talking, and laughing more than ever with your brighter white teeth.

Is teeth whitening safe with over-the-counter products?

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are safe to use but use the ones with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.… This text opens a new tab to the American Dental Association website…

If you’re unsure, talk to your dentist to find out their recommendations for at-home whitening treatments.

Keep in mind:

With professional teeth whitening products, it minimizes side effects like sensitivity and gum irritation.

What causes stained or discolored teeth?

Some common causes are:

  • Foods and liquids you consume (think coffee, dark beverages, wine, etc.)
  • Dental hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Age

We can’t control how teeth tend to change color as we age due to the natural wear and tear of the enamel.


You can maximize your potential by brushing your teeth with FDA-approved toothpaste to reduce bacteria and staining.

If you’re still not satisfied, talk to your dentist about how you can reach your desired white shade.

Looking for teeth whitening in Reston or Ashburn, Virginia?

It’s essential to have a smile you’re proud of, and we’ll work with you to find the right shade, financial options, and timeline.

Virginia Dental Solutions is proud to provide high-quality dental services in Reston and Ashburn, VA.

Our dental experts are ready to enhance your smile with professional teeth whitening.

Book Your Appointment

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Our offices are located in Reston… opens in a new window to Google Maps… and Ashburn, VA… opens in a new window to Google Maps…, serving surrounding communities of Herndon, Great Falls, Vienna, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Annandale, Burke, Brambleton, Landsdowne, Leesburg, Purcellville, Hamilton, Round Hill, Aldie, Centreville, McLean, Broadlands, and Sterling.

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