Two clear aligners and two syringes with lighted backdrop

Bright Smiles Begin With Teeth Whitening | Smile Center

Bright Smiles Begin Here: The Secrets of Professional Teeth Whitening

As a dental office serving the vibrant communities of Ashland and Fredericksburg, Virginia, we’ve encountered countless individuals seeking that extra sparkle in their smiles. Today, let’s explore the world of teeth whitening—an art and science that not only illuminates smiles but also boosts confidence and radiance.

Understanding Professional Teeth Whitening

You might have stumbled upon numerous at-home remedies or over-the-counter solutions, but let’s uncover the efficacy and safety of professional teeth whitening in Virginia. Our dental practice offers expert guidance and a customized approach to brightening your smile, ensuring both effectiveness and safety. We suggest a few options, depending on the severity of the staining and any sensitivity you may have.

Take Home Whitening 

Our take-home teeth whitening service works well with teeth stained by tobacco use, aging, or certain foods such as red wine, soda, coffee, or dark-colored fruits or vegetables.

We will take impressions to make custom trays to use at home (or you can use your Vivera retainers). Then we’ll send you home with custom trays, a peroxide-based whitening solution, and precise instructions for use. You’ll use the provided trays and solution for a few weeks and let us know if you end up with any tooth sensitivity or other problems.

In-Office Chairside Whitening

Before starting in-office whitening, we’ll do an initial cleaning to prep your teeth for whitening and perform a dental exam to ensure that you don’t have any dental problems such as gum disease or severe tooth decay that need to be addressed before whitening.  In-office whitening often gets the results you are looking for in a single session. We’ll use custom trays and a UV light to treat your teeth and let you walk out with teeth as much as two shades brighter. We’ll also send you home with your trays so you can continue treatment and maintain your whiter teeth on your own. This is often the most effective option for teeth whitening.


If you are looking for an inexpensive solution for at-home whitening, whitening toothpaste can be an excellent option for those with very mild staining or who have tooth sensitivity. These toothpastes use only mild abrasives, rather than any bleaching agents, to break down stains and restore the original tooth color. Whitening toothpaste is easy to use and allows you to treat all your teeth while you brush twice daily as usual.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

The process involves using safe and approved bleaching agents, typically peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to break down stains and discoloration on the enamel and dentin. These agents penetrate the teeth with the help of a UV light, lifting stains caused by coffee, tea, tobacco, or aging, leaving your smile luminous and rejuvenated.

Duration of Whitening Effects

One common query about teeth whitening is how long teeth whitening lasts. While the duration varies depending on lifestyle choices and oral hygiene, professional treatments can maintain their effects for at least a year and up to three years. Regular check-ups and diligent dental care contribute significantly to prolonging the results.

Store-bought options generally do not last nearly as long. Whitening toothpastes purchased over-the-counter take several weeks to show results and those results only last about three to four months. Mouthwashes can take three months to show results and the effects typically only last as long as you use the product. Whitening strips tend to offer the most long-lasting results of all the store-bought choices, but even they only last about six months.

Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Solutions

What sets professional teeth whitening apart from store-bought kits is the precision and effectiveness of the treatment. Our practice offers tailored solutions, ensuring safety and potency while minimizing potential side effects. Store-bought options may lack this personalized touch, resulting in uneven whitening or tooth sensitivity.

Over-the-counter options are also weaker than professional treatments. This means you’ll spend more time treating your teeth at home than with our professional options. It also means that you may not ever get the results you’re hoping for with a store-bought whitening kit because it simply doesn’t have the power to give you those results.

Teeth Whitening: A Customized Experience

At our practice, we understand that every smile is unique. Our professional teeth whitening service is personalized to suit your specific needs and preferences. Whether you opt for an in-office procedure or a take-home kit designed by our dental experts, our goal remains unchanged—to brighten your smile safely and effectively.

In Fredericksburg and Ashland, Virginia, the pursuit of a dazzling smile need not be a mystery. Professional teeth whitening coupled with expert guidance and personalized care, offers a pathway to a radiant and confident you.

The Call to Transform Your Smile

Eager to unveil your brighter, more confident self? Let us guide you through our professional teeth whitening service, tailored to deliver stunning results while prioritizing your dental health. Visit our contact page today and embark on a journey toward a brighter, more vibrant smile that lasts.


Published: December 1, 2023

Author: Dr. Joel Butterworth

Joel S. Butterworth, DDS is the dentist and owner of Fredericksburg Smile Center and Ashland Smile Center. Dr. Butterworth has specialized training and clinical experience in all fields of general dentistry as well as advanced training in anesthesia and pain control, TMJ disorders, dental oncology, and emergency medicine.