If you want to have whiter teeth, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening is a popular dental service that helps dental patients achieve their whitest, brightest smile. Using at home teeth whitening products or going to the dentist for professional teeth whitening, you can achieve a whiter smile that makes you feel confident. Which type of whitening procedure is best for you? This is a common question people ask themselves when trying to decide between professional teeth whitening and DIY teeth whitening kits.

If you’re having a hard time choosing, having all the information and knowing the pros and cons of each option can help. Here’s what to know about at-home products and professional teeth whitening from a dentist office.

DIY Teeth Whitening

If you visit a pharmacy, you’ll see that there are many types of DIY teeth whitening kits and products, such as:

Whitening toothpaste. This easy to use whitening product can help remove stains over a period of many days or weeks. Whitening toothpastes are somewhat effective, but can lead to tooth sensitivity. If you already have sensitive teeth, this may not be the right type of product for you.

Whitening rinse. These easy to use rinses work gradually, just like whitening toothpaste. Whitening rinses are good at preventing new stains from forming on your teeth, so you can use this as a preventive measure that supplements other more dramatic teeth whitening measures.

Whitening trays. These trays fit over your teeth and use a gel to whiten the tooth enamel. Whitening trays can cause sensitivity in your gums, so be sure to follow the directions very carefully.

Gel strips. Gel strips are placed onto teeth and worn for a couple hours at a time. Gel strips can take two or three weeks for best results.

Does At-Home Teeth Whitening Work?

At home teeth whitening can work, but the results may be mixed depending on the methods used and how well you follow the directions. One of the disadvantages of whitening your teeth at home is that you can overdo whitening, even though home products have lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide.

When you’re seeing the dentist for your teeth whitening, you can trust that your dentist will stop you from going too far or doing potential damage to your teeth. When using an at home kit, you’ll have to gauge how much whitening is too much for yourself.

Pros of At Home Teeth Whitening

    • Cost less. At home teeth whitening costs less than whitening from the dentist office.
    • Convenience. When you’re whitening your teeth at home, you can whiten any time that’s convenient for you.

Cons of At Home Teeth Whitening

    • Less effective. Many of the methods that you use to whiten your teeth at home (toothpaste, rinse) are less effective than professional teeth whitening.
    • Potential to do damage. You can over whiten your teeth with at home products, leading to sensitivity and other problems.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening can be done in different ways, but one of the most common ways involves custom-made trays filled with bleaching solution. The trays fit snugly over your teeth and bleach the enamel white.

The gel used by professional dentals is stronger than at-home whitening kits, and your dentist has the training and knowledge to use gel to the fullest advantage. Your dentist may also use a light source or heat source to speed up the whitening process.

How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?

Your dentist will start by prepping your teeth prior to treatment. They’ll clear the plaque and debris on your teeth, then perform an exam to ensure that you have healthy teeth and gums.

Your dentist will apply a resin or dam on your gums to protect them from the gel, then the gel will be applied. The gel stays in place for up to half an hour, then is cleaned off and reapplied for another half an hour.

Your dentist may use a light to activate the bleaching gel. Some dentists give patients an at-home kit, so they can maintain the whiteness of their smile following the procedure.

Pros of Professional Teeth Whitening

  • Effectiveness. Professional teeth whitening is as effective as teeth whitening gets, and is often far more effective than at home treatments
  • Efficiency. While at home treatments may take days or weeks, the in-office treatment is done quickly and efficiently.
  • Safety. Your dentist will know how much gel to use, how long it can be applied and when to stop. Your dentist will also know how to take measures to protect your teeth during the whitening process.

Cons of Professional Teeth Whitening

  • Cost. Professional teeth whitening typically costs more than at home kits, however, they’re often more effective as well.

Which Method Is Right for You?

Professional teeth whitening is the safest and most effective way to get your teeth whitened. If your teeth are healthy and your dentist thinks that you’re a good candidate for professional teeth whitening, this is the best way to ensure that your teeth will be several shades lighter and whiter when you’re finished with your teeth whitening project.

Have questions about whether you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening? Speak with your dentist at Kawveh Nofallah DMD. As your dentist in Lakeland FL, we can help you get started with easy, effective teeth whitening.

Call today to make an appointment!

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