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Teeth Whitening at Home Vs. Teeth Whitening at the Dentist

What is the difference between whitening your teeth at home and professional teeth whitening?

Should teeth be whitened at home, or should you visit a dentist to restore and improve the appearance of your smile? Which option brings positive results with lesser side effects? Read on to find out all the answers to your queries on successfully bringing back your sparkling white smile…

A sparkling white smile enhances your appearance and emits rays of good health and hygiene. However, teeth get stained yellow overtime by food, coffee, and smoking. The only way to restore your original white color is by bleaching techniques, which can be done at home or at the dentist’s treatment procedures. Whichever technique you opt for, teeth whitening is the most inexpensive cosmetic remedy available, and both will have their pros and cons. Here is a detailed look on each approach to help you decide which way to go.

Teeth Whitening with At-Home Products

At-home or over-the-counter products usually work well, and some don’t. Below is a list of products that promise to whiten your teeth:

  • Whitening Gel Strips:
  • These are magical sticky strips, that have to be placed on the teeth for some time once a day in a 1-2 week period. One very famous gel strip is the Crest Whitestrips that gives positive results. The main drawback to such strips is that they are cumbersome to use and they only cover the front 6 teeth of your mouth. (Image source: Amazon).
  • Teeth Whitening Toothpastes: These toothpastes comprise of ingredients that will remove stains from the teeth. They do brighten the teeth, but they don’t do much in changing back the color of the teeth. These toothpastes also lead to teeth sensitivity.
  • Whitening Rinses: This is like a mouthwash, where you have to gargle on the liquid for a minute. In this short time, your choppers will bring back their shine, but gaining back that white color will take time and constant usage. The great thing about these rinses is that they aid in the prevention of new stains from appearing on the teeth.
  • Teeth Whitening Trays: A lot like the gel strips, these are gel-based tray that fit on the teeth, and whiten them in a short period of time. However, since mostly these trays are custom-made, they may have side effects. One of this is gum irritation.

Some at-home teeth whitening products may give the desired results, but some don’t, as their chemistry is weak. Furthermore, some may be too harmful for the teeth, as long-term use of any product can be harmful. You should know your teeth’s sensitivity level before trying these products.

Teeth Whitening with a Professional

When teeth whitening is done at a dentist’s office, better results are produced from home methods.

  • In-Office Whitening Procedure: Dentists mostly use hydrogen peroxide-based tooth bleaching procedures, in which custom-made trays of this bleaching solution are fit to the choppers. The procedure is fully supervised by the dentist, who will increase and decrease the level of bleaching solution, depending on the intensity of the stains. Within 90 minutes, you will have your teeth as good as new. And with a laser or light source, they can speed up the process further. The dentist will charge a bigger amount than over-the-counter techniques, but the treatment is worth every penny spent, as the results with them can’t be achieved with the supermarket products you buy. These results last longer as well compared to teeth whitening products available at drug stores.
  • Take-Home Whitening Solutions: The dentist will give custom-made bleaching maintenance kits, or mouth tray that you will have to fill with whitening gel they provide you with. This is a 2 week treatment, and it is done at home with a follow-up check-up.

The solution to the problem is therefore quite simple: teeth whitening may be done at home, and you can get the desired results in some time, but despite your choice, you should have a dental exam with your dentist to ensure the discoloration can be treated without harming your teeth or gums, which may be sensitive. Your dentist can guide you on which whitening method to choose from that will effectively make your teeth pearly white.

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