AT-HOME WHITENING VS. PROFESSIONAL GRADE WHITENING
When it comes to teeth, we are constantly looking for products that will give us the brightest and healthiest smile. It seems as though every toothpaste and mouthwash on the store shelves have some whitening agent in them. But often times those products never feel like enough to really make an impact on brightening our teeth. This is where teeth whitening factors in. Primarily, there are two options for whitening your teeth; Over the counter products or professional whitening at your local dentist office.
But what is the difference between the two?
One of the most frequently asked questions is, “Do whitening kits from the drugstore work as well as the professional grade option you get from your dentist?” We understand the reason individuals want to know this answer – the ones at the drugstore seem to be a little more cost effective. Our answer when someone asks us this? The over-the-counter options DO work, they just don’t work as fast or as well as the professional grade. But what is the difference?
Let’s break it down:
Over-the-counter whitening products, whether in strip form or gel form, typically use hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient. Companies manufacture these products using a low concentration of the chemical, so there is no damage to the gum tissue – if it were higher, there could be serious consequences, such as chemical burns. (Let’s be honest – we are all familiar with how messy whitening trays and strips can be and who would want to risk a chemical burn for whiter teeth?! Not us.) But because they create these whitening products with a low concentration of the peroxide, it takes multiple applications before you start seeing a change in your smile’s appearance. And while 3-4 weeks for results isn’t the longest waiting period, it doesn’t help when you need a whiter smile for a major event or big trip coming up!
Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t knocking at-home whitening kits. In fact, we encourage them! This is why BRIGHT Dentistry gives a free Bright teeth for life! Every single one of our clients receives a personalized whitening kit during their first visit into our office. Including a customized tray, designed specifically for your mouth, our take-home kits mold to your teeth perfectly for maximum over-the-counter whitening.
Is professional teeth whitening safe?
Professional teeth whitening is safe as long as you are starting with healthy teeth and healthy gums. This is why it’s important to get a dental checkup and cleaning before starting any whitening treatment. Plus, the whitening results are more effective when applied to recently cleaned teeth. Although teeth whitening isn’t harmful, people may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity up to 24 hours after treatment.
How long does professional teeth whitening last?
With professional teeth whitening, you can get immediate and long-lasting results. This is because most professional treatments are peroxide-based and the solution is considerably stronger. The effects of professional teeth whitening vary from person to person, so it can last as little as six months or up to two to three years.
Does professional teeth whitening damage enamel?
No! Teeth whitening doesn’t damage your tooth enamel. Enamel is actually considered the hardest tissue in the human body, so teeth whitening is no danger to it. The dentin is the main portion of the tooth that is responsible for your teeth’s color and will change due to treatment, also without damage.
What is the most effective teeth whitening product?
Professional teeth whitening in-house offers more dramatic results than take-home kits or over-the-counter whitening products. When you get whitening treatment at the dentist, the process is quick, and the results are immediate. Over-the-counter products take time to achieve your whitening goals and the results are not long-lasting. Moreover, if you are looking for the most effective teeth whitening treatment, make an appointment at a qualified dental office.