You may be wondering about the difference between teeth whitening at your dentist office compared to do-it-yourself treatments at home. Here, our Toronto dentists shed some light on your options for this popular cosmetic dental procedure to lighten your smile.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses peroxide-based bleaching agents designed to lighten the colour of your teeth. Oxygen acts on the tooth enamel as the active ingredient breaks down, creating the whitening effect.
Today, there are many teeth whitening options available which can make it difficult to choose the right one for you. There are a number of differences between professional teeth whitening at your dental office and the at-home options, and pros and cons of each.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office whitening provides an immediate transformation to your smile, and the results tend to be better because your dentist uses a higher-concentration bleaching gels.
Because in-office whitening is performed by a trained dental professional it is also a safe and reliable procedure. Dentists will not provide whitening to patients who do not pass a basic oral health screening.
If you choose to whiten your teeth at the dentist office, the procedures is simple and non-invasive. You can even relax and listen to music while your dentist remove stains and lightens your smile.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
At-home teeth whitening is a do-it-yourself alternative that typically costs less than in-office teeth whitening available at your dentist’s office. The best part? You can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Most patients notice a difference in 10 to 14 days, and the full results will appear at the end of your treatment period. But because at-home whitening products have lower concentrations of bleaching gels, they rarely provide the same degree of whitening that you would get from an in-office treatment.
If you do opt for the at-home option, try to find one available through your dentist. Most dentists who offer in-office options also offer an at-home version which includes creating a whitening tray custom-fitted to your smile.
If you want to lighten your teeth at home, avoid over-the-counter products. Drug store whitening kits don't have the strength that professional grade whitening provides so patients often won't achieve the results they're looking for. These whitening kits can also irritate gums and soft tissue because they aren't customized to fit your mouth.