At Home Vs. Professional Teeth Whitening: Which Is More Effective? | Dr. Alex Midtown NYC Cosmetic Dentist

At Home Vs. Professional Teeth Whitening: Which Is More Effective?

Teeth whitening has become increasingly popular over the years, with many different options popping up on the market. From at-home to professional options, you can find it all. Though our teeth start off mostly white, our enamel is composed of many shades which may be stained or discolored with age. If you’re considering getting your teeth whitened, you should know some basics about the procedure and what you can expect. Are you a suitable candidate for teeth whitening? What teeth whitening methods should you use? In this article, we answer these questions for you. You’ll know if teeth whitening kits or professional teeth whitening is a better fit for you. 

How Teeth Whitening Works

Teeth whitening is simple. The steps may differ with the use of different products or the professional care you enlist at the dentist. But products primarily consist of one out of two bleaches: carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals break stains down, reducing the color intensity of stains and whitening your teeth. 

At-Home Whitening Options: Whitening Toothpaste and Whitening Kits

Whitening toothpaste and whitening kits are two of your stay-home teeth whitening options. Whitening toothpaste sets out to eliminate stains on your teeth. They are the gentlest whiteners on the market, which suit those with high teeth sensitivity. Whitening toothpaste relies on the polishing motion and not chemical work, which means there usually aren’t negative side effects. However, since the chemicals aren’t as strong, you’ll have to wait several weeks or even months to see results when using the whitening toothpaste. At-home whitening kits can be obtained from your local dentist, or over the counter at a pharmacy. There is a diverse range of whitening kits to choose from, including strips, rinses, trays, brushes and lights. These products consist of peroxide, going under the surface to lighten your enamel. You’ll see results after several days or weeks.

Professional Teeth Whitening Practices

Teeth whitening is done in-office. Professional whitening is much stronger since peroxide is more concentrated. Results will be noticeable after a much shorter duration, as compared to the stay-home methods listed above. The process takes an hour. The rest of your mouth and gum tissues are protected with a layer of gel, or thin sheet of rubber. Sometimes, a laser is used together with the peroxide solution. 

Key Differences Between The Two

At a dentist’s office, you’ll be able to achieve noticeable results at a significantly faster rate. You’ll probably be able to achieve a much whiter shade professionally too. Visiting a dentist’s office for a professional service may leave you with teeth eight shades whiter, and you’ll only have to spend one to two hours there. Meanwhile, you may have to spend one to two hours a day over weeks for your teeth to get three shades whiter. In-clinic whitening also goes deeper below the surface of your teeth due to its high concentration, leaving you with teeth that retain their whiteness for a longer period of time. At-home kits can range at around $50, while professional teeth whitening may cost around $300 or more. But you’ll be paying for speed and longevity, and it’s definitely a worthy investment!

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