Differences Between Store Bought Whitening And Professional Teeth Whitening

As you probably know, you have several options when it comes to over-the-counter teeth whitening products. However, there are a few important differences between whitening when done at home and at the dentist’s office.

Effectiveness

Whitening the teeth is accomplished using a main active ingredient of either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Both of these ingredients are safe, but different whitening products contain them in different proportions. Most over-the-counter whitening products contain only about 5% of these active whitening ingredients, which means that they may take a longer time, require larger quantities, and have less of an effect than whitening conducted in the dentist’s office. That’s because the whitening products used at the dentist’s have anywhere from twice to five times the proportion of the crucial whitening ingredients.

Uniformity

When you whiten your teeth, you want your whole smile to be white – it’s important not to “miss” any spots of discoloration. However, it can be hard to achieve a uniform whitening with over-the-counter products. The product needs to cover the teeth in equal amounts for a set period of time. Over-the-counter whiteners may also only cover the front teeth. At the dentist, all of your teeth will be evenly treated. Your dentist, who is trained in this procedure, will carefully apply the solution and make sure that it sits evenly for the necessary amount of time – 15 to 20 minute periods that can be repeated if necessary.

Safety

In most cases, whitening is very safe. However, your dentist can offer additional protective measures for whitening. Your dentist will perform an oral exam to evaluate the number and types of stains, in addition to any dental restorations, in order to decide how to proceed. Before whitening your teeth, your dentist will also apply a protective shield to the gums to protect them from irritation.

Durability

Regardless of whether you use store-bought whitening or have the treatment done at your dental office, no whitening lasts forever. To maintain the effects, you will need to repeat the process periodically. However, you can ensure that your teeth stay whiter longer by avoiding foods and beverages that stain (especially coffee and tea, as well as cigarettes) and brushing your teeth thoroughly with a whitening toothpaste every morning and night.

Cost

Although store bought whitening products are usually less effective, they are generally the cheaper option. However, in some cases, dental whitening may be covered by your insurance. We can talk about the price of the treatment, and decide what type of whitening is best for you. Contact us today!

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