Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments. However, teeth whitening isn’t a permanent solution for tooth discoloration. Instead of regular dentist visits, a lot of us might consider at-home treatments to whiten our teeth, but are they really as effective as professional whitening?

In this article we will compare the two options to weigh the pros and cons of each.

How They Work

Teeth whitening is the process of using bleaching chemicals to break up stains that build up on the tooth. Professional teeth whitening in a dentist office means the results are usually better because dentists use higher-concentration bleaching gels for your desired results.

At-home treatments are do-it-yourself alternatives to professional teeth whitening. Typically this costs less than professional solutions and has the added convenience of doing it at home. Although cheaper and more convenient, at-home solutions usually have lower concentration bleaching chemicals, meaning results may not be as strong as professional whitening.

>Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Minimizing the chances of significant discoloration can save you from buying over-the-counter treatments or using high strength bleaching agents on your teeth on a regular basis. Smoking, certain foods and drinks can accelerate tooth discoloration, such as coffee, tea, sodas and wine. Additionally, practicing good dental hygiene with proper brushing, flossing and regular checkups will ensure your teeth remain white year-round.

At-Home Treatments

At-home treatments usually use low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth. The mode of application for at-home whitening kits varies significantly depending on the product used. Trays, strips and brush-on applicators are most commonly used. For the best effects, it is recommended that the best time to begin an at-home whitening regimen is after professional dental cleaning. However, it’s important to remember that while at-home treatments may offer some minor, short-lived whitening, the results are much weaker when compared to the effects achieved in a dentist office.

Advantages of Professional Whitening

Professional teeth-whitening is performed by trained dental professionals, and provides safe, reliable bleaching results. Application and cost tends to vary depending on the whitening products used, however, the treatments show great results across the board. Before whitening your teeth, your dentist will discuss your desired results with you, and ways to maximize the whitening effect by avoiding certain foods that cause discoloration.

During professional whitening, your dentist will clean your teeth to clear them of plaque and debris, examine your mouth to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, and in some cases, take pre-treatment photos so you can compare the before and after photos.

Professional whitening is available to all patients with healthy teeth and gums, if you have underlying oral conditions such as gum disease or tooth decay, bleaching gel could cause pain. This is why first consulting with a dentist is an important step in getting a white smile.

Let Marx Family Dental Help Brighten Your Smile!

If you are interested in teeth whitening, contact Marx Family Dental to schedule an appointment. Our practice uses Zoom!®, a professional teeth whitening treatment that gets your teeth an average of eight shades whiter — in just one hour. The treatment is safe, simple, and relaxing. Contact us today!