Professional vs. At-Home Teeth Whitening : Our Hickory Cosmetic Dentist Explains the Difference

If you want a bright smile, you are spoiled for options in terms of teeth whitening. The two methods for whitening teeth are in office tooth whitening and home based tooth whitening. Both methods use bleaching agents that contain hydrogen peroxide. While office based systems have 15-43% peroxide, home based systems have 3-20% peroxide.

A high concentration of peroxide can increase tooth sensitivity and dehydrate your tooth if left for a long period of time. Therefore, before you use any approach to whiten your teeth, consult a cosmetic dentist.

In Office Tooth Whitening

One of the features of preventative dentistry is whitening teeth. The bleaching agent used by dentists is stronger than home based solutions. Furthermore, your dentist will use either heat or light or even both to intensify and speed up the whitening of your teeth.

During an office tooth whitening procedure, your teeth may achieve 3-8 shades of brightness. The office based whitening treatment can take between 30-60 minutes. Some dentists may use treatments such as the Zoom system that are complete in one 2 hour appointment.

Home Based Tooth Whitening

The following are some of the home based teeth whitening solutions:

  • Whitening gels and strips: These tooth bleaching products contain peroxide and are applied to your teeth using a brush or thin strip. You only have to apply whitening gels or strips two times a day for a period of 2 weeks. The results of whitening gels/strips last for a period of 4 months.
  • Tray Based Bleaching Systems: With this tooth whitening option of preventative dentistry, a mouth guard that resembles a tray is filled with a bleaching paste or gel that contains a certain percentage of peroxide. The tray is placed on your teeth for several hours every day for a period of four weeks. You can either buy a tray based bleaching system at your local pharmacist shop or get one from your cosmetic dentist.
  • Whitening Toothpastes: These tooth pastes are mildly abrasive, a feature that enables them get rid of tooth stains. Whitening toothpaste also contains polishing agents that help to remove stains without the need of an agent such as peroxide. However, there are some tooth pastes that contain peroxide but these tooth pastes are not as effective as strips or tray systems because they are not left in your teeth long enough to whiten them. Whitening tooth pastes brighten teeth by up to one shade.

Tooth whitening is one of the most sought out procedures in dental clinics. To give your teeth that sparkling and attractive quality, call our Hickory cosmetic dentist and book an appointment to discuss your tooth whitening options.