Everyone wants a bright smile, and there are many different ways to whiten teeth. Often the choices can be confusing, but it may help to know that there are basically only two categories of tooth whitening options to choose from: professional whitening, in-office or at home. Whichever type of whitening you choose, both types of products contain peroxide-based whitening agents. Home products contain 3-20% carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, while professional in-office treatment systems contain 15-43% peroxide.
If you’re considering your options and trying to decide whether you want to whiten your teeth at home or have them done by a dentist, this article will help you better understand the benefits of professional tooth whitening. While some people can achieve a decent result using products at home, the benefits of professional tooth whitening are many, and there are significant health risks associated with using tooth whitening products at home.
As a general rule, if you keep a strong peroxide solution on your teeth, your teeth will become whiter. Higher percentages of the whitening solution can be applied to the teeth for a shorter period to achieve good results. If you keep the whitening gel on your teeth for too long, it dehydrates the teeth, which increases tooth sensitivity. As a result, this can cause pain and other dental problems, which is one of the reasons why home products are not always the best option. If a patient leaves the low-percentage solution on the teeth for too long, it can cause pain and sensitivity of the teeth when you eat certain foods. And it is much more likely that patients will abuse home bleaching systems than professional treatment will go wrong.
Before deciding whether to whiten your teeth at home or in-office, you should consider discussing the pros and cons of both methods with your dentist. Many patients don’t see the results of home kits and may be tempted to leave the whitening solution on the teeth for too long. This can have unfortunate consequences in terms of dental problems, as well as less than fantastic cosmetic results.
Tooth whitening at the dentist is usually much faster than tooth whitening at home. In addition to the stronger peroxide solution used in the dental office, heat and light can be used to accelerate and intensify the whitening effects of the professional treatment. In general, to achieve teeth three to eight shades brighter, patients should expect to make several 30-60-minute dentists visits, although some dentists may use specialized techniques that require only a single two-hour visit. In general, the cost of professional tooth whitening is higher than home treatment, but the final results show that you definitely get what you pay for.
Logically, teeth whitening done at home is not as safe as teeth whitening done in a clinic by a professional. Tooth whitening treatments at home are essentially do-it-yourself and, like all do-it-yourself projects, they carry risks. Patients rarely fully understand what they are doing or how the treatment works and can, therefore, can easily damage their teeth.
At the dentist’s office, when you have your teeth whitened, you also have your teeth and gums cleaned to remove plaque and tartar and to fill in any cavities. Thus, one of the benefits of professional tooth whitening is that the dentist will check your teeth and make sure they are healthy and ready for treatment. And the treatment itself won’t harm your teeth, because a professional knows how to avoid damaging them while achieving spectacular, long-lasting results.
In-office treatments use a higher dosage of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide than is available in most home bleaching kits. For example, most strips use only about 6% hydrogen peroxide. Home trays use about 22%. Professional teeth whitening solutions, on the other hand, use 35% peroxide, but results from this higher percentage can be improved with other tools such as heat and light. As a result, patients typically spend less time having their teeth whitened when they have them done professionally, and the final results are much more dramatic than what is possible at home.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of professional teeth whitening is the vigilance and the fact that the dentist ensures that nothing goes wrong or works during the treatment. Tooth whitening is a treatment that has been proven safe for many years. Still, despite this, gum irritation is a common problem and tooth hypersensitivity can also occur, so extremely cold or scorching foods are irritating after the procedure.
Many dentists will offer a custom-made bleaching tray to keep the patient’s teeth white between visits. Although home treatments rarely produce satisfactory results, most patients find that the combination of professional and home remedies has dramatic and long-lasting results. And since the goal of teeth whitening is to achieve a bright, white smile, most people find that the best option is to have their teeth whitened by a professional.
Patients who have specific teeth with visible stains that they would like to have removed should consider consulting a professional to ensure that these stains are treated with care and that the final result fully repairs the problem. With an at-home kit, patients can worsen the situation instead of getting a better result. But professional tooth whitening systems are designed to treat this type of problem.
Finally, professional tooth whitening leaves all the responsibility in the hands of the dentist, which means that as a patient, you can sit back and relax during the procedure. At the end of your appointment, you will leave with bright white, pearly teeth. Home treatments, on the other hand, may give less perfect results or even worse results than before the treatment. When results are unsatisfactory, in-office treatment should focus on solving two problems instead of just one (stained teeth). Therefore, if you’re not sure whether home or professional treatment is right for you, it’s best to opt for safety and see a dentist for professional treatment to achieve outstanding results. To find out more about professional teeth whitening, drop by LOVE YOUR SMILE Family Dentistry (no reservation needed!). They offer free evaluations to determine the ideal treatment for you!