Everyone wants a bright smile and there are quite a lot of 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 teeth whitening options to choose from: professional, in-office bleaching or at-home products. No matter which type of teeth-whitening option you choose, both will contain peroxide-based bleaching agents. At-home products contain between 3 and 20 percent carbamide or hydrogen peroxides while professional, in-office treatment systems contain 15 to 43 percent peroxide.

If you’re considering your options and trying to decide whether to do tooth whitening at home or have it done professionally by a dentist, this article will help you better understand the advantages of professional teeth whitening. While some people are able to get a decent outcome using at-home products, the advantages of professional teeth whitening are numerous and there are some important health risks involved in using at-home teeth whitening products.

As a general rule, if you keep a strong solution of peroxide on your teeth, your teeth will become whiter. Higher percentages of the whitening solution can be applied to the teeth for a shorter period of time to get good results. If you keep the tooth whitening gel on your teeth too long, it will dehydrate the teeth, increasing tooth sensitivity. This can cause pain and other dental problems which is one of the reasons why at-home products may not always be the best option. If a patient leaves the lower percentage solution on the teeth too long, pain and sensitivity in the teeth can lead to pain when you eat certain foods. And it’s much more likely that patients will misuse the at-home whitening systems than that the professional treatment will go awry.

Teeth whitening at the dentist usually works much faster than teeth whitening at-home. In addition to the stronger peroxide solution that’s used in dental offices, heat or light or both can be used to speed up and intensify the whitening effects of professional treatment. Typically, to get teeth from three to eight shades brighter, patients should expect to do several 30 to 60 minute office visits, though some dentists are able to use specialized techniques that take only one single 2 hour visit. Typically the cost of professional teeth whitening is more than the cost of at-home treatment, but the final results demonstrate that in terms of teeth whitening you get what you pay for.

At the dentist, when you get your teeth whitened, you also will have your teeth and gums cleaned so that plaque and tartar are removed and any cavities are filled. So, one of the advantages of professional teeth whitening is that the dentist will check your teeth and make sure they’re healthy and ready for the treatment. And the treatment itself won’t hurt the teeth because a professional knows how to avoid causing damage while still getting results that are dramatic and long-lasting.

In-office treatments use a higher dosage of either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide than what’s available in most at-home whitening kits. For example, most strips use only about 6 percent hydrogen peroxide. At-home trays use about 22 percent. Professional dental whitening solutions, on the other hand, use 35 percent peroxide, but results from this higher percentage can be further enhanced by other tools such as heat and light. As a result, patients typically spend less time on teeth whitening when they have it done professionally and the final results are much more dramatic than what’s possible at home.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of in-office, professional teeth whitening is vigilance and the fact that the dentist is watching to make sure nothing goes wrong or isn’t working during your treatment. Teeth whitening is a treatment that’s been proven to be safe for many years, but despite this gum irritation is a common problem and tooth hypersensitivity can also occur such that extremely cold or extremely hot foods are irritating after the procedure.

To supplement your at-home dental care, visit your dentist for regular checkups. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Zorro today-Come in today so we can assess your teeth and help you get ahead of your oral care. Also ask us about our teeth whitening services!