When it comes to your teeth, you only want to use the best and most effective products. You choose everything from your toothpaste, to mouthwash, to dental floss carefully to ensure you keep your smile healthy. But what about your whitening products?
There are so many options out there, and it can be tough to know which whitening method is best for your teeth. Let’s talk a bit about the reasons whitening works, and two of the most popular methods:
- whitening kits you can use at home;
- and professional treatments at the dentist’s office.
If you have stained, dull, or yellow teeth you might find yourself hiding your smile. It’s important to feel confident when you smile, so using whitening products is a simple way to get that confidence back. DearDoctor.com tells us how these whitening products work, “Whitening involves applying bleach solutions to the teeth. The bleach attacks the highly colored organic molecules that lodge between the crystals of tooth enamel (the outermost tooth covering) or in the dentin (the tooth material under the enamel). It's these organic particles that give the teeth a stained appearance.” Applying a whitening solution to your teeth can restore them to their dazzling shade of white in a short amount of time.
About at-Home Whitening Kits
The American Dental Association’s Mouth Health blog breaks down the process on at-home whitening kits, “Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a tray that fits on your teeth. You may also use a whitening strip that sticks to your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office.” You can get these kits at your local pharmacy or even order them online. They typically come in varying strengths, and the strength of the bleaching agent can impact the price of the kit. The kits generally use a bleaching formula similar to those used by a dentist, with the main difference being that you're doing the work to mold the mouth trays, and you aren't paying for the dentist's time in supervising the prodedure.
About Dental Office Whitening Treatments
WebMD explains the basics of getting a whitening treatment at your dentist’s office, “The most common one involves custom-made trays filled with bleaching solution that fit firmly over your teeth. Because your dentist supervises the procedure, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than what's found in home kits.” The process can often be done very quickly, and you can leave the dentist’s office with drastically whiter teeth the same day you get your treatment.
Which Method Should You Use?
First things first, talk to your dentist and see what they say. They know your teeth better than anyone, and they will probably have some good advice about which method you should use.
- Choose an at-home kit if you don’t have far to go. If your teeth aren’t too dull or stained, then you might want to consider using a kit at home. If you don’t need to make a huge improvement, then an at-home kit will give you great results.
- Choose a professional whitening session if you want to see drastic results. If you have lots of stains and discoloration, then a dental visit might be in order. Professional whitening at your dentist’s office can drastically whiten your teeth in a very short amount of time. Dental Health’s blog shows how fast these treatments can work, “Your dentist will need to assess your teeth to make sure you are suitable for the treatment. Once it has been agreed, this procedure usually takes about one hour.” One hour to whiter teeth, that’s fast!
- Choose an at-home kit if you’re on a tight budget. These kits are typically cheaper than a professional whitening session at the dentist. This is because you are obviously doing all of the work yourself, so you aren’t paying for the dentist’s time. A professional whitening session can be pretty expensive as Your Dentistry Guide illustrates, “in-office bleaching is more expensive than take-home alternatives. Its cost, on average, is $650…” Depending on the at-home kit you purchase you will probably pay a lot less – the Pearly Whites kits cost as little as $59.99. You might get a whitening formula that is slightly less powerful than what they use at the dental clinic but for many people that’s not an issue as their teeth don’t require very much work to whiten.
- Choose a professional whitening session if you have specific dental concerns like fragile or problematic teeth. Since these sessions are performed by a certified dentist, you will always be under the care of a professional.