Teeth Whitening: Should You Whiten At Home Or Go To The Dentist?

9 November 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

There are a lot of different ways to whiten your teeth. You could stick with whitening toothpaste, buy whitening trays over the counter to use at home, or visit a cosmetic dentist and have trays custom made for your mouth. Your dentist may have you take these home, or they may have you use the trays in the office. Some dentists use a high-powered laser to speed the process along. Which type of treatment is right for you? Take a look at some of the pros and cons of in-home and in-office teeth whitening.

In-Home Whitening

One of the biggest advantages of whitening your teeth in-home is the convenience. There's no need to make appointments or take a day off work to go to the dentist. You can do your whitening treatments on your own time, in the comfort of your own home. Additionally, in-home whitening treatments typically cost less than in-office treatments.

However, if you're looking for fast results, in-home treatments may not be the best choice for you. The bleaching agents used in over-the-counter bleaching treatments are not as strong as those used in the office, and it will take longer for you to reach the level of whitening that you're looking for.

In-Office Whitening

If you're looking for fast results, or if your teeth are more than mildly stained and you need a high level of whitening, in-office whitening may be the right choice for you. While it may be more expensive, you'll see more dramatic results and you'll see them faster by visiting your dentist.

Another benefit of in-office whitening is that it's less likely to irritate your gums. Trays that you buy at the drugstore aren't custom-made for your mouth, so they may leave a bleaching agent on your gums that can burn and irritate. The trays made by your dentist to fit your mouth exactly are less likely to cause irritation.

How To Choose

If your teeth are only mildly less bright than you'd like and your teeth and gums are otherwise healthy, chances are that in-home whitening treatments are a good deal for you. If you have sensitive teeth, deep stains on your teeth, or a deadline for getting your teeth to the level of whiteness you want, then in-office treatments may be more appropriate for you. Either way, it's not a bad idea to visit your dentist for a checkup to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy before beginning whitening treatments.