Cosmetic & General Dentistry

Teeth Whitening at Home vs. a Dental Office

Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile, and one of the quickest ways to achieve that is with teeth whitening treatments. There are products you can use to whiten your teeth at home, or you can visit your dentist’s office for professional whitening. The option that you should choose will depend on a number of things, including teeth sensitivity and budget. To help you decide, Weston Dental Office has put together this guide on your teeth whitening options.

What Ingredients are in Whitening Products?

Teeth whitening treatments will all contain peroxide as an active agent. Depending on the brand, the concentration will vary. Mild treatments will have approximately 10% peroxide, and commercial grade whiteners can have as much as 40% peroxide concentration. Treatments that you complete at home will offer the lowest concentration of the active agent, while those done by professionals will have a higher amount.

What Happens During the Treatments?

Over the counter treatments come in the form of small strips that are placed along the top and bottom rows of your teeth. Typically these treatments only cover the front teeth as opposed to the whole mouth. Professional treatments applied by a dentist, on the other hand, will whiten all of the teeth in the mouth.

Another over the counter option is trays. Whitening trays are crafted from a soft material. These trays are paired with a peroxide gel and worn for up to 10 days, an hour each day. This is a cost-effective way to whiten more teeth in the mouth as opposed to only the front.

Zoom is an hour-long, dentist applied whitening treatment for the whole mouth. A peroxide gel is placed on the teeth, and then the gel is zapped with a Zoom laser. This in-office service is completely non-toxic and safe, allowing for dramatic results in a single visit.

How Effective are Whitening Treatments?

Close to 90% of the population will agree that they want a brighter smile. No matter which whitening option you choose, they will only be able to make your teeth as bright as their natural color. The color of your teeth and their brightness is determined by how much yellow is in your dentine and how thick your enamel is. Whitening treatments simply remove stains, but they can’t change the color of your dentine. Over the counter whitening treatments will also take longer to produce results than those used in a dentist’s office.

Are There Side Effects?

Both home and professional treatments cause the teeth to become more sensitive temporarily. Over the counter options are much gentler than professional-grade treatments. Those who suffer from sensitive teeth should start with over the counter strips and graduate to professional treatments over time. Dentists also offer take-home whitening trays with a customized level of peroxide gel. Sensitivity fades a few days after the treatment is complete. On rare occasions, the gums may get burned if they are exposed to the peroxide solution. While minor, these burns can still hurt.

Cost of Whitening Treatments

Over the counter treatments average out to $50 for a single month’s supply of strips. Professional treatments from a dentist’s office will typically range from $275 to $850. Trays you apply yourself at home are much more affordable than Zoom treatments, but they are also less effective.

Weston Dental Office Will Brighten Your Smile

There are pros and cons to each teeth whitening method. In the end, it is important to choose which one fits your budget and which one will deliver the results that you desire. If you are interested in having your smile evaluated, schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentistry specialist by calling (416) 247-1928 today! We look forward to helping you achieve a healthier and brighter smile.

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