Dental Advise |3 min read

Should You Whiten Teeth At Home or In the Dentist’s Office?

Coffee is good. So is pasta sauce. And wine. What’s not good? The stains they leave behind on your teeth. If you’re like most of a cosmetically conscious America, you’re on a quest for pearly whites.

When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people how important they felt a smile was, 99.7% answered it was a social asset, and 96% felt that having a great smile made a person more appealing. When asked what they would want to improve most about their smile, nearly all answered “whiter teeth.”

The American Dental Association says that teeth whitening works by using one of two types of tooth bleaches: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When either of these tooth bleaches is administered to your teeth, they immediately begin to break up stains into smaller pieces, thus giving the appearance of a brighter smile.

When you think about teeth whitening, plenty of different kinds of methods come to mind: whitening strips, gels, toothpastes and even heading into the dentist for some professional guidance. But which one is the whitener to rule them all? All of the above methods have benefits, but if you’re confused by the countless options, we get it. Read on for ways to a megawatt smile in no time, whether it’s done at home or by a pro.

Over-the-Counter Whitening

Picture this: you’re looking in the mirror the night before a big event and smiling back at you are 50 shades of yellow. Enter over-the-counter (OTC) whitening. In a pinch, things like whitening strips, drugstore trays and whitening gels give you results exactly when you need them.

Typically, at home whitening systems get your teeth up to  2-6 shades whiter with nightly use. So while OTC is easy to find and can be done in the privacy of your own home, it may not give you as dramatic a whitening effect as you desire.

Even if you’re planning on using OTC teeth whitening kits, you should still consult with a dentist before choosing a method. Certain tooth stains, gum sensitivity and coloring all play into how effective the tooth whitening will be, and only a dentist can provide insight into this.


In-office Whitening

If you’re looking for a dramatic, fast and professional teeth whitening, look no further than your dentist’s office.

In-office whitening uses stronger bleaching ingredients to get the desired effect immediately, so there is no waiting for several weeks to see the results you want. Since the dentist uses stronger ingredients than OTC options, you can expect your teeth to whiten anywhere from 5-8 shades in one visit.

Another benefit of in-office teeth whitening is a professional monitors the experience and how your gums and teeth take to the whitening agents. If the dentist feels that your teeth or gums are too sensitive to in-office whitening, they have the ability to custom-fit a whitening tray to your mouth that you can take home with you to use instead.

Whichever method you choose, a good place to start is your local dentist. West Chester Dental Arts can help you decide on the next best steps for improving your smile. Don’t be a stranger! Contact ustoday and start working towards your dream smile. Happy smiling.