Teeth whitening can be an effective way to improve the appearance of your smile, but not all whitening methods produce the same results. Here's a little about the differences between at-home teeth whitening and professional teeth whitening.
If you feel that your teeth aren't looking their best, teeth whitening can be an effective way to improve the look of your smile.
That said, not all teeth whitening methods produce the same results.
Whitening toothpastes often contain abrasive ingredients but no bleaching products. These toothpastes are readily available, and while they do help to remove surface stains they do not actually whiten teeth.
There are other whitening toothpastes that do contain a chemical ingredient (or "bleach") that will cause a chemical reaction in order to lighten teeth. These whitening toothpastes have the lowest amount of 'bleach' compared to other whitening methods and tend not whiten as well as stronger products.
Whitening toothpaste is used in the same way as regular toothpaste.
Store Bought Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening kits that are sold in stores contain stronger bleaching ingredients than whitening toothpastes, and stay on teeth longer than whitening toothpaste. While these products do whiten teeth somewhat they aren't as effective as the whitening products available from your dentist.
Store bought kits are a 'one size fits all' option and don't offer trays that are custom fitted to your unique smile.
It's also important to note that store-bought products do not come with the added safety of having your dentist monitor any side effects.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Your dentist uses whitening gels with stronger bleaching agents than those found in store bought whitening kits. Professional whitening can be done at the dental office, or your dentist may provide you with a whitening kit and detailed instructions to follow.
Dental professionals are trained to spot and treat any side effects that patients may experience during the whitening process. Whitening your teeth under the professional guidence of you dentist can be a safer way to whiten your smile than using a store bought product.
Professional whitening begins with an initial consultation with your dentist. At that time your dentist will discuss your options for whitening and help you decide which is most appropriate for you. If trays are required to hold the bleaching get, your dentist can supply you with custom-made trays to fit your mouth.
Professional teeth whitening tends to produce the best results since the bleaching gels are stronger than either store bought kits or toothpaste.
Possible Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
It's important to note that the long-term use, (or over-use), of whitening or bleaching products may cause tooth sensitivity or tooth abrasion. Consult with your dentist before using teeth whitening products.