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Teeth Whitening: In-Office vs. At-Home

You may be wondering about the difference between teeth whitening at your dentist's office compared to do-it-yourself treatments at home. Here, our Edmonton dentists shed some light on your options for this popular cosmetic dental procedure to lighten your smile. 

A cosmetic dental procedure called teeth whitening uses bleaching agents with peroxide as their main ingredient to lighten your teeth's colour. As the active ingredient degrades, oxygen interacts with the tooth enamel, producing the whitening effect.

Today, there are many teeth whitening options available, and this can make it difficult to choose the right one for you. There are a number of differences between professional teeth whitening at your dental office and the at-home options, and pros and cons to each. 

What Are the Active Ingredients in Whitening Products?

A peroxide solution is used in all whitening products. The amount of peroxide in different whitening agents varies. While a much stronger teeth whitener might have as much as 40% peroxide solution, a mild whitening agent might only have 10% peroxide.

Over-the-counter whitening products from stores, such as whitening strips, are the mildest whiteners with the lowest concentration of peroxide. Dentist whitening agents, including take-home whitening trays, are much stronger.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

In-office whitening provides an immediate transformation to your smile, and the results tend to be better because your dentist uses higher-concentration bleaching gels. 

In-office whitening is typically a risk-free and dependable procedure because it is carried out by a qualified dental professional. Patients who do not pass a basic oral health screening will not be given whitening by dentists.

If you choose to whiten your teeth at the dentist's office, the procedure is simple and non-invasive. You can even relax and listen to music while your dentist removes stains to lighten your smile.

At-Home Teeth Whitening 

At-home teeth whitening is a do-it-yourself alternative that typically costs less than in-office teeth whitening available at your dentist’s office. The best part? You can do it from the comfort of your own home. 

Most patients notice a difference in 10 to 14 days, and the full results will appear at the end of your treatment period. But because at-home whitening products have lower concentrations of bleaching gels, they rarely provide the same degree of whitening that you would get from an in-office treatment. 

If you do opt for the at-home option, try to find one available through your dentist. Most dentists who offer in-office options also offer an at-home version, which involves creating a whitening tray custom-fitted to your smile. 

Avoid over-the-counter products if you want to whiten your teeth at home. Patients frequently don't get the results they want from drugstore whitening kits because they lack the strength that professional-grade whitening offers. Due to the fact that they are not made to fit your mouth, these teeth-whitening kits can also irritate your gums and soft tissues.

To learn more about the in-office and at-home teeth whitening options available at our Edmonton dental office, contact the team at Highmoor Dental.

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