At-Home Teeth Whitening vs. Dental Whitening Treatments

 In Blog, Cosmetic dentistry, Info Articles, Teeth whitening

At-Home Teeth Whitening vs. Dental Whitening Treatments

At-Home Teeth Whitening vs. Dental Whitening Treatments

Individuals who would like a brighter smile now have a huge array of options to choose from to achieve the desired outcome. These options can be divided into at-home teeth whitening measures as well as in-office whitening treatments. Read on and discover what you need to know about at-home teeth whitening vs. dental whitening treatments.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

You can whiten your teeth from the comfort of your home using over the counter products or teeth whitening trays customized by your dentist in Shreveport, LA. Many options, including the following, are available if you want to whiten your teeth at home.

Teeth whitening strips

Most teeth whitening strips contain hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient. The cost of the kits varies from one product to another. These strips work by being applied on the teeth for a given duration before they are removed each day. Results may take at least one week to start showing due to the low concentration of the active ingredient in the product.

Whitening toothpaste

These kinds of toothpaste are used in the same way that you would use your ordinary toothpaste, except that the whitening toothpaste serves the added role of whitening your teeth. Whitening toothpaste contains polishing or abrasive agents that can remove surface stains from your teeth in as little as a week or two. However, these products are ineffective against deep (internal) stains.

OTC whitening gels

You can also buy an over-the-counter teeth whitening gel if you don’t want to use whitening strips or toothpaste. Simply brush this gel on your teeth as instructed on the package and watch your teeth become whiter within days. However, Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, cautions that you should refrain from using these gels if you have sensitive oral tissues.

Customized whitening kits

These kits are the most expensive among all the at-home teeth whitening products. However, we asked our friend, Dr. Matt Laurich, a dentist in Canton, MI, and he says customized whitening kits are the safest. This is because they are customized for an individual, unlike the OTC products which aren’t formulated for any one patient/user. Your Shreveport dentist will explain to you how long you should wear the kit each day and for how many days. Follow the instructions given, otherwise, the stronger concentration of bleaching agents may affect you.

In-Office Dental Whitening Treatments

One major drawback of at-home teeth whitening is that results take longer to show because of the low concentration of active ingredients in those products. People who would like results sooner and can afford the price can opt for in-office dental whitening treatments

In-office dental whitening treatments also tend to be safer because they are performed by experienced professionals like Dr. Ben Kacos in a controlled environment. The treatment procedure invariably follows the same steps as outlined below.

Prepping your teeth

The hygienist or dentist in Shreveport, LA will start by cleaning your teeth before the actual treatment begins. Your teeth will simultaneously undergo an exam to find out whether any issues, such as tooth decay or cracks exist. These issues need to be addressed before your teeth are whitened. Photos will also be taken to compare your “before” and “after” smile once the treatment is complete.

Teeth retraction and gum protection

Next, the Shreveport dentist will insert a retractor to expose the front teeth that are visible when you smile. Dr. Kacos will then place a hardening resin or liquid rubber dam on your gums. 

Bleaching gel application

The chosen bleaching gel, usually having hydrogen peroxide in it, will be applied to your “smile teeth” and left in place for a duration varying from 15 minutes to half an hour before it is suctioned off. This will be repeated once or twice depending on how bright you want your smile to be or based on how stained your teeth are. Some treatments require the use of a special light to activate the bleaching agent while others don’t.

Post-treatment procedure

The retractor will be removed once the final treatment has been suctioned out. This is followed by measuring the shade of white attained and comparing it to what you wanted. Additional bleaching may be needed or you may be sent home at this point.

As you can see, dental whitening treatments are simple procedures and you can watch a movie or doze off as the Shreveport dentist is doing his work. However, you may need to perform follow-up treatments at home to maintain the results obtained for longer. Ultimately, when it comes to deciding between at-home teeth whitening vs. dental whitening treatments, your budget and other needs often dictate whether one is more appropriate than the other.

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