At-home vs professional teeth whitening

Regardless of whether it’s due to years of coffee, smoking and red wine, or from something that stains teeth quickly – like some medications – teeth are porous and can become stained with relative ease. While stained teeth are not necessarily a sign of bad dental health, there’s no doubt that a bright, white smile makes people look healthier, younger and more attractive, so teeth whitening is in high demand.

At-home teeth whitening

When people decide to try out a teeth whitening solution, most first try using a cheap, at-home kit from a chemist or beauty shop. For mild teeth stains, these are often quite effective and are a good, gentle solution for maintenance. However, for anything more than the most mild stains, people with sensitive teeth or other teeth problems, the shop-bought kits are either ineffective or cause more damage than they claim to solve.

Professional teeth whitening

People who want their teeth stains gone quickly and thoroughly are best advised to visit a dentist in order to receive professional in-chair teeth whitening. This is because professional teeth whitening procedures use much stronger bleaching agents and other methods that allow the whitening process to be quicker and much more effective.

Visiting a dentist for a professional teeth whitening is also a much safer and more comfortable option than a shop-bought DIY kit. While the bleaching agent in these kits is almost always very weak, if not applied properly, it can cause discomfort or damage to the soft tissue in your mouth. A dentist – on the other hand – will thoroughly check your whole mouth to ensure there isn’t pre-existing damage that can cause complications or be contraindicated with teeth whitening. They will also take steps to protect the gums and mouth from contact with the bleaching agent so that it causes no discomfort or damage.

Benefits of professional treatment

Depending upon your personal needs, a dentist might give your teeth a pre-whitening treatment to ensure there’s no plaque, tartar or debris that will give an uneven whitening result. Similarly, most people don’t realise that some natural dental defects and previous dental work – such as tooth restorations – can cause an uneven whitening result, often resulting in a smile that looks worse than before!

The experts will also ensure that the level of whitening will match your personal needs, as a smile that’s ‘as white as possible’ is not necessarily going to suit everybody, so the dentist will choose a shade that matches your skin tone and looks natural so you don’t end up looking like Guy Smiley!

One of the primary reasons people choose to receive a professional teeth whitening with their dentist though is the fact that it’s so quick. With an at-home dental kit, it can take months of sitting around with an uncomfortable tray in your mouth for hours every day to work (if it works at all). Professional teeth whitening treatment can take as little as an hour and gives you superior results.

About the author

Ben Wilcox is a dental expert from Shore Dental.

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