In-office vs. At-home Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a minimally invasive common cosmetic dental procedure which whitens stained teeth. Though teeth whitening does not permanently make your teeth white, with good oral hygiene and care results can be made to last for many months.

There are a number of ways in which teeth can be whitened; some of them are simple and may be performed at home, whereas there are others that need to be performed at a dentist’s office. In this article, we will explore the two kinds of treatment.

In-office teeth whitening

In-office teeth whitening as the name suggests is performed at a dentist’s office by a dental professional. High- concentration bleaching agents are used to whiten discolored teeth. Some brand name whiteners available for this purpose are Opalescence, Zoom, Britesmile, and Lumibrite. Their application method, cost, and features are different but the application process is somewhat similar. Before the treatment, plaque will be removed and a consult will be performed to ensure you are an eligible candidate for the procedure.

Steps of in-office teeth whitening:

1- Teeth cleaning: A dental cleaning is done to remove existing stains, tartar and debris.

2- Determining the original teeth color: A shade guide is used to record the starting shade of your teeth.

3- Isolating the teeth: The chemical treatment can adversely affect mouth structures around the tooth, so dental isolation is done to avoid bleaching agents from seeping onto surrounding gums.

4- Whitener Application: A paste or gel whitener is then applied to the tooth that needs whitening.

5- Whitener Activation: Whitener is activated using laser bleaching light or laser, this light initiates a reaction that mobilizes whitener effectiveness.

6- Winding up: The whitener is made to stay for sufficient amount of time before it is removed. Then the teeth are washed thoroughly and the fluoride is applied to minimize sensitivity.

At-home teeth whitening

The teeth whitening procedures that don’t require professional application and can be done at home are referred to as at-home teeth whitening methods. The major benefits of at home whitening include cost-effectiveness and convenience of home. To avoid substantial risks, home teeth whiteners have lower hydrogen peroxide concentration, thus compared to professional whiteners the shade transformation may not be as powerful. You can use whitening strips, trays, brush-on whiteners, and pen whiteners to whiten teeth at home. These are available at pharmacies, groceries, and online stores. The application mode varies from product to product. To attain desirable results, at home teeth whitening should be performed after consulting with a dental professional to ensure that you are eligible. Follow the instructions on the product package to avoid overusing, underusing and precautions that you need to take.

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