Home Whitening vs Dentist Whitening
Teeth whitening has been around for thousands of years, but in the last few decades, it has really become the standard. Everyone these days wants white teeth! And if you drink coffee and red wine, there’s a good chance you might need a little extra help getting there.
We have many patients coming to us wondering how well home whitening procedures compare to the treatment you will get from your dentist. Let’s look at some pros and cons, and what you can expect with home whitening vs. dentist whitening.
First a little history.
What we know is that Egyptians living around 4,000 years ago whitened their teeth with a paste of ground pumice stone in wine vinegar, and that white teeth were a sign of wealth and beauty. Ancient Romans took a different approach and used urine — the ammonia acts as a bleaching agent (!!).
In the 17th century, barbers and dentists were one in the same. To whiten teeth, the barber/dentist would file them down and apply acid, however this led to erosion and decay.
Modern methods really took off in the late 1980s. Like many world-changing incidents, gel procedures were discovered mostly by accident during experiments to keep oral antiseptic on the gums. This led to the discovery that peroxide gels were turning teeth whiter and brighter.
And here we are, at the forefront of the mass marketing of a wide array of home and professional whitening treatments.
Home whitening treatments range from toothpaste, mouthwash, pens, trays, and strips.
While these products will make a difference if used regularly and according to instructions, the results can be splotchy and inconsistent. Take whitening strips, for example. This is one of the most popular tooth whitening products available, because of the price point and effectiveness. After adhering a gel strip to each the top and bottom teeth for 10-30 minutes for a week or so, you will notice a whitening effect on the teeth.
The problem is that the gel does not always work its way between the teeth, or up to the gum line so the overall look is not smooth and consistent. Another drawback is that consumers may leave products on their teeth for extra long in the hopes of getting their teeth whiter and faster. This can cause permanent harm to the structural make up of the teeth and should be avoided.
Whitening procedures at the dentist ensure that the work is done properly and safely. Dentists have several procedures to offer, the most popular and effective include the use of a halogen light.
Dentists can also provide a professional take home kit, with trays that are custom molded to your teeth. This is a great option that is in between professional and home whitening. While you don’t have the benefit of a halogen light, the trays fit exactly around your teeth so that you are going to have consistent results.
Our best advice? Come and talk to us or to your dentist and we can help you decide which procedure is right for you. While home tooth whitening options are safe and can help brighten your teeth, they are prone to error and the results can leave much to be desired.
We can work within your price range to help you get the bright white teeth you’ve been longing for!