Whitening Your Teeth: At-Home vs At the Clinic

Dr. Lee locking arms with Dr. Ngai in the waiting room of Newbury Dental
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Are you in search of a whiter smile? There are plenty of purchasable options for teeth whitening available that have proven results. However, several factors can impact those results, and if you don’t know what works best for you, getting what you want out of a teeth whitening product can be time-consuming and expensive. The easiest way to get what you need is to have your teeth whitening done professionally by your dentist, but this will most likely be more expensive than an over-the-counter product. So where should you start? Let’s go over your options to help you make an informed decision.

At-Home Treatments

Over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments mainly exist in these forms: 

  • Whitening rinses
  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Gel trays

Whitening rinses work identically to mouthwash. You swish the product in your mouth for a while, then spit it out. This results in an even whitening but is very slow due to the limited time that the product is in contact with your teeth, and you may not get visible results for weeks or months.

Whitening strips are designed to be used for the front six teeth, which are the most visible in your smile. They also carry the least potential risk among over-the-counter whitening solutions since there is no liquid you can accidentally swallow. Still, you may want to search for alternatives if you are looking for an even whitening across all of your teeth.

You probably see whitening toothpaste every time you go shopping. They carry the normal benefits of toothpaste and help to polish the surface of your teeth. It is a gentler process than other whitening products, which can be helpful if you have sensitive teeth, but the result is very gradual and not guaranteed.

Whitening Your Teeth: At-Home vs At the Clinic

Gel trays are trays that you fill with a whitening gel and put over your teeth. You may wear them overnight or for short periods during the day, depending on their instructions. These work well, and you should see results fairly quickly. However, they use a strong chemical and should be used carefully. Do not wear them for longer than the recommended time. Also, the trays purchased at stores are one-size-fits-all, so they may not match the dimensions of your mouth and could result in tooth or gum pain.

If you decide to use at-home whitening products, be aware that whitening sometimes doesn’t work. Depending on the cause of the tooth discolouration and the colour itself, whitening can be less effective or not effective at all. Therefore, if you are not getting the results you are hoping for, do not start using more of the whitening product than recommended. Instead, contact your dentist and see if there is an underlying cause. They may be able to find a solution for you.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening treatments in the dental office are stronger and faster-acting. Because a professional is keeping an eye on the procedure, they are also safer.

Generally, professional teeth whitening begins with an examination and consultation. They will determine what can be done with your teeth and provide you with your options. If you are looking to deal with major discolouration that goes beyond surface-level teeth whitening, they may not recommend bleaching.

Bleaching is similar to using gel trays at home, but a much stronger solution is used. Your gums are protected with rubber or gel, while the teeth are immersed in the bleaching solution for 1-2 hours. The results are immediate. Your teeth will be visibly several shades whiter after one treatment. Because your dentist will use a tray custom-fitted to your teeth, you don’t have the same risk of pain from wearing an ill-fitting tray.

Teeth Whitening at Newbury Dental

Are you looking to get your teeth whitened by an expert, or are you looking for a consultation to see what form of whitening works best for you? The professionals at Newbury Dental will be happy to provide that for you. To get in contact with us and become one step closer to a whiter smile, book an appointment on our website!

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Moss Wall in Newbury Dental, located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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