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Which is Better: Professional or Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening?

4th August 2019, 10:07am EST

One of the more popular cosmetic dentistry services is teeth whitening. Those who are looking to brighten their smile have a choice of having the process done professionally by their dentist or using one of the many over-the-counter products.

Will Whitening Work for Your Teeth?

Whether or not your teeth can benefit from the whitening process will depend on the condition of your teeth enamel. A good candidate will have teeth enamel that is opaque and milky in appearance. If the teeth are translucent, they will be more difficult to whiten. Using whitening products on teeth with eroding enamel can result in discolored teeth, and it can worsen the condition of the enamel.

Over-the-Counter Whitening

Non-professional teeth whitening trays and strips can produce great results, but will take longer than professional whitening. You should be a good candidate and use the product exactly as directed. Whitening strips may not work well on teeth that are crowded. If the strip is unable to cover the entire tooth, there will be areas that will not whiten.

Professional Whitening

Professional whitening uses whitening solutions that are more highly concentrated that those found in over-the-counter kits. You can get your teeth multiple shades whiter after just one in-house whitening session. The solution is applied to the teeth, and the teeth are exposed to a light to initiate the whitening process.

Professional whitening also includes professional-grade, take-home kits that can only be provided by a licensed dentist. The whitening solution is applied to the teeth using customized mouth trays are made from a mold of your mouth. Using a tray is ideal for teeth that are crowded or not entirely straight.

Regardless of which teeth whitening option you choose, being successful will require that your teeth enamel is in good condition and that the product is able to come in contact with the whole tooth. You can also increase your chances of getting a whiter smile by avoiding foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, which occurs more easily than normal when teeth are being whitened.

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