Professional vs. at home teeth whitening – which is better?

So you took a look in the mirror after you brushed your teeth this morning and you weren’t quite happy with your stained teeth? I think we’ve all been there. The cups of coffee and occasional glass of red wine can really add up and start to make your once white teeth tinged with yellow. Now you’re faced with an important question: do I go out and try one of the many DIY teeth whitening methods or stick with a professional treatment?

There’s no shortage of products stocking the shelves at your local pharmacy claiming to bring out the shine in your pearly whites. Strips, bleaching trays and even whitening pens are only some of the at home teeth whitening methods available to you.

But are they reliable? Are they even safe? Let’s take a deeper look.

It turns out that some teeth whitening methods can leave you with unintended side effects, the least of which is increased tooth sensitivity and the worst including damaged gums. That’s why it’s always important to consult your dentist before a whitening pen or a bleaching tray ever comes close to your mouth. Your dentist will be able to assess the health of your teeth and decide whether it’s safe for you to whiten them, and if so, which method would be the best.

Your dentist may recommend a professional whitening treatment, which would be the safest option of all. Since teeth whitening is something dentists have been trained in, your dentist will be much more equipped to handle the process.

Not only that, but professional whitening methods are usually stronger than at home teeth whitening methods. Most whitening toothpastes, for example, have about 3% hydrogen peroxide in them, while a dentist is able to bleach your teeth with a solution of up to 35% hydrogen peroxide. It’s much more concentrated, leading to a more dazzling smile in less time than if you were to do it on your own. No more waiting weeks for your whitening strips to take effect.

So if you’re looking to bring out the natural whiteness of your teeth once more, it’s best to skip the boxed products from the pharmacy. Head over to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to recommend whether whitening is right for you and which type of treatment is best, leaving you free of worry about any unnecessary pain or side effects from an at home teeth whitening kit or how long the kit will take to work. You’ll be able to relax and focus on the sparkling smile you’ll be walking out of the dental clinic with in only a matter of hours.

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