Benefits of In-Office Teeth Whitening vs. Whitening Strips

Helping You Find the Whitening Treatment to Fit Your Needs & Budget

It’s no secret why teeth whitening is such a popular service for many individuals. Having a brighter, luminous smile can boost your self-confidence. In addition, when our smiles are brighter, we are more likely to take care of our teeth to preserve the luminescence.

The next time you visit the store, take look at the array of tooth-whitening products available. From toothpastes to whitening strips to gels, there are a range of products on the market which all claim to help whiten your smile and remove stains. The real question is, how do these over-the-counter techniques measure up when compared to in-office, professional whitening treatments?

With Whitening Toothpaste, It’s All Superficial

It’s a common misconception that whitening toothpastes actually whiten teeth. In reality, a whitening toothpaste is great for removing surface stains and not much else. After 2 to 6 weeks of continuous use, it is common for individuals to see results, as the surface stains have been lifted, but the natural color of the tooth remains unchanged. These products typically include special chemicals and abrasives to help lift stains caused by food, coffee, tea, and smoking.

For patients who want a cost-effective way to brighten their smile, whitening toothpastes can yield great results. It is important to use brands that have been proven safe and effective for removing stains, while not causing damage to the tooth’s enamel. When shopping for whitening toothpastes, look for seals by the American Dental Association or other reputable dental organization. For further questions or recommendations, feel free to ask a member of our team or your dentist.

How Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?

Whitening strips are another popular and inexpensive tooth-whitening treatment. Unlike whitening toothpastes, whitening strips do change the natural color of your teeth. Each strip is coated in a whitening gel which contain peroxide or bleach. When applied to the teeth and placed in contact with the tooth enamel, these chemicals work to restore a natural, white color to the front of the tooth. This whitening method is typically easy to use, simple to apply, and you can see usually results within a few days of continued use.

It’s important to note, while many whitening strips are safe to use — when applied properly — there are also some risks and problems involved. If the strips come in contact with the gums, they can cause damage. While this does not typically happen, it is essential to keep the peroxide away from your gums. Additionally, it is possible to overdo it and cause damage to your teeth. If you are using whitening strips, make sure to read the instructions so you do not overexpose your teeth and damage your enamel. This can cause tooth sensitivity and pain.

Professional Whitening Options & Treatments

While in-office teeth whitening treatments cost more than over-the-counter treatments, they do yield the fastest results. Unlike at-home systems, in-office treatments utilize a higher concentration of bleaching gel, as well as tools such as heat, specialized lighting, or laser application.

During this treatment, the whitening formula is applied directly to the teeth, and kept in place between half an hour and a hour. This application typically accelerates the whitening process. Because your dentist is present there is a lowered risk of tooth damage.

Another professional whitening option is custom-made whitening trays, which are formed after taking impressions of your teeth. This method provides a truly personalized option for patients, as the trays fit to your unique tooth shape and structure. Custom whitening trays also ensure all surfaces of your tooth come into contact with the hydrogen peroxide gel — which means both the front and the back of the tooth are lightened.

Which Whitening Option is the Best?

Every patient has their own unique needs and goals for their dental health, so there isn’t a single best tooth-whitening method. Above all, safety is the most important factor to consider for choosing the right whitening option. While many treatments can help you achieve a more luminescent, bright smile, it’s essential that you are not causing damage to your teeth or gums in the process. Our team and dentists will work with you to determine which whitening option best fits your needs and oral health.

Helping You Achieve the Smile You Deserve

Drs. Falbo, Monday, & Graziani, PLLC, offer a range of general and cosmetic dental services in Charleston, WV and Hurricane, WV to patients of all ages. From our beginning, our dentists and staff have been committed to the highest quality of care and services.

To schedule a consultation or your next appointment, please contact us today at 304-343-1216 to reach our Charleston office or 304-562-6301 to reach our Hurricane office.


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