Teeth Whitening At Home

woman smiling - teeth whitening at home

Teeth Whitening At Home

In our last post, we talked about various cosmetic dental procedures and the importance of feeling confident in your smile. One of the simplest ways you can regain that confidence is by whitening your teeth. You can get the brilliance back in your smile with a variety of teeth-whitening methods. In today’s post, our team at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott will discuss some of the pros and cons of teeth whitening at home vs. professional whitening at our office. 

At-Home Teeth Whitening Products

  • Whitening rinses. The whitening solution in the product isn’t in contact with your teeth for very long, so your teeth get brighter over time. Whitening rinses can help prevent new stains after you whiten your teeth. This is one of the easiest whitening options—just swish for a minute!
  • Whitening toothpaste. This is another easy option that removes surface stains and provides gradual whitening, albeit slow.
  • Gel strips. Gel strips are placed on your teeth once a day for up to 2 hours. Depending on the strength of the product you choose, you will typically need to wear them for anywhere from 10 to 20 days.
  • Whitening trays. These are filled with a gel that you then place over your teeth for a specified amount of time. They can whiten your teeth quickly, but because the trays aren’t molded to fit your teeth, they’re likely to cause irritation to the gums. 

Be aware that some people develop tooth sensitivity while using some of these products, but it usually goes away once the treatment has been completed.


Professional Whitening

The most common professional whitening treatment utilizes custom-made trays that fit over your teeth and are filled with a whitening solution. The advantage of
professional teeth whitening is that your dentist can use a stronger whitening agent. When it comes to professional whitening, it can either be done entirely in the office or partially at home. If done in the office, a light or heat source is often used to speed up the process. The other option is to get fitted for custom-made whitening trays that you can use at home with the gel your dentist gives you. These won’t irritate your gums like the over-the-counter trays potentially could.


Which is Right for Me?

At-home whiteners are easy to use and relatively cheap, plus they have the added in-home convenience factor. But if your teeth or gums are sensitive, custom-made trays that you get at your dentist’s office may help you avoid irritation. Professional solutions used by your dentist are typically stronger than those in over-the-counter kits, so your teeth may whiten more quickly and generally have a more long-lasting effect. He can also make sure that sensitive gums don’t get more irritated. So the option that is right for you depends entirely on what you’re looking for—but we would be happy to discuss your options in greater detail at your next appointment.


Considerations with Teeth Whitening

There is such a thing as whitening too much. If you have crowns or composite fillings, over-whitening can cause your natural teeth to appear whiter, resulting in mismatched teeth! Additionally, overusing whiteners, especially when used in conjunction with whitening toothpastes, can result in a grayish discoloration of the teeth. 

Is whitening safe for everyone? Women who are pregnant or nursing and anyone with gum problems or untreated tooth decay should avoid teeth whitening. Children should also not use whitening products. Those with sensitive teeth should be cautious—be sure to talk to us first.


Give us a Call!

At Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, AZ, we are passionate about restoring your smile and your confidence. If you have any questions about teeth whitening at home vs. professional whitening let us know. And be sure to check out our other
cosmetic dentistry services—now that’s something to smile about! 

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