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Over-the-Counter vs. In-Office Whitening Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most common forms of dentistry in which patients voluntarily participate, and it’s easy to see why. The results you can achieve from cosmetic dentistry can be truly stunning, transforming your teeth from something you try to hide into something you actively try to show off. A variety of cosmetic procedures are available, ranging anywhere from quick fixes to full mouth reconstructions.

One of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. This is because the majority of Americans aren’t pleased with the color of their teeth, and whitening them is the quickest way to achieve visible results.

Teeth whitening procedures work in two different ways: bleaching and non-bleaching treatments. Bleaching is commonly used to treat both surface and deep stains, while non-bleaching treatments focus on removing surface stains. Most teething whitening procedures rely on bleaching to create a long-lasting and comprehensive solution.

Much like there are two different methods to whitening your teeth, there are also two different ways of going about purchasing tooth whitening treatments. First, you can choose to purchase a take-home kit at your local pharmacy and perform the treatments yourself. Your other option is to see your dentist.

Over-the-counter Treatment

Tooth whitening kits are in almost every grocery store and pharmacy. Big-name oral health companies have capitalized on the growing popularity of cosmetic dentistry and created kits that are relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

Home whitening kits often come in the form of whitening strips or trays that can be molded to fit your teeth. Most kits have different manners of application, so if you decide to use one, make sure to read the instructions properly. While over-the-counter treatments are certainly convenient because you can do them at home, be aware that most of these kits are not as strong as the treatments your dentist can provide.

Also, you are the one responsible for performing the treatment correctly. If you don’t, you most likely won’t receive the results you were expecting. Purchasing an in-home whitening kit can be convenient and easy for a quick fix, but don’t expect lasting results, especially if you read the instructions wrong.

In-office Treatment

Most dentists recommend skipping the pharmacy whitening kits and sticking with in-office treatments, and it’s not about the money. Your dentist always has your oral health and appearance in mind, and knows what treatments work better than others. In-office whitening treatments are stronger and provide long-lasting results. Most dental offices use bleaching procedures, along with special lights to strengthen the process. Some offices even use lasers to whiten your teeth.

Getting the right treatment for your specific teeth is guaranteed, and you’ll definitely be happier with professional whitening in the end. You also won’t have to worry about applying the whitening agent wrong at your dentist’s office, risking damage to your enamel or gums, because your dentist will do it for you. As such, you can be sure the process is completed successfully, without having to worry about purchasing another in-home kit to finish the job.

Ask Your Dentist

If you’re unsure of what method will work best for you, take some time to consult with your dentist, especially if you have seen the same dentist for years. Your dentist knows exactly what’s going on in your mouth, and he or she can make the right recommendation specifically for you.

Sometimes, take-home whitening kits are perfect for your mouth, but there are plenty of other times when they just won’t cut it. Ask your dentist what method will work best for your teeth, and you will soon be on your way to a more brilliant smile.