Professional vs. DIY Teeth Whitening: Which to Choose

Nearly all adults are concerned about their smile. They believe that an attractive smile improves their social life by giving them more self-confidence in their appearance. Some are convinced that a healthy smile is especially important for career success. Adults believe that a healthy smile is synonymous with white teeth. The process of teeth whitening is simply the process of making teeth appear whiter. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that achieving whiter teeth has become the main reason that teeth whitening products have become popular in recent years. Achieving a whiter smile is attainable for most people who feel that a brighter smile is especially important for projecting the impression of youth and vitality. Whiter teeth contribute to a brighter healthy smile. Fortunately, individuals have the opportunity to choose from the teeth-whitening program that best fits their criteria and personal finances.

Types of Teeth Whitening Programs

People who are searching for the best way to whiten their teeth have several choices. The primary ways are working with a local dentist to help design a do-it-yourself program, commercially available teeth whitening systems to use at home, and profession whitening programs. Over the counter teeth whitening products are available at retail stores and do not require a dentist's supervision to use. These safe products are approved by the American Dental Association and feature the ADA seal of approval.

  1. Whitening toothpastes are designed to be used at least twice a day. They contain mild abrasives that work to remove surface stains from the teeth. These products also contain some chemicals and polishing agents that enable them to work better than regular toothpaste.
  2. Teeth whitening gels and strips are available over-the-counter. Gels are applied to the teeth with a brush and may take several days to make a difference in whiteness. The strips are coated with gel. The strips are used for about 30 minutes twice a day for three or four months.
  3. Mouth trays with gel are available commercially, but they are available in a one-size-fits-all product unlike professional mouth trays, they may cause irritation if they are ill fitting. Some of the gel could leak out making the trays less effective.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening programs are so successful because they are specifically designed for each individual. Professionals customize whitening levels for each patient. The dentist makes adjustments based on the patient's needs and desires. Dentists perform whitening procedures only after performing an exam to try to determine the cause of the tooth staining. It is important to determine if the problem is the result of extrinsic causes or possibly caused by food, beverages, or from other factors. Many times stains may be of an intrinsic nature such as the result of taking some medications. Professional whitening treatments are intended to provide long-lasting results. Another major benefit of professional whitening treatments is that they are performed in a safe environment in the event there are any problems during treatment. Because each patient receives customized treatment, there is no danger of teeth being harmed by excessive whitening. Professional teeth whitening treatments are performed using the best available products, which gives the best results. Professional treatments usually take about an hour to complete and the patient leaves with clearly whiter teeth. The procedure is faster because the products the professional uses are much stronger than over-the-counter products. This avoids wasted time and money waiting for other products to work. The results of professional whitening are visible immediately and last longer.

Benefits of At-Home Whitening

Many people choose to whiten their teeth at home using over-the-counter products. The American Dental Academy seal of approval placed on these products means that they have been evaluated and are safe and effective. Commercial whitening products are widely used primarily because they are less expensive than professional programs and are relatively easy to use. The products can last several years and can be very effective when combined with good oral health care. They require regular use of teeth whitening products and a continuous maintenance. Home whitening kits require a little more time to see results, because the ingredients in these kits is not as strong as in professional use, but the cost is considerably less. Even though over-the-counter products must be used at least twice a day, this method is cheaper and the patients can see improvement in a few weeks. Teeth whitening strips are popular for at-home use and are effective. They are easy to use and do contain a small amount of a whitening product in a low concentration. They can be used during all activities and are usually used twice a day for two weeks. These strips are considered safe when used properly.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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