How It Works: Professional vs Store-Bought Teeth Whitening

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How It Works: Professional vs Store-Bought Teeth Whitening

Have you ever wondered how teeth whitening works? Or how re store-bought and professional whitening treatments differ? Are the same results possible with both?

Before answering these questions, it’s important to understand how teeth are stained in the first place. Teeth have two layers: the inner dentin and outer enamel. Teeth-staining agents like coffee, red wine, candy, and dark-colored fruits and vegetables create a layer of film on top of the enamel. As the layer sits on the tooth, stains begin to set in. Brushing and flossing can eliminate some of these stains, but others must be removed by a dentist.

When patients don’t visit the dentist regularly, the stains can invade the pores of the enamel which require a bleaching agent to be removed. As the stains become more and more noticeable, people begin searching for a whitening method that works.

Continue reading to learn how professional and store-bought teeth whitening are different so you can choose the best method for your smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Most dentists offer two types of professional teeth whitening: chairside and at-home kits. Both methods are effective, but their cost and treatment times are different.

Chairside Whitening

Dentists use ADA-approved products, proven techniques, and the latest technology so patients have the safest, most effective teeth whitening experience. Additionally, they utilize protective gels and mouth guards to keep patients’ gums and lips safe.

Chairside whitening begins with an assessment of the teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy enough for whitening treatments. Once the patient has been approved, the dentist gently cleans and scrubs the teeth. She will then apply a chemically activated whitening gel.

At Smiles 4 Grant Park, we use Opalescence Boost, a professional-strength whitening gel that brightens teeth up to ten shades. It contains fluoride and potassium nitrate that protects the natural tooth enamel and prevents dental sensitivity.

Chairside whitening treatments are perfect for patients who want or need immediate results.

Take-Home Whitening Kits

For patients who aren’t concerned with immediate results, or want to save a little money, many dentists offer professional-grade take-home whitening trays. These trays are customized to fit the patient’s top and bottom arches, and patients can choose their concentration level and flavor.

When the instructions are followed, patients can expect to notice significant results in one to two weeks!

Store-Bought Teeth Whitening

The various forms of over-the-counter teeth whitening products include:

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening pens
  • One-size-fits-all trays

These products all work the same way; the bleaching agent, which consists of low levels of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, lifts the external blemishes from the enamel and sets into the pores of the teeth to lighten the color of the deeper stains.

Before buying these products, patients should visit the dentists for a professional cleaning and exam. The cleaning will help prepare the teeth for the whitening agent and an exam will determine whether your mouth is ready for whitening treatment.

Patients with existing cavities or gum disease should prioritize achieving a healthy smile before focusing on cosmetic enhancements.

Our Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Abbey J. Lee is the skilled, experienced dentist you’ve been searching for. At Smiles 4 Grant Park, our goal is to help all patients achieve a healthy, radiant smile. We know that a beautiful smile can drastically enhance a person’s life and we love to be a part of that transformation!

Call our office today at (404) 328-7177 to schedule an initial consultation.

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