Do Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits Work the Same as Professional Whitening?

 Do Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits Work the Same as Professional Whitening?

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry services, and for good reason. A bright, beautiful smile can instill confidence, turn a stranger into a potential friend, and make a great first impression.

Keeping our teeth white and dazzling can be challenging. After all, sometimes the evidence of a life well lived plays out on our teeth. Wine, coffee, and those berries we love so much can do a number on our teeth. That’s where teeth whitening comes in.

While saying yes to a bright, beautiful smile is easy, knowing how to get there requires a bit more thought. In this blog, our own Jose Marcano, DMD, here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry explains that age-old dilemma – over-the-counter whitening or professional whitening?

Types of whitening options

Let’s start off with a quick review of all your whitening options. Teeth whitening treatment options seem to grow by the day, but they typically fall into three main categories – do-it-yourself, dentist-directed, or a variation of the two.

Over-the-counter whitening

Over-the-counter whitening appeals to the do-it-yourselfer who wants to self-perform whitening at home using whitening products such as whitening pens and strips, kinds of toothpaste, gels, and whitening kits they buy in a store or online.

Professional in-office whitening

Professional in-office or chair-side whitening treatments are a good fit for the “leave it to the professionals” person who is more than happy to sit back and relax while their dentist does all the work.

Dentist-provided whitening kits

A third category is a blend of the two and is great for the person who wants some professional direction but still prefers to self-perform the whitening service in the comfort of their own home. In this scenario, the dentist makes a personalized whitening kit with custom-made trays and whitening solutions and sends the patient home with specific instructions.  

Are professional whitening services noticeably better?

At this point, you’re probably thinking, are in-office whitening services really worth it? After all, what could the downside to saving money and not having to make time for a dentist appointment be?

While there are definite differences between over-the-counter whitening products and in-office whitening treatment services, it all comes down to personal preferences and whitening goals. If your teeth are heavily stained, professional in-office teeth whitening may be your best bet, as the DIY route may not get you the results you desire.

The other deciding factors are all about the where and who components of the whitening equation. Ask yourself if you want to do the whitening at home and if you have the patience to follow directions and play a guessing game about how many times you need to repeat a whitening session to get the desired results.

Or are you more comfortable turning over the reins to a professional? In this scenario, there’s no guesswork or wondering if you did it correctly. In fact, your only real responsibility is to make the appointment.

In-office whitening uses stronger whitening agents

For many patients, professional in-office whitening treatment is a winning proposition over OTC products for one key factor –professional in-office whitening treatment uses stronger, more potent active whitening agents.

Specifically, the bleaching agents in over-the-counter whitening products are peroxide-based and generally contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in lower concentrations in contrast to chair-side professional whitening services.

Brighten your teeth during your lunch hour

Here at Orlando Center For Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Marcano and the team use one of the industry’s most recognized teeth whitening systems – Philips ZOOM! With ZOOM! in the course of a single session that plays out in about an hour, we can whiten your teeth up to about eight shades.

The way it works is after we cover your gums and tongue with a rubber sheet, we start the treatment session by applying a whitening solution to your teeth. The solution sits on your teeth for about 20 minutes or so. Next, we activate the solution using a special ultraviolet light, which helps break up stains. We’ll repeat these steps several times to achieve the desired whitening goals.

Not only will your teeth look bright and beautiful, but because our whitening solution contains amorphous calcium phosphate, the treatment protects your enamel, enhances the look and luster, and also reduces tooth sensitivity.

The best part is your new bright smile lasts four to six months or longer simply by brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting Orlando Center For Cosmetic Dentistry every six months for a professional cleaning.

If you’re ready to brighten your smile, contact us at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry for a teeth-whitening consultation. Schedule an appointment by clicking the online booking tool or calling or texting the office today.

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