Professional vs. Store Bought Teeth Whitening: Understanding the Difference

Professional vs. Store Bought Teeth Whitening: Understanding the Difference

We all love having choices, especially regarding products and services that enhance our appearance. However, when it comes to teeth whitening, there are so many options out there it’s natural to get confused over how to pick what’s right for you.

In this blog, Dr. Marcano here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry offers his insights on the pluses and minuses of store-bought products versus professional teeth whitening services so that you can draw your conclusion about what’s best for you. 

Teeth whitening treatment options

Let’s get started by doing a thorough rundown of all the whitening options currently available. The three main categories of teeth whitening treatments differ depending on personal preferences on where the whitening happens – at home or the dentist’s office and who performs the whitening – you or your dentist. 

Store-bought whitening products

If you’re a DIY person, you’ll probably check out store bought products such as whitening strips, toothpastes, gels, and whitening kits that include whitening trays.

Dentist-provided whitening kits

If you’re seeking professional guidance, check out custom-fitted whitening trays from a dental provider. With this option, the dentist makes the impression for the trays, so they typically are more comfortable. This option can play out at home with specific instructions from your dentists and sometimes at the dentist’s office.  

Professional in-office whitening

In-office or chair-side whitening treatments are a good fit for patients with a more hands-off approach. In this scenario, the patient makes an appointment, and within an hour or less, they get a bright, beautiful smile. The dentist does all the work, and the patient gets to sit back and relax and imagine how awesome their smile will look.

Here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Marcano performs teeth whitening using one of the industry’s most recognizable brands, Philips ZOOM! The way it plays out is Dr. Marcano and the team covers your gums and tongue with a protective rubber sheet before applying a bleaching agent to each tooth. 

Over the next 15 to 20 minutes, the solution sits on your teeth. Then Dr. Marcano points a special UV light onto your teeth to boost a bleaching reaction, effectively eliminating stains and discoloration. The team repeats these steps several times until your teeth whitening goals are met.

Key deciding factors

While it’s true that the overarching goal of all teeth whitening treatment options is to brighten teeth and remove stubborn stains and discoloration, your individual whitening goals may be the deciding factor.

Strength of whitening agent

Unsurprisingly, the most significant advantage of professional teeth whitening over store-bought products is the strength or the potency of the active whitening agents. Specifically, bleaching agents in store-bought whitening products are peroxide-based and generally contain carbamide or hydrogen peroxide in lower concentrations than chair-side professional whitening services.

Time investment

DIY store-bought teeth whitening products with less potent ingredients can typically take longer to get optimal results. While it may be tempting to save some money and a dentist’s appointment and try to whiten your teeth at home with store-bought products, keep in mind that if your teeth are heavily stained, professional in-office whitening may be your best bet.

Dealing with guesswork

Most consumers want a reasonable price and great long, lasting results. When it comes to teeth whitening, the reality is professional teeth whitening typically costs more. Still, you’ll get more consistent, long-lasting results, so it’s more of a value and convenience proposition.

Philips ZOOM! typically last four to six months and sometimes even longer with vigilant at-home oral care and twice-a-year professional cleanings. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s no guesswork involved with professional teeth whitening. Just say goodbye to wondering if you followed the directions correctly, and say hello to your new, beautifully white smile.

If your teeth are stained or discolored, 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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