Teeth Whitening: Dental Office or At Home?

September 09 2020 by Mills Haven Dental

Teeth Whitening - Mills Haven Dental

It’s no secret that we all want our smiles to be ultra-bright and white, but the fact is that nature is working against us.

Our teeth become stained from food and drink, tobacco use, injuries, medications, and simply getting older. For many of us, a duller smile makes us lose confidence. So, we reach out for solutions, including teeth whitening.

Two popular options to whiten your teeth are 1) Visiting your dentist, or 2) Using an at-home kit.

There are 3 questions you need to ask before deciding whether to take a trip to the dentist or your bathroom:

  1. How effective is each method?

  2. What method is most affordable?

  3. Which option is best for your oral health?

The Effectiveness

If you’re going to use a product on your teeth, you want it to work and make a noticeable change to your smile. But, how MUCH of a change depends on what product is used on your teeth.

Dental offices have access to much stronger teeth whitening solutions than what’s offered in a do-it-yourself kit. That’s because there is more peroxide in products that are approved to be used in a professional office. 

However, if you’re hoping for just a slight whitening, at-home kits might be a good option for you. You might also want to consider a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash to remove minimal surface staining at a gradual pace.

Different products are more effective than others. Overall, a trip to the dentist will have greater results than a DIY kit at home.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Unfortunately, not all teeth can be whitened. Teeth with a gray or brown tone can be resistant to peroxide. This sometimes means that people have different shades of white after using an at-home kit. Check with your dentist before trying to whiten your teeth.

The Cost

Teeth Whitening

When it comes to teeth whitening services, you definitely get what you pay for.

One of the reasons at-home kits are so appealing is because they are more affordable in the short term. Some box treatments can be as low as $50. This is a great price if you’re looking to whiten your smile only slightly.

But think about this: It would take SEVERAL of these kits to get the same white smile you would get from ONE session with a dentist. By the time you’ve gotten to your desired level of white, you’ve spent just as much as you would have at your dentist’s office.

The Risks

The reason we recommend a visit to the dental office over any other tooth whitening method is because of the RISK to your oral health.

After using at-home kits, some people have experienced tooth sensitivity that makes it hard to eat, drink, or sleep. Usually, these symptoms subside once you stop using the product, but not always.

This is likely because there was something going on with your teeth that meant you shouldn’t have used an at-home whitener in the first place. Possible reasons are already damaged teeth, chipped enamel, and gum disease.

Bottom line? You should always seek a professional’s help when it comes to your teeth. Your oral health deserves the best care possible.

If you are considering using an at-home kit, be safe. Look for products that have been validated by the Canadian Dental Association. Check out this list for products with their seal of approval. 

Considering professional help for a whiter smile?

Book an appointment with the Mills Haven Dental team today!