Professional Whitening VS. OTC Whitening Treatments

Teeth whitening in office

If you are looking to improve your smile, you might like to learn why professional whitening treatments are better than over-the-counter options.

What Are Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Treatments?

If you are running errands at your local pharmacy or superstore, you might notice over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments. OTC teeth whitening treatments are mass-produced, one-size-fits-all-style products advertised to lighten or bleach the color of your teeth. A number of these options include:

  • Whitening strips


  • Gel trays


  • Whitening wraps


  • Pens and paint-on liquids


You may also notice toothpaste and mouthwash that are advertised to have teeth whitening properties as well.

What Is Professional Teeth Whitening?

In-office teeth whitening procedures are professional-grade teeth whitening treatments that can only be administered by a dental healthcare practitioner. Professional teeth whitening is a better investment than over-the-counter products for several reasons:

1. Better results and a brighter shade of white. Professional-grade whitening uses stronger, more effective whitening agents and bleaching gels so that you can yield better results in a single visit. Most patients can expect to leave the office with a smile that is up to 8-10 shades whiter than before. While over-the-counter products are more inexpensive, they are not nearly as powerful.

2. Reduced sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth and gums, rest assured that in a professional treatment, the whitening agent would only touch your teeth. Consider that with over-the-counter strips and kits, your gum tissue might be exposed to the chemicals.

3. Proper equipment and supervision. When you’re in the hands of a professional, you don’t have to worry about safety, guesswork, or products that simply are not effective.

4. You get customized treatment. Unlike generic products, professional whitening treatments with a dentist take into account your aesthetic goals and your sensitivity needs. You won’t have to worry about strips, trays, or wraps that do not fit properly over your teeth.

What Can I Expect From My Professional In-Office Whitening Treatment? 

During your in-office teeth whitening procedure, a dental hygienist will first professionally clean your teeth. This professional clean will remove the plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and allow for smooth and even application of the whitening product. Depending on your needs, your dental expert may brush whitening agents onto the surface of your teeth, or utilize trays filled with whitening agents that are then fitted over your teeth. You can then relax for 30-60 minutes as the whitening product works on your teeth, and is then rinsed off. You can expect the teeth whitener to continue working for up to 24 hours after your treatment. For best results, avoid highly pigmented food and drink for this period, as the whitening agent is still actively removing stains from your teeth even after you leave the office and go home or enjoy your day. Your results can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, based on your diet, oral hygiene habits, and age.

Am I A Candidate For Professional Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening procedures work best on teeth stained by dietary causes or poor hygiene habits that result in discoloration of the surface of teeth. It is best to consult your dental care provider about whether professional teeth whitening is right for you, based on your aesthetic goals and medical history. Someone with intrinsic teeth stains from injury or chemical staining may get better results when considering veneers.

If you are considering professional teeth whitening or seeking dental care in Kamloops, consider Empire Dental. Empire Dental is proud to serve Kamloops and the surrounding neighborhoods in British Columbia. Call 250-374-7227 to ask about your options for dental hygiene and care, or schedule a visit today.

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