Everybody wants whiter teeth, but having the perfect smile comes at a price physically and financially. The lightening process can be as simple as brushing your teeth with special toothpaste, but for people with a higher budget you can sit in the dentist chair and get it done by a professional. Which is better? They both have their pros and cons, but most people agree that in-office whitening is the safest and most effective way to go. However, if you don’t have a chunk of cash lying around, or you fear the dentist then home products are just as good too.
The whitening process isn’t extremely difficult, and weather you are doing it yourself at home or sitting back in the dentist chair, it doesn’t take long for you to illuminate your smile. Here’s a bit of a breakdown of how each method works.
This do it yourself method typically costs less than professional solutions and also offers the convenience of doing it in the privacy of your own home, which makes it a very popular choice for the average income earner.
Normal toothpaste that you see in the supermarket are all designed to help remove surface stains while cleaning and improving the overall health of what’s going on in your mouth. Special whitening toothpaste does the same thing but contains more abrasive ingredients, such as silica, which scrub the surface of your teeth, as well as other bleaching agents to speed up the process and get five times the effect of normal toothpaste.
Gel strips are very thin strips that are coated with a peroxide-based gel, which you simply apply directly onto the surface of your teeth. You are told to apply these gel strips daily, twice a day for about 30 minutes for a period of 2 weeks. Whitening gel strips are by far one of the fastest and easiest forms of removing surface stains and giving your mouth a shiny glow.
One of the newer products that are making its mark in the cosmetic dentistry market is teeth whitening pens. These amazing pens are great if you’re looking for a last minute touch up on your smile. These special lightening pens are thin plastic tubes that house the whitening gel, which you can apply on the spot. These pens are designed so that you can easily apply gel to your teeth immediately after each meal even in if you are out in public. It’s as simple as twist, brush and you’re ready to go.
Home whitening trays are perfect for people that don’t have the budget for expensive dental cosmetic treatment. All tray kits come with a bleaching gel to apply on each tooth before sliding your tray onto your teeth (just like a mouth guard). Out of all home lightening products, the DIY tray kits will probably give you the best results because you are basically doing the same procedure that you would be doing at the dentist. However, the level of peroxide is nowhere near as high as the level that professionals use purely because it would not be safe.
When it comes to home lightening products, there is a trade-off when you decide to use them. Yes, they are great because they are much more affordable. However, you will have to accept that you probably won’t get as fast or an effective result that you would get when you see a professional to take care of your smile. Depending on the quality of products you decide to buy, sometimes you may see very little if any results after using them. After undergoing professional treatment, you can see the effects take place almost instantly afterward. So be careful before making a purchase and make sure you weed out the crap because like all commodities there are a lot out there!
If I’m going, to be honest in office lightening treatments are next level, and there is no comparison to getting your teeth whitened by a professional, but they aren’t for everyone so let me quickly give you a breakdown of the most common methods of professional treatment, then I can explain why.
Up until recently the only way to brighten your smile was to soak your teeth in some sort of bleaching agent that you could do from home using a weak peroxide solution. Laser whitening treatment was created as a better solution, and it was!
Laser treatment involves various stages of consultations with your dentist before even undergoing your first procedure. The 4 stages are:
You will first consult with your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure, and to analyze the severity of the discolouration of your teeth to plan how many treatments you may need.
The dentist will then clean your teeth before going through the procedure. They will have to clear any cavities or tooth decay so that you can get an even result.
You will lay back as the dentist inserts a rubber guard (tray) into your mouth to keep your teeth apart. He will then apply a gel that works as a barrier to protect your gums from sensitivity and discomfort. Once your gums are protected, he will then apply the whitening gel to the front of each tooth. After this, he then uses a pen style laser to activate the gel, which helps break up the stains. You will then wait for the compound to sit for 15 minutes, then the dentist will wipe the compound away, then repeat the process 2 or 3 times depending on your stains. After its all done, the dentist will then clean out your mouth and will remove the tray away from your mouth.
This process is not permanent, and eating and drinking can cause the stains to return easily. This process can be crazy addictive if you have the money.
The common misconception is that LED whitening brightens your teeth by shining UV rays onto your teeth causing them to get whiter, but I assure you that this is not the case. LED lamps do not make your teeth whiter. However, it will accelerate the whitening gel activating the hydrogen peroxide to work much faster.
Similar to laser treatment the dentist will insert a tray into your mouth to keep your mouth wide open. He then applies the gel, following it up by hovering the LED lamp over you mouth emitting cold blue light rays directly onto the gel for about 15 – 20 minutes per treatment. This is usually performed 2 – 3 times during one session.
The pros of in-office treatment definitely outweigh the cons but before we get into that let me give you a list of the positive reasons to have your teeth whitened by the professionals:
When you’re dealing with chemical peroxides being placed inside your mouth, I’m sure we can all agree that we would all feel much more comfortable in the hands of a cosmetic dentist as opposed to ourselves. When you visit your dentist to give your teeth that amazing shine, all you have to do is sit back and relax in the dentist chair and let them do all the work.
-Thorough application to get optimized results
Would you trust your friend to perform surgery on you, or even trust him to cut your hair? I’m hoping the answer is NO right? Well, it’s the same when it comes to lightening your teeth, you know you’re going to get the best results when you leave it to the guys that know their stuff. Yes, you can do it yourself, and it is safe to do so, but for some people there just isn’t any point in doing anything unless you’re doing it right!
Okay after reading our articles we all know by now that in office procedures aren’t exactly cheap, and in fact, they can be un-affordable for the majority of the population. So the only drawback with professional treatment is the cost because sessions can start from £100 pounds per session and can skyrocket to £300 – £400 a sitting, and you can bet that you will have to come in more than once.
As you can see the pros and cons for both home teeth whitening products and professional whitening treatment boils down to one thing…. money. Most people can’t afford to undergo treatment with a cosmetic dentist, which is why they resort to home lightening products. But don’t be mistaken home whitening kits do work, and they offer comfort and convenience, however it may take a little longer to see the results you are looking for, and on top of that, home products don’t last as long as laser or light treatment that actually tackles the intrinsic stains that lie deep within the tooth. For more info on home teeth whitening kits, I suggest you check out our buyers’ guide so you can get a full scope on what you need to know before making your next purchase.