Monday 19 April 2021

Teeth Whitening at the Dentist vs. Teeth Whitening at Home


Usually spring time is associated with changes and since most of our clients do come for teeth whitening during this period, we decided to answer the most common questions for you and clear all doubts you might have had regarding this topic. In addition, we will answer what is the difference when teeth whitening is done professionally at the dentist and done at-home using whitening kits. So, let us begin:

1. What is teeth whitening and how long does its effect last?

Speaking of professional teeth whitening, it is described as a dental treatment using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which breaks the stains into smaller pieces where teeth are bleached and the final result is a brighter smile. The effect is not permanent and the treatment is recommended up to 3 times per year and the treatment lasts between 60 to 90 minutes. In addition, it is good to mention that the bright smile effect will last longer if certain teeth-staining  food (beetroot, curry, blueberries etc.) and drinks (red wine, tea, coffee, soft drinks etc.) are avoided as well as smoking.    

2. What is the difference between professional teeth whitening and over the counter bleaching products?

There are plenty of teeth whitening kits or straps that can be found online or in the pharmacies, however the bleaching agent they contain is in much lower percent than the professional whitening agents at the dentist. Furthermore, the precaution the dentist takes during the treatment and their know-how will reassure the patient and exclude the possibilities of mistakes in application and gingival protection which is not the case if the teeth whitening is performed at home by the patient itself. Moreover, the final outcome is different in terms of the desired shade. Also, plaque removal is essential prior teeth whitening treatment and it can not be performed in home conditions. However, if you still decide to use over the counter bleaching kit/stripes, do consult your dentist about their application and use. Bear in mind that overusing the bleaching methods, may lead to teeth sensitivity.  Finally, pricewise the professional teeth whitening is more expansive than at-home teeth whitening. 

3. Is there any age limit for teeth whitening and when it is not recommended?

Teeth have reached their full growth at the age of 18, which is why this treatment is not advisable in adolescence period. It is only an aesthetic treatment. It is also good to emphasize that teeth whitening is not recommended if you suffer from amelogenesis imperfecta i.e if your teeth shade can not be improved. In addition, if you have dentures, crowns or veneers, teeth whitening will not work.

4. What are the side effects of teeth whitening?

Some patients reported teeth sensitivity after the treatment which might be caused due to the peroxide which in turn irritates the tooth nerve, however this should not last for a long period of time. Also, some patients reported gum sensitivity or white patches, however should these side effects remain persistent, it is advisable to see your dentist. 

Remember, teeth whitening is a personal choice that will help you boost your smile confidence, however we should not forget that maintaining a regular and correct oral hygiene and visiting the dentist every 6 months is the pillar for preserving oral health. Whether you need any dental advise or it is time for your regular dental check up, do not hesitate to give us a call today!

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