Professional vs. OTC Teeth Whitening

Feb 1, 2019 @ 08:30 AM — by Lauren Shanard
Tagged with: Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whiteningMost people would benefit from a brighter, whiter smile. Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products available, as well as professional teeth whitening to improve tooth color.

The question is, how well do these products actually work? Here, cosmetic dentist Lauren J. Shanard goes over some of the differences between professional vs. OTC teeth whitening so our Williston, VT patients can choose a whitening method that will be most effective for them.

How Effective Are OTC Teeth Whitening Products?

OTC teeth whitening products contain a bleaching agent (typically hydrogen peroxide) that can reduce the appearance of dental stains and brighten the color of the teeth. However, the strength of the bleaching agents found in OTC products is minimal.

To reduce the risk of misuse and soft tissue damage, these products typically contain a much weaker concentration of bleaching agents than professional teeth whitening products.

These products also take longer to produce visible results. With consistent use, people using OTC teeth whitening products can probably expect to improve the color of their teeth by one to two shades in a span of four to six weeks.

Pros and Cons of OTC Teeth Whitening

Many people use OTC teeth whitening products because they are convenient and affordable. It is easy to purchase a whitening product from the store and then use it on your own timeframe.

However, the disadvantages of OTC teeth whitening may outweigh the advantages. Prior to purchasing these products, individuals should consider whether they will provide the degree of results they want.

People that use OTC teeth whitening products should be careful to follow the instructions. With improper use or application, OTC teeth whitening products can damage tooth enamel and the soft tissues in the mouth.

How Effective Is Professional Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening uses highly concentrated bleaching agents to whiten the teeth and erase surface stains. On average, after an in-office teeth whitening session, patients have teeth that are six to eight shade brighter than they were prior to treatment.

Take-home professional whitening kits take longer to produce results, but they can still whiten the teeth by up to eight shades in about six to eight weeks.

Pros and Cons of Professional Teeth Whitening

People often hesitate to undergo professional teeth whitening because of the cost and treatment time. However, if you take into consideration the results that professional teeth whitening provides, the cost is reasonable.

Furthermore, professional teeth whitening is more convenient than most people realize. An in-office teeth whitening session can be completed in just under an hour, making it easy to fit into most schedules. In-home teeth whitening is safer than OTC products because the bleaching agent is applied by a professional, and the soft tissues are protected at all times.

For those who truly do not have time to attend a dental appointment, Dr. Shanard offers take-home professional teeth whitening kits. These kits combine the effective results of professional teeth whitening with the convenience of OTC whitening products. Since take-home kits contain custom mouth guards, they are also far less likely to damage the gums than OTC teeth whitening products.

Schedule a Consultation

If you want brighter, whiter teeth, professional teeth whitening is the safest and most effective option. To find out how professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth and minimize surface stains, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lauren J. Shanard at your earliest convenience. Call (802) 878-9888 to get your treatment started.

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