Teeth Whitening: Home or In-Office?

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Before starting off everything, let me ask you some questions.

How would you feel when the person you have been dreaming about runs into you somewhere with unbelievably stained teeth? Of course, your stomach would ache, and your eyes wouldn’t believe the spectacle.

But speaking alternatively, what if you run into someone that has a crush on you, and greet them with the smile of ungodly stained teeth? The result would be the same as I stated earlier but this time for the other poor soul.

The reason why I asked you those questions is very simple. Everyone has a hard time liking someone with imperfect teeth. Yes, perfection might be thought of as a fantasy world, but we can strive to achieve at least a place near to it. Thus, keeping that in mind, we all have a duty to our teeth: to keep them healthy and white.

Keeping teeth healthy is one thing which can be done by brushing regularly. However, keeping them white might pose a bit of a problem because normally many people find it hard to remove the stains clinging to their teeth, nevertheless brushing them. And we cannot ignore the fact that it is the colour of the teeth that attracts us to or repels us from a person in the first 20 seconds of the meeting (not science fiction).

So, in the face of everything, there are two major options for teeth whitening that you can choose from.

Let us discuss them one by one.

1) The Surgery/Laser Whitening (also called in-office whitening)

You might have some idea about it. If not, then let me tell you that in-office treatment is performed by a professional dentist in his office. It is also called laser or power whitening.

The technique that a dentist uses in this type of teeth whitening solution depends upon the stain of your teeth; however, from what I have observed is that normally the procedure is the same.

It goes like this:
a) First, your teeth are cleaned through professional dental cleaning. This alone might improve the colour of your teeth. If not, then the procedure is continued.
b) Your teeth shade is determined with the help of a dental shade guide prior to the treatment so that the dentist could have an estimate of the “before” and “after” conditions.
c) Next, the teeth are isolated from the surrounding tissue to help prevent irritation caused due to the application of the whitener.
d) Then the whitener is applied which is a paste or a gel (I’m keeping the surprise for the later).
e) Some dentists might use the “ bleaching light” which is said to increase the effect of the whitener applied.
f) Your teeth are thoroughly washed and you might see those sparkling gems coming out of the splash.

So, that was how the in-office whitening session goes. Depending upon your needs, the number of sessions might last more or even include two to three repetitions of the procedure.

2) At-home whitening

As the name implies, the process of whitening teeth followed at home is called at-home bleaching or whitening. Since the dentist cannot stay with you 24/7 at your home, you’d have to treat yourself on your own (sounds scary, I know). However, it is the dentist who recommends you all the treatment supplies.

The following ways are used for whitening teeth at home.

a) At-home trays:

These trays are basically plastic moulds that are made by the dentist for you. The aim is to have them perfectly suited to the arches of your teeth. Also, with that, you are given suitable whitening gels so you can whiten your teeth comfortably at home. (As I said, I’ll open up the surprise later).

b) Whitening strips:

Small strips are used to apply to the teeth for a given time. This could white your teeth up to 5 shades. The whitener is actually present on the strips so you would n’t have to do much.

c) Toothpaste:

These products are simple toothpaste meant to be applied once a week. (From my experience- not much result.)

d) Brush-on or paint-on formulas:

In this technique, the whitener is “painted” or “brushed” on the teeth before going to bed.

You can choose any of the four techniques depending on their suitability for you.

Now, let me crack the surprise.

Which whitening gel is used in both the procedures?

You might have an idea that since the in-office procedure includes the services of a dentist, so it would be the best option to follow; however, it is not. The whitening gel that is used in both the procedures is the same. It is the hydrogen peroxide (most popular).

The only difference is that the gel that is applied by the dentist is in quantity and the light he might or might not use. And this is the sole reason that the after effect of the procedure conducted in the office bears results faster. However, as it is said that anything with the hottest start has the coldest end. Just after few days of the procedure, the teeth begin to darken because of the dehydration effect.

To avoid this, the dentists might recommend any at-home technique for the patient.

If we look at the costs of both the procedures, then it seems that the in-office procedure costs more than the other one. And this is true. It might cost you between £400 to £700 per whitening depending on the practice and location. However, when we look at the one performed at home, then you’d might pay anything between £150-£300.

So, which treatment is the best?

I’ll leave that up to you. You have read all of the discussion above, and now, it should be easy for you to choose the right treatment for yourself. It should be stated here that both the whitening procedures are harmless, so, you’d only have to consider other factors mentioned.

Also, since February is here, and so is the St. Valentine’s Day, whitening your teeth for your beau would be the right thing to do since you wouldn’t want to inspire stomach aches (ew!).