Teeth Whitening Procedure at the Dentist vs. Over-the-Counter Products: Which is Better for You?

Teeth whitening is increasing with popularity as one of the least expensive cosmetic remedies available - and everyone loves the health, confidence, and self-esteem a nice smile brings. At Joly Dental Care, we offer teeth whitening solutions as one of the many cosmetic dentistry services in our clinic in Edmonton.

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that brightens and whitens your natural teeth, which helps to remove stains from smoking or drinking coffee, tea, and wine on a regular basis. It also helps with discolouration that results from teeth darkening with age, medications, or normal tooth wear.

Many methods of tooth whitening exist from an in-office cosmetic bleaching, and at-home teeth whitening kits provided by a dentist, to simple brushing or using an over-the-counter teeth whitening kit.

At Joly Dental Care in Edmonton, we perform teeth whitening in a single in-office visit which is carefully monitored by Dr. Joly. Professional bleaching solutions containing hydrogen peroxide, a faster-acting bleach, though some people may need several treatments to achieve the desired level of whitening. In this process, a gel is applied to your teeth and left on for up to an hour. A heat or light source (sometimes a laser) may be used during the process to increase the bleaching action.

Your dentist may also provide you with custom-made mouth trays to take home made of thin, flexible plastic that you will fill with whitening gel and then leave on your teeth for a prescribed period of time.

What are the Pros and Cons of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products?

At-home or over-the-counter products vary in cost and effectiveness. Whitening Gum is available for the habitual gum-chewer, but you may need to chew up to eight pieces a day to see results.

Whitening rinses are easy to use but the whitening agent in the product is in contact with your teeth for just a short time, so it’s a gradual process. However, rinses can help prevent new stains after you whiten your teeth.

Whitening toothpaste removes surface stains and plaque with special chemical or polishing agents. Some people get sensitive teeth if they use these products and unlike bleaches, they do not change the actual color of teeth. Some whitening toothpaste are highly abrasive and can actually wear away the white enamel of your teeth, allowing the darker inner dentin layer to show through more.

Gel/Whitening strips resemble clear adhesive bandages that are stuck onto the once a day for up to two hours. Depending on how strong the product is, you may need to wear them for 10 to 20 days. Other gels are painted directly onto the teeth with a small brush and sometimes left overnight.

Whitening trays are filled with a gel that you fit over your teeth and they can whiten fast. Make sure you follow the directions on the package carefully.

Teeth whitening services have no serious or harmful side effects on your teeth. Some people report more sensitive teeth for a short time and mild gum irritation, but overall teeth whitening is a safe cosmetic procedure. Women who are pregnant or nursing and anyone with gum problems or untreated tooth decay should avoid whitening procedures. People with sensitive teeth should be cautious. Talk to your dentist first.

Joly Dental Care’s dental clinic in Edmonton’s downtown area is conveniently located on 108, 10345-105 Street Edmonton, AB, T5J 1E8, where we can be reached by both car and public transit. Book your teeth whitening appointment today.

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