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Professional vs Home Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is no passing fad. In fact, whiter teeth was the number one answer when the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they most wanted to improve about their smile.

It’s no wonder then, that you see promos for teeth whitening everywhere. On television commercials, in online ads, as you walk through the store - the options seem endless. How can you choose the best one for you?

At Portrait Dental, we can help you achieve the whiter smile you’ve always wanted. Here’s what we’ve learned about the teeth whitening process.

Why teeth whitening?

There are several factors that can cause the brilliant white color of your teeth to fade over the years. What you eat and drink over time can play a major role. Coffee and red wine, for instance, contain intense color pigments that tend to attach to the enamel of your teeth.

If you use tobacco, the tar and nicotine can stain your teeth, or if you get hit in the mouth, your teeth may eventually change color. As you get older, the enamel on your teeth can also wear away, showing more of the yellowish dentin underneath.

All of these factors and more can lead you to want whiter teeth. Here are some options.

In-office teeth whitening

Most methods to whiten your teeth contain one of two bleaches: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The quickest, most powerful way to whiten your teeth is in a dentist’s office. Many dentists can either do an in-office procedure, where they protect your gums with a gel or a shield and then bleach your teeth, or a take-home procedure where they create custom trays for your teeth and fill the trays with a bleaching solution. 

The in-office procedure usually takes just one visit to be effective, while the take-home trays need anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get the best results. In either case, the advantage of working through your dentist is that the bleaching agents they have access to are much more powerful than what you can buy over the counter, and thus work more effectively.

At-home teeth whitening

Over-the-counter options that you can use at home include stain removal or whitening toothpastes, whitening rinses, gel strips, and whitening trays. All of these methods can work to some degree, but because they’re not as powerful and because they’re not designed especially for you as your dentist’s treatment would be, you usually don’t see the same results.

At-home products are perfectly fine to use, and can even make a difference, plus they are also usually cheaper than going to the dentist, which is why there’s such a market for them.

If you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened or at least learning more about the procedure, we’re happy to help. Just call the Portrait Dental office or use our convenient online scheduler to set up your own appointment. 

You’ll have the brightest smile on the block in no time!

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