White Strips vs. Professional Whitening

 In Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry

Bright, white teeth are desirable to many. Unfortunately, through heredity or years of stains, some teeth are not as bright as they could be. For those seeking whiter teeth, there are certainly plenty of options to consider. For the sake of this discussion however, let’s focus on the difference between white strips and professional dental whitening.

In 2001, Crest introduced “Whitestrips” to the marketplace. Since then, many other companies have used this idea to develop their own brand of white strips. The concept is simple. A clear strip of material lined with whitening chemicals to be placed over the teeth. Over time, these chemicals whiten the surface of the teeth they are in contact with.

These take-home whiteners are marketed as great ways to whiten your teeth without the high price or hassle of going to the dentist. In truth, the degree to which you can whiten your teeth is limited with these take-home options. Yes, they are easier than going to the dentist, but they also contain much less of the whitening agent (hydrogen peroxide) than you will find with in-office procedures. Plus, you must also consider the fact that those using these products are most likely not trained professionals. There is always the chance that these strips will not be left on for the appropriate amount of time, or that they will be applied incorrectly. In either case, the results will be affected.

On the up-side, dentists have attested that these products do work when used correctly. Depending on the brand and amount of whitening agent contained, patients can see a brighter smile over time.

In-office whitening options on the other hand are much more powerful solutions for dingy or stained teeth. They carry a hefty price in some cases, but are more effective. With in-office whitening, a patient’s mouth is prepped and a solution is administered directly to the teeth. As mentioned before, this solution has much higher levels of hydrogen peroxide, and could be potentially dangerous if not applied by a professional. Additionally, a laser light may be utilized to activate the whitening agents, further, enhancing the result.

Depending on your budget and personal lifestyle you may feel that one whitening option is better than another. Feel free to contact our office, or your local dentist if you have any questions about whitening options for your teeth.

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