Take Home Whitening Vs. In-Office Whitening – Which Is Best For Me?

Everyone wants a whiter and brighter smile, and the growing demand has created so many options to whiten your teeth. Between toothpastes, gels, at home kits and in-office whitening, your options are limitless. But the real question is which option is most effective?

When it comes to take home whitening kits there are several factors to take into account when choosing the proper one. For example, which teeth whitening product is safest? Which is most affordable? And most importantly, which will give me a whiter smile? With in-office whitening treatment, the procedure is performed by a dental professional which is much safer compared to at-home kits.

Here at Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry, our cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry services are endless! We want to provide you with the best possible treatment when it comes to having a whiter smile because we understand how important your smile is. To have a better understanding, let’s discover the benefits and differences between take home whitening kits and office whitening.

Why Are My Teeth Discolored?

Before understanding which teeth whitening option is best, it is important to known the different  types of teeth discoloration. Yes, that is right; there are different types of discoloration in teeth! Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the enamel of the teeth or changes in the tooth material. Tooth discoloration is categorized into two distinct categories:

  • Intrinsic. Intrinsic discoloration occurs internally, often times from a damaged or dead nerve which causes the tooth to appear greyish. External whitening will not remove the discoloration and internal bleaching is used instead.
  • Extrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration is when the external tooth enamel is discolored by the food and beverages you consume. External whitening will resolve this discoloration.

Teeth discoloration can also be caused by age-related reasons. This is a combination of the two categories. As you get older, your tooth enamel progressively gets weaker and thinner which causes the dentin (dense, bony tissue underneath the tooth enamel) to show through. Because of this, any contact with stain-related foods or beverages will easily cause discoloration.  

Take Home Whitening

Take home teeth whitening is more of a “do-it-yourself” alternative to professional whitening. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to take home kits. Types of take home whitening kits include:

  • Whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes contain ingredients that help remove surface stains from the tooth enamel with gentle brushing.  
  • Whitening rinses. An easy to use mouthwash that contains whitening agents that come in contact with your teeth for a short amount of time, therefore, your teeth will gradually become brighter after frequent use.
  • Gel strips. The whitening strips are to be applied to your teeth for at least 1-2 hours once a day for up to a week. This option is effective, however, it is a major commitment if you want the proper results.
  • Whitening trays. Whitening trays are used like mouth-guards that are filled with whitening gel. While they are effective and whiten your teeth quickly, these over-the-counter mouth trays are not customized to properly fit your mouth.

Take home whitening kits are typically more affordable than professional in-office whitening treatments. It is also very important to take caution when using these products at home. Although these products do have a lower concentration of the whitening agents, they can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.

In-Office Whitening

In-Office whitening is the more effective option compared to take home whitening. The whitening treatment is performed by a trained dental professional that will provide you with safe and reliable whitening results. This option offers better whitening results because dental offices tend to use a higher concentration of whitening gels.

Before the treatment begins, your teeth will be prepped by clearing away any debris or plaque. Once your teeth are cleaned and examined, a liquid rubber or hardening resin will be applied to your gums for protection. Once the gums are protected, the bleaching gel is applied to the tooth enamel where it will remain for 15 to 30 minutes. A high intensity light may be used to help activate the bleaching process. With office whitening, results will be seen immediately.

Get A Whiter Smile With The Help Of Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry!

Now that you have a better understanding between your take home and office whitening options, Rockefeller Cosmetic Dentistry is ready to help! In our Midtown Manhattan office, we provide in-office teeth whitening that only requires one dental visit. This technique is a non-invasive dental procedure that will change the color of your tooth enamel, giving you a whiter smile. We also provide our patients with at-home teeth whitening kits, where impressions of your teeth will be taken in our office and we will make a custom tray that will fit your mouth perfectly.

If you are tired of your dull, discolored smile, we can help! Schedule your appointment with us by calling (212) 581-1091.