Professional vs. DIY Whitening: Which is Better?

If your pearly whites are not as bright as you want them to be, then you probably know that the best solution for this problem is teeth whitening in San Diego.

But with many options ranging from laser whitening to the less expensive at-home kits, how would you know which one is the best for you.

To help you decide, here are some factors that you should consider when choosing between professional whitening and DIY whitening.

Budget:

If money is the main problem, then DIY whitening is the best option you have. At $15 to $100 tops, they are much cheaper than professional whitening, which costs at least $500 to more than $1200.  The only downside is, you will have to use the DIY whitening kit every day for a couple of months to weeks – but the results are guaranteed.

Meanwhile, you usually need only one appointment for professional whitening.

A severity of Discoloration:

If your teeth are mildly discolored, then DIY whitening must be enough for you. However, if the discoloration is moderate to severe, professional whitening may be required because it uses whitening agents that are in much stronger concentrations. This whitening agent is activated a laser light to produce the whitening effect.

Teeth Whitening

Some causes of severe discolorations, however, may need the combined effect of both professional and DIY teeth whitening.

A risk to Dental Health:

The most common side effect of whitening procedures to the dentition is sensitivity which, although short-term (lasts for a day up to four days), can sometimes be uncomfortable for the patient.

Since professional whitening uses stronger whitening agents, sensitivity tends to be worse compared to that of DIY whitening, which has very minimal to none.

Another common side effect is an irritation to the surrounding soft tissues. Which, again, tends to be worse in professional whitening. Your dentist can avoid this by putting a protective gel on the gums.

But if the irritation persists and/or get worse after the procedure, be sure to inform your dentist right away.

Expected Results:

Professional whitening can lighten the teeth by up to seven shades lighter than its original color. Meanwhile, the whitening solutions used in DIY whitening may be too mild to produce dramatic results, especially on severely-discolored teeth. Then again, professional and DIY whitening may be combined if you’re looking for dramatic improvements.

How to Maintain Teeth Whitening :

Teeth whitening treatments, be it professionally-performed or DIY, don’t last forever and will have to be touched-up at some point.

On the average, professional whitening can last up to a year, while DIY whitening can only last half that time.

Take note that these durations are only the average, and can be shorter and longer depending on several factors. These include diet, habits, and oral hygiene practices to name a few. If you smoke and/or consume dark-colored foods and beverages,(i.e. berries, coffee, tea) on a regular basis. Then you will be needing touchups much sooner and more often.

On the other hand, good oral hygiene practices shall make the whitening effect last much longer.

Understanding Teeth Whitening In a Better Way

All of your favorite stars have done it.

You can be pretty sure that at least 10 moms from your kid’s class have had it. And the teeth whitening ads that you see everywhere are very tempting.

The only thing that’s holding you back is the fact that you’re not sure if you need it or that you understand what whitening entails.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve created a list of everything you need to understand about teeth whitening.

What is Teeth Whitening and What is it For?

As its name entails, it is the process of making the teeth white.

There are basically two ways to whiten teeth, broken down in the industry as:

(a) In office whitening, and
(b) At home whitening.

With proper professional guidance, both treatments are equally effective. They only vary in the duration of time it takes for them to take effect.

Regular, home teeth whitening kits come in different forms: gels, toothpastes, and sometimes even strips.

Most of these bleaching agents are peroxide-based.

Toothpastes, of course, are over-the-counter (except for the specialty kind that you can get from your dental care professional) and take the longest time to show results.

Weak brands also have minimal results. Aside from toothpastes, tray-based whiteners are another common method. Trays are custom-tailored by your dentist.

A mold is set to create a mouth-guard like tray that shall hold the whitening gel in place. It should be worn for several hours.

Depending on the severity of the teeth discoloration as well as the efficacy of the bleaching agent, the results can be seen after about 4 weeks.

In-office teeth whitening, on the other hand, means going into the dentist’s office for the actual treatment.

Unlike home kits, treatments done at the dentist’s office are often done in one session. That is, of course, depending on the degree of teeth discoloration.

The whitening bleach is applied directly to the surface of the teeth and subjected to some degree of heat (from a lamp or laser device). In about half an hour to an hour into the treatment, results can already be seen.

What are the risks and side effects?

When done with dentist’s supervision, teeth whitening both in the office and at home is generally safe.

The main and perhaps only side effect of teeth whitening is a certain degree of sensitivity immediately after treatment.

Both treatments are not recommended for people who are:

  • Pregnant
  • Have irreversible teeth staining
  • Have permanently damaged teeth
  • Have severe teeth sensitivity

How long does teeth whitening treatment last?

Like anything else, teeth whitening is not permanent.

People who frequently drink coffee, tea, red wine, and smoke often experience discoloration again.

Poor maintenance and infrequent dental checkups can also affect the color of the teeth. It is also not something that you can do again and again.

At best, it will make your teeth look unrealistically white, worst, it can thin out the enamel of the teeth which can lead to brittleness.

For high quality teeth whitening in San Diego and Chula Vista, head on over to Irresistible Smiles! Our Zoom Teeth Whitening system is as effective as it is quick. Contact us today at (858) 755-8993 in San Diego or (619) 656-6785 in Chula Vista to set up an appointment!

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