Does At Home Teeth Whitening Work?

Posted on: June 15, 2017

teeth whiteningHaving a whiter smile is something that is critically important to success. As such, more and more people are asking the question "does at home teeth whitening work?" The answer to this question depends on a few key factors. If somebody is looking to whiten stains due to genetic problems or trauma, then the chances of an at-home teeth whitening kit working are slim to none.

On the other hand, in-home teeth whitening products can help with some surface stains from things like coffee, wine or smoking. However, if a person is looking for a beautiful, perfectly white smile, then the chances of them being able to get it with home whitening kits are fairly low.

A personal decision

Ultimately, the patient has to decide between the fastest and most effective way to whiten teeth or if the variety of over-the-counter home whitening kits that may or may not achieve the desired results. With that in mind, it is also important to understand that there are a number of different products available that claim to work effectively without the aid of a professional. In reality, teeth whitening products will only work if a medical professional administers a stronger product in a procedure.

Whitening toothpaste

One of the most common in-home teeth whitening products comes in the form of a whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste has bleaching chemicals and a mildly abrasive formula, which helps to clean the teeth. Whitening toothpaste is typically extremely safe because if teeth can handle brushing, they can usually handle this kind of toothpaste. The one word of caution, that dentists offer when it comes to teeth whitening toothpaste, is not to overuse the product.

It is important, with whitening toothpaste, not to use them more than 3 times a day, and also important to consider combining the toothpaste with some other method of whitening. Essentially, whitening toothpaste helps to brighten the teeth and may remove slight surface stains, but it is more effective to visit the dentist and get teeth whitening done professionally.

Whitening strips

Advertised all over television, whitening strips claim to be the ultimate way to whiten teeth at home. This in-home teeth whitening solution is slightly more effective than toothpaste. The in-home teeth whitening solution consists of bleach that enters the pores of the teeth and lightens the inside of the enamel, which makes them one or two shades lighter. These solutions use a similar technique as dentists use to professionally whiten teeth, and can be more effective. However, there are a number of concerns with white strips.

The first concern is that the bleach dehydrates the tooth, leaving white spots. Typically, the white spots will recover shortly after the bleaching, but it is a concern. The second concern to consider is sensitivity. The strips can cause pain, and make the teeth more sensitive. In this situation, it is important to stop using the strips immediately and schedule an appointment to see a dentist or a prosthodontist as soon as possible.

It is also important for a patient to avoid products like wine or coffee for at least an hour after applying the strips. The whitening strips open up the pores of the teeth and expose them to anything that the patient puts in the mouth immediately afterward. This can lead to significantly staining the teeth more than before.

Kits from a dentist

For anyone whitening teeth at home, the best way to do so is using a kit prescribed by a dentist. These kits use trays that are customized for each patient and dental-grade whitening solution. As such, they are safer, more effective and more comfortable than products purchased in the store. Ultimately, the best way to whiten teeth will always be with the help of a dentist.


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