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This post is the second in a multi-part series on teeth whitening. If you haven’t already read part 1, I recommend you do before continuing.
Because they employ higher concentrations of bleaching agents, over the counter bleaching treatments offer faster results than whitening mouthwashes and toothpastes. With many of these products, patients will see some result, although minimal, after the first use. Over the counter bleaching treatments are typically applied for a few to several hours, and a complete course of whitening requires a few weeks of such treatments. While this is fast compared to whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes, it’s slower than professional teeth whitening with the help of a dentist.
Another drawback of over the counter bleaching treatments is that since they use stronger chemicals than whitening mouthwashes and toothpastes, they cause pain and discomfort for a larger percentage of patients. However, like whitening mouthwashes and toothpastes, the majority of patients can use them without pain.
Teeth whitening performed by a dental professional is the gold standard of whitening treatments. It has two decisive advantages over all at-home treatments: precision and power. The bleaching agents used in professional teeth whitening are more concentrated than anything available over the counter. You might wonder if the bleaching agents are the strongest, what prevents them from causing pain and discomfort? That’s where the precision comes into play. First, a dentist treats any tooth decay or fissures that would allow the bleaching agent to infiltrate the teeth and cause the patient pain. Next, they use custom fitted whitening trays to ensure that the bleaching agent only goes where it’s supposed to be – the surface of your teeth.
Check back soon for Teeth Whitening Methods and Their Pros and Cons – At Home and Professional Treatments, Part 3. In the meantime, check out our page on teeth whitening.