Are Professional Teeth Whitening Kits Better Than What I Can Buy at the Store?

Professional teeth whitening kit compared to store bought

Maintaining the unique beauty of your smile.

Your smile is one of your most unique features. No one has a smile exactly like yours—it’s just as distinctive as your fingerprints. It’s also an essential part of expressing our emotions and relating to others, leading to many studies finding that it’s one of our most memorable features when we meet someone new. As a result, it’s normal for you to want your smile to look its best. There are a lot of options if you’re looking to regain a bright, white smile, but they can’t all offer you the same results. You may have heard that professional whitening kits are better than what you can buy at the store, but is this really true? To help you understand your options and choose the best teeth whitening kit for you, we’ve compared the differences between professional and over-the-counter whitening kits.

Professional teeth whitening kits are safer.

While they may sound good on the surface—and can provide noticeable results—trendy tooth whitening treatments can be harsh on your teeth and gums. At-home remedies like baking soda, charcoal powder, and lemon juice are often abrasive or acidic, damaging your enamel over time. It’s actually this quality that allows them to appear to whiten your teeth slightly, because surface stains are removed as the powder wears away at your enamel.

Eventually, this can lead to tooth sensitivity and may even make your teeth more yellow as the dentin beneath your enamel starts to show through. Over-the-counter whitening treatments are safer if they’re used properly, but they can also damage your enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity if you use them too often or for too long. Plus, the one-size-fits all strips often overlap with your gums, which can irritate them.

In contrast, Opalescence professional whitening kits allow you to whiten your teeth at home, but every aspect of your treatment is customized for you to make it safe and easy. Dr. Matz or Dr. Ellingson will give you directions specific to your goals and treatment needs—this determines exactly how long you should apply the gel each night. The treatment uses a customized dental tray and safe, prescription-strength whitening gel to whiten your teeth. The customized tray protects your gums from irritation by ensuring that your sensitive gums don’t come in contact with the gel. While you may notice short-term tooth sensitivity immediately after your treatment, this side effect is temporary. Professional whitening kits won’t harm your oral health—if they did, dentists wouldn’t use them!

Professional teeth whitening kits provide more stunning results in a fraction of the time.

When they’re used properly, over-the-counter whitening kits will whiten your teeth, but it takes many applications over a long period of time. You may not notice any difference until you’ve applied the strips multiple times. The Opalescence home whitening kits provide significantly faster results, usually producing noticeable whitening after the first use. You’ll receive specific directions based on your treatment needs and goals, but in general you will use your professional at-home whitening kit every night for two weeks. The prescription-strength whitening gel used in professional kits reaches beyond surface-level stains to give you deeper, brighter results. Despite the significantly shorter timeframe, professional kits can get your teeth multiple shades lighter than over-the-counter treatments can achieve.

Professional whitening kits provide more predictable results.

Do you know how one-size-fits-all clothing has a reputation for rarely fitting anyone quite right? Store-bought whitening kits’ one-size-fits-all strips suffer from this same issue. They’re meant to conform to the shape of your teeth, but they don’t always bend into the curves of your teeth quite right. This can cause your teeth to whiten unevenly, producing odd, darker stripes between your teeth. Since they’re custom-made for your mouth, the dental trays used in professional whitening kits avoid this issue. They mold to your teeth perfectly and ensure that the whitening gel reaches every nook and cranny equally.

Additionally, you simply can’t predict how much store-bought whitening treatments will whiten your teeth, so it’s hard to know whether or not you’ll like the results. With professional whitening kits, the treatment itself is customizable. You can tell your dentist what shade you’d like your teeth to reach and they will give you specific directions to help you reach that goal. You won’t have to worry about whether your teeth will become too white or not white enough. Instead, you can rest assured that you’ll love the final results of your professional treatment.

Professional consultation ensures your teeth are healthy before you undergo treatment.

Your teeth and gums need to be healthy before you start any whitening treatment, so it’s important to have them evaluated by a dentist beforehand. If you have cavities or gum disease, you will need to receive and complete treatment before you can whiten your teeth. One of the benefits to professional whitening is the expert and experienced oversight involved throughout your treatment process. You’ll be able to start your treatment knowing that your teeth and gums are completely healthy.

Throughout your treatment process, you’ll also be able to call and ask your dentist any questions you might have. All of the guesswork and uncertainty is removed from the process, making it go much more smoothly and helping remove any anxiety that you may have about “messing it up.” As an added bonus, visiting your dentist and getting your teeth professionally cleaned to remove any buildups of plaque on them before you begin the treatment process will help you gain better results from your teeth whitening.

Store-bought whitening treatments will whiten your teeth over time, but professional whitening kits provide you with safer, more stunning results in a fraction of the time. If you’re searching for a “teeth whitening near me” from a great Omaha dentist, you can call our office to schedule a consultation at any time.