Choosing between at-home teeth-whitening treatments and professional laser methods can be challenging. A number of factors can play a role in determining which treatment method is right for you. Here are five questions to consider when deciding between professional whitening and products intended for at-home use.
How Healthy Is My Mouth?
The condition of your teeth and gums can have a significant impact on the end results possible from home whitening treatments. The chemicals used in over-the-counter products, for instance, may either be too weak to provide real help in whitening your teeth or too strong to be used safely over an extended period of time. Working with a company that provides professional teeth-whitening services can provide added protection for your gums and teeth during the enhancement process.
What Results Do I Expect?
Most at-home whitening kits focus primarily only on the front teeth. By contrast, professional laser whitening treatments can cover much more of the surface of your teeth to provide more uniform and even results. Depending on the degree of discoloration or dullness present on your teeth, home treatment plans can be a good first step toward a brighter smile. For most people, however, combining at-home treatments with professional whitening can produce whiter teeth than either of these solutions alone.
How Much Time Am I Willing to Invest?
At-home treatments typically take much longer than professional whitening to produce the same results. By working with a knowledgeable teeth-whitening technician, you often can see measurable results after the very first treatment. This can provide a welcome boost in self-confidence with a minimal investment in time. If you are willing to put in the time for nightly whitening treatments at home, however, you can achieve results comparable to those produced by professional treatments within a few days or weeks.
What Type of Whitening Agent Will Be Used?
Laser teeth whitening performed by a professional typically uses peroxide-based products in conjunction with a light to accelerate the process to achieve fast and effective results. The concentrations of these whitening solutions can be much stronger because these sessions are provided under professional supervision. This allows faster penetration into stained or discolored areas of the teeth. Products designed for home use are less powerful because of safety concerns and typically produce whiter teeth over a longer period of time.
What Caused the Discoloration of My Teeth?
Stains due to cigarette smoke, coffee and other consumable items usually respond well to both professional treatments and home whitening kits. Certain antibiotics and other medications, however, can cause discoloration of the enamel from the inside. These types of stains are more difficult to remove and may not show measurable improvement with either method. Discussing these medications with your teeth-whitening professional before starting a course of treatment can give you a better idea of the likely results for your particular case.
Laser teeth-whitening treatments are more affordable than ever before and can provide a solid starting point for a brighter smile. Working with professionals to achieve whiter teeth can improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence in every aspect of your life. Opting for at-home products as a supplement to professional treatments can provide you with the best of both worlds and can often produce much more dramatic results than choosing either method alone.