Teeth Whitening: DIY or At The Dentist?

Teeth whitening

With a new year approaching, what’s the best way to reinvent your image to inspire more confidence? The answer for many people is teeth whitening. If you are ready for a brighter smile but are confused with the many available options: DIY trays, paste, and strips; professional dentist take-home kits or in-clinic procedures – then you are not alone.

Never fear; by the time you are finished with this, you will be able to make an informed decision. Let’s look at the positives and negatives of each option and help you make the right choice.

For starters, over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening kits, as well as treatments done by your dentist both have their own pros and cons. To achieve the best possible outcome, it’s crucial that any patient knows what to expect.

Regardless of which teeth whitening method a patient chooses, it’s important to have a professional cleaning done by your dentist to ensure optimal results. Any plaque or left over adhesive from previous orthodontic work won’t whiten. If this isn’t cleaned and removed beforehand, the final product will be imperfect and blotchy, and very different than the perfect smile you likely envisioned. Teeth whitening Melbourne wide has become much more accessible with many more dentists now offering the service. So let’s dive in and see if it is worth the extra cost, or will the DIY option suffice.



DIY/Over-the-Counter Whitening Kits

There are many DIY teeth whitening kits from companies like Crest and Listerine, and they can offer a level of whitening for a much lower cost than a proper dentist treatment. DIY kits range from $15 to $100.

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Positives: Because of the lower cost, over-the-counter kits are perfect for those who don’t want to have to wait for an appointment to whiten their teeth, and for those who can’t afford professional teeth whitening.
  • Negatives: The downside is that, although it isn’t rocket science, many patients use DIY kits incorrectly. The included bleaching solution should not come into contact with your gums, and doing so can lead to dental sensitivity from gum recession.
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Advice: OTC kits should only be used in an emergency, or when there is extreme discoloration. They are a good idea if you just need a boost in advance of a major event of some sort, but for long-lasting results, see a dentist. Some patients also tend to get hooked on these kits and end up overusing them.



Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional treatments can be done at the dental clinic and offer quick results, or you could choose completely supervised take-home treatments. The home versions are far cheaper and can provide the same results that your dentist could give you, yet at a slower pace. Prices can run from $400 to $1,000 or more.

shades of teeth whitening

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Positives: You will get longer lasting and improved results over the OTC kits. The FDA has approved amorphous calcium and phosphate (ACP) for desensitizing, and most professional products from your dentist use it to give you a healthier smile safely. Professional whiteners will lighten the teeth by seven shades or more in most cases. At-home treatments will have a completely customized tray that guarantees the effectiveness of the bleaching agent.
  • Negatives: The exorbitant price tag. Professional teeth whitening at your dental clinic will provide the best results, but also comes with the highest price tag.
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Advice: Be careful of which professional you choose for your whitening treatment. Many will claim to offer a “professional grade” service, yet it may not be regulated and will leave you dissatisfied and broke.

Home Teeth Whitening Tips



1. Brushing


Regular brushing 2 times a day will help reduce stain and prevent cavities. Using whitening toothpaste will boost the color of each tooth.

2. Mouth Wash

Using mouthwash will reduce the possibility of staining. Rinsing with a whitening mouthwash will remove tiny particles missed with brushing and help keep gums healthy.

3. Flossing

Flossing sticks are convenient to carry with you to remove food particles after eating. Flossing regularly will reduce the risk of cavities, removing plaque and food residue.

Eating apple to whiten teeth

4. Fruit

Eating an apple a day will keep both the doctor and dentist at bay. Apples will help to bleach teeth and remove particles of food between teeth. Strawberries contain an acid which will whiten teeth if used as toothpaste. Mash up the fruit and place on toothbrush similar to using regular toothpaste. Rinse immediately after as the acid will continue to bleach the teeth and can damage the enamel.

5. Baking Soda

This home teeth whitening remedy has been popular for decades. Mix with water or used directly on toothbrush as toothpaste. Results will be noticable almost immediately.

6. Avoid Certain Foods and Drink
Blueberries, blackberries, and red wine have concentrated color and will stain teeth. Red wine and berries contain antioxidants which help reduce the signs of aging, brushing teeth after consuming these products will reduce the risk of staining. Coffee, tea and smoking can also stain teeth.

7. Avoid Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy drinks will cause teeth to discolor and stain. Over time fizzy drinks cause decay and make the staining difficult to remove.

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