Glendale Cosmetic Dentist Discusses How Teeth Whitening Treatments Work At Home and In the Office

Written by Dr. McKay on Dec 13, 2011

You can’t walk into a drugstore these days without seeing a wealth of teeth whitening products on the shelf.  Our Glendale cosmetic dentists are here to help you make sense of the cosmetic dentistry options available to you, both professionally and over the counter. If you’ve been thinking of whitening and brightening your smile, read on to understand the differences between professional teeth bleaching and at-home whitening kits.


Teeth bleaching involves using hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to whiten dental enamel beyond its natural shade. Professional teeth whitening treatments utilize these active ingredients to deliver optimal results in a short amount of time.


The primary difference between home and professional teeth bleaching treatments is that professional whitening products use a high concentration of peroxide. These potent formulas are beneficial because they deliver noticeable results in a very short amount of time—most patients can lighten their teeth several shades in just one or two appointments. However, because professional formulations are stronger, they are applied by a professional to ensure proper application and aesthetically pleasing results.


Over the counter whitening products can bleach enamel, but because they have a smaller amount of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, they take a long time to work and don’t deliver dramatic results. Patients often need to use home whitening products regularly for weeks or even months to achieve visibly noticeable results. Home whitening products may also whiten teeth unevenly or cause sensitivity, because the application is not monitored by a dental professional.


If you’ve been considering whitening your teeth, you have a number of options from which to choose. No matter what you decide to do, make sure you take the time to discuss your whitening plan with your dentists. He or she can tell you whether your teeth are healthy enough for whitening, and help you decide which type of treatment is right for you. Give our Glendale cosmetic dentists a call to discuss whitening options further or schedule an appointment—(818) 334-2974.