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Which is the way to go?

The DIY at-home teeth whitening kits you purchase from the drug store can be a great option if you’re on a budget, but seeking professional treatments from your dentist is the better option. Though it’s pricier, the one-time cost will prove far more effective and efficient than anything you could buy from your local pharmacy.

Read More: Teeth Whitening: What You Need to Know

With research provided by experts in oral health, this article will explain the benefits of professional teeth whitening and how it compares to at-home kits.

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

The two types of tooth discoloration are called extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic staining occurs when the outer enamel of the tooth is stained (by coffee, orange juice, etc.), and with proper dental hygiene and a whitening session or two, this is easily fixable. Intrinsic staining happens within the tooth, where anything from exposure to an excessive amount of fluoride to tooth damage can cause these stains. Smoking is a definite example of this, and so is yellow teeth from improper cleaning or tartar buildup, which regular professional dental cleanings can help alleviate.

Read More: Top Dental Mistakes to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

What Does Professional Teeth Whitening Entail?

Professional teeth whitening is the process in which a licensed professional whitens your teeth through a specialized procedure in their clinic. Clinic-administered whitening services and products are determined based on what the dentist thinks best suits your needs.

Read More: How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Transform Your Smile

At-Home Whitening vs. Clinic Whitening

What’s the best way to whiten your smile? It really depends on the results you want and how severe your case is. For simple cases requiring simple results (you just want your teeth to be a little whiter, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with them), DIY products can lighten your teeth a little and can perhaps reduce the amount of staining that occurs over time.

For a true night-and-day difference that you can feel confident towards achieving, a clinic whitening service is the better option. Professionals will take you through a seamless step-by-step process that best suits your needs to effectively whiten your teeth, soothe any ailments that come along with your oral concerns, and most importantly, avoid any potential danger or user malfunction that can occur with a DIY-at-home kit.

What Are the Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening?

Customized Treatments

Whether it’s through laser technology or advanced products and cleaning, clinical whitening services can go into greater depth and offer services that can more directly address individual concerns.

Immediate Results

The best thing about professional teeth whitening procedures is that you can almost always see the difference right away! Professional procedures work quickly and seamlessly to achieve the results you want and are shaped perfectly to your mouth. In fact, it’s possible to enjoy teeth that are 5 to 8 shades whiter from an in-office treatment, depending on the whitening technology that is used.

Dentists Know How to Minimize Enamel Damage

Using a professional for your treatment means that the best practices are being used. Whitening can take a toll on the enamel, and while plastered-on DIY home kits can shave down the enamel, dentists know how to minimize the damage with advanced technology.

How Does it Compare to At-Home Whitening Kits?


Professional teeth whitening can add an element of safety and security that is often overlooked when attempting to whiten at home. DIY kits are chockful of risks that can cause ongoing discomfort or can be clumsily applied. You may make a mistake by using the products for the wrong amount of time or frequency, or you could allow the bleaching solution shouldn’t come in contact with the gum line – which it never should.

By consulting with a professional and shelling out the extra bucks for a job well (and safely!) done, you can avoid severe situations such as mouth ulcers or long-term damage to your teeth or gums.


Not only does the professional teeth whitening option give better results than a DIY whitening does, but it also lasts longer. Because each treatment is customized to match the shape of the mouth, the results can last for several years if you maintain good oral hygiene.


While the upfront costs of professional teeth whitening might be a little higher, the thoroughness of the work and the effectiveness that’s maintained after makes the cost worthwhile in the long run. At-home kits aren’t as effective and will need to be replaced more frequently, whereas a professional whitening procedure can keep your smile shining for a longer period of time, and that means it’ll cost less.

Yes, it can be tempting to forego the costs of dental care, but remember that teeth whitening or not, good oral hygiene and professional dental care is something that everybody should be investing in. Speak to your dentist about their teeth whitening procedures, and find out which is the best way for you (and your teeth) to proceed.

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