According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than one-third of people are concerned by the look of their teeth, almost 20 percent hide their teeth in photos, and over 70 percent of adults believe an unattractive smile will hurt their chances for career success. Your smile makes up such a large portion of the impression you make; it’s no wonder people strive to ensure their teeth look their best!
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching? It may seem subtle but, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is a difference.
A whitening process for teeth describes the process of restoring the natural color of teeth by removing stains from the tooth surface. Whiteners are cleaning agents that can be found in some toothpaste and mouth rinses.
Bleaching teeth refers to whitening teeth beyond their natural color. Active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are bleaching agents most often used in teeth bleaching processes.
While the ADA has defined the differences between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching, often the terms are used interchangeably. At the end of the day, most patients are looking to have the color of their teeth improved and brightened, no matter how this is achieved. If you’re interested in improving your smile, let’s look at the options.
Professional Teeth Whitening at the Dental Office
Having your teeth whitened at the dentist’s office provides the highest quality whitening to achieve safe, reliable bleaching results. The process uses higher-concentration bleaching agents and is administered by the dentist or trained hygienist and assistants.
Different application methods are available, and although the whitening is done in the office, it results in whiter teeth over a quicker amount of time overall. The cost of professional whitening is higher than at-home whitening systems, however the results last longer than at-home processes.
With professional whitening, you can expect even, long lasting results. Your dentist understands the importance of ensuring the whitening process is safe and the results are appropriate for your teeth.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening products are those you can purchase at the grocery or drug store and use at home. Products include teeth whitening strips, brush-on whiteners, and whitening trays. They are convenient to use and will cost less than professional whitening at the dentist office, but the results tend to last only about six months.
At-home whitening contains lower concentrations of bleaching agents, so the shade of white you can achieve will be less than a professional service. However, did you know that it’s possible to get an at-home whitening kit from your dentist? The results can be impressive and offer a higher concentration of ingredients for a brighter smile. You can also feel reassured that the process is prescribed and guided by your dentist.
Teeth whitening and bleaching are a great way to improve your smile and make you feel more confident. For best results, no matter which process you choose, be sure to have a dental checkup and cleaning first! Contact us to learn more about the options available for your smile!