Recent studies have shown that the majority of Canadians (86%) want whiter teeth. You can get your shine back on your smile with a variety of teeth whitening methods as there are pros and cons from a dentist office and using an at-home kit. Which one should you try to whiten your teeth? We compare your options for a whiter, brighter smile.

At Home Products

  • Whitening toothpaste – this is toothpaste that has ingredients that remove surface stains with gentle brushing and may provide gradual brightening. The downside is some people develop or have sensitivity from this product
  • Whitening rinses – these are easy to use as you swirl it in your mouth for a minute. As the whitening agent in the product is only in contact with your teeth for just a short time, your teeth will get brighter gradually. The rinses can help prevent new stains after you whiten your teeth.
  • Gel strips – These are the clear strips you put on your teeth once a day. Depending on how strong the product is, you may have to wear them from a number of days for it to be effective.
  • Whitening trays – these are filled with a gel that fit over your teeth. They can whiten your teeth fast however they’re not custom made so they are more likely to rub or irritate your gums.


In Office Procedures

The most common procedure involves custom made trays filled with a bleaching solution that fit firmly over your teeth. This is a stronger bleaching solution than what’s found in the home kits as you have a dentist that supervises the procedure. A light or heat source may be used to speed up the process as well. Another option is also to get fitted for custom made whitening trays that you can use at home as well.


Which One is Right For You?

  • All whitening agents use a peroxide solution. Over the counter whitening products such as whitening strips are the mildest form of whiteners and have the lowest concentration of peroxide. The ones at the dental office are much stronger however you are supervised by a professional.
  • One thing to be aware of is that no matter whether you use an at-home whitening solution or book an in-office whitening procedure, the whitening agent can only make your teeth as white as your natural tooth colour. This is determined by the thickness of your enamel and how yellow the dentine is underneath it.
  • Whiteners can remove stains from food, coffee or wine from the enamel of your teeth but they can’t stop the yellow dentine from showing through thin enamel
  • As at home whitening agent have less peroxide, they will not whiten your teeth as effectively as the procedures used by dentists.
  • At-home solutions will lighten your teeth but take a much longer time to take into effect
  • Due to the size and nature of at-home whitening strips, they will usually only whiten your front teeth whereas dentist whitening procedures will whiten the whole smile
  • Some patients found that at-home products sometimes don’t provide the even, white smile they’d hope for, which is something that is offered with in-office procedures
  • In terms of cost, at-home treatments are more affordable whereas in-office dental whitening treatment cost more
  • All whitening products can make the teeth more sensitive for the treatment period
  • Dentists can control the amount of peroxide in the gel solutions for take-home whitening trays which allows them to tailor a whitening solution specifically for their patients’ sensitivity levels


Overall, both types of treatments have their pros and cons. At-home whitening procedures are more affordable and offer a mild treatment option that suits people with sensitive teeth. However, if you want your teeth white fast and the procedure custom to your needs, contact us at Illuminada Dental for a stronger in-office whitening procedure!

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