The Difference Between In-Office and At-Home Teeth Whitening

Your teeth are a focal point on your face, so when you’re not confident with your smile, your confidence may waver. Foods and other factors may discolor your teeth, but what can you do to get the glowing smile you’ve always wanted? Whitening kits are widely available for at-home treatment, but will the results be what you’re expecting?

At Duval Orthodontics, our team specializes in all of your dental needs to help you feel more confident with your smile. Dr. J.A. Duval is our orthodontic specialist, and he has plenty of experience with in-office teeth whitening. If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, our team certainly can help.

What causes discolored teeth?

When your adult teeth first come in when you’re a child, they’re beautiful and white — however, after a while, they become discolored. From foods and drinks to certain medications, your teeth can quickly yellow. 

So what causes teeth staining? Beverages, such as coffee and tea, can cause your teeth to take on a darker hue, especially if you drink them every day. Soda is another culprit, but you can decrease discoloration by drinking these beverages through a straw, which allows the liquid to avoid your teeth.

Certain medications can also discolor your teeth over time. Medications that can affect your teeth include:

Tobacco use is another reason for discolored teeth. 

To restore the shine in your smile, you’ll need to get your teeth whitened, either at-home or in our office.

At-home whitening kits

You’ve seen the over-the-counter whitening kits at the convenience store or the pharmacy. Although these kits are convenient, they can cause a lot of problems with your gums and teeth. The strips or trays don’t fit your teeth perfectly, meaning the whitening solution spills out, which is irritating to your gums.

The alternative to these unreliable over-the-counter kits is a take-home whitening kit from our office. We offer a safe and effective option that allows you to whiten your teeth from the convenience of your own home.

To get you started, Dr. Duval takes impressions of your teeth to make a custom-fitted tray that the whitening compound rests in. Once you get your tray, Dr. Duval sends you home with a professional-grade whitening bleach, which you’ll put in the tray and leave on your teeth for about an hour.

You’ll need to keep the whitening trays on your teeth an hour a day for several weeks until you see the desired results. 

The difference in professional whitening

At-home trays are great if you are okay waiting a few weeks to get a brighter, whiter smile. But if you need results as soon as possible, consider in-office whitening with Dr. Duval. 

In-office whitening takes about an hour and is completely safe and effective. For this treatment, Dr. Duval applies a protectant over your gums to shield them from the bleach solution. Once your gums are covered, Dr. Duval applies a strong bleaching solution to your teeth.

Sometimes, a special light is used along with the bleaching solution. After about an hour, you’ll be able to go home with a whiter, glowing smile in just a short amount of time.

If you’re interested in learning about our in-office whitening process, call our office at one of our two convenient locations in Albany and Warner Robins, Georgia, to schedule a consultation. You can also book an appointment using our online booking tool.

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