Professional Teeth Whitening vs Bleaching: Choosing the Right Teeth Brightening Option

With family reunions, vacations and summer fun soon to be underway you may be looking for ways to enhance your smile. There’s nothing like a pearly white smile, which is why teeth whitening and bleaching procedures are some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures you can do. Brighter, whiter teeth can boost your confidence and make you look healthier overall. 

Professional Teeth Whitening vs Bleaching

Understanding Teeth Discolouration

Teeth discolouration is a common dental issue among men and women of all ages. While the natural aging process can cause our teeth to appear yellow or brown, younger people are susceptible to losing the natural whiteness of their teeth too. In fact, medications, food, beverages, exposure to excessive fluoride, trauma, poor oral care and use of tobacco products are the main causes of teeth staining. 

A tooth is made up of two mineralized layers: the enamel and dentin. The exterior of the tooth is known as the heavily mineralized enamel while the interior layer of dentin is less mineralized and yellow in colour. 

Over time, interior and external environmental factors cause the protective enamel layer to breakdown and form microfractures. It is within these tiny indentations and cracks that stains set in and the interior dentin becomes visible. The level of staining is dependent on your lifestyle, including the type of food you consume and/or any medications you take. For some people, their genetic composition can also affect the colouration of dentin. 

Different Types of Stains

Type of StainCauseColourRemoval Techniques
Surface StainExternal factors (food, drinks, tobacco, bacteria)Yellow, brown, orangeEasy – brushing, flossing, cleaning, over-the-counter whitening options
Deep StainInternal factors (medication, trauma, excessive fluoride)Yellow, brown, gray, bluish blackHarder – Professional attention is required

Do You Have Surface Stains or Deep Discolouration? 

  • Do you find your teeth stain easily after consuming coffee, tea, red wine or dark berries?
  • Have you noticed a gradual yellowing or browning of your teeth over time, even without consuming many staining foods?
  • Do you have any white spots or lines on your teeth?

If you’ve answered yes to one of these questions, you're likely dealing with surface stains. These are the good guys! They're caused by external factors and can often be tackled with professional cleaning or stronger at-home whitening products.

If you’ve answered yes to most of these questions, you might have a mix of surface stains and deeper discolouration. This is where professional whitening can truly shine. A dentist who performs teeth whitening can assess your specific situation and recommend the best course of action.

Teeth Whitening vs. At-Home Bleaching: Decoding the Terminology

Teeth whitening is performed by a qualified dental professional who utilizes advanced technology and specific solutions to ensure the teeth are whitened without causing any damage. This non-invasive treatment can improve the look of your smile and boost your confidence significantly. Your dentist will customize the treatment to meet your personal needs, ensuring you achieve the desired results. In addition, you can expect to receive advice on how to maintain a bright and healthy smile long after the procedure is complete. 

At-home teeth bleaching typically involves using a tray or strips filled with a bleaching solution that is applied directly to the teeth. The solution works to remove surface stains and discolouration caused by things like coffee, tea and wine. While at-home teeth bleaching may not provide the same dramatic results as a professional treatment it can still improve the appearance of your teeth and boost your confidence. 

FeatureProfessional WhiteningAt-Home Bleaching
AdvantagesImprove your self-confidence, tooth protection, fast, long-lasting, guaranteed whitenessImprove your self-esteem, low costs, convenient
DisadvantagesMild gum irritation, sensitivity, expensive Partial results, mild gum irritation, sensitivity, multiple applications, lower whitening concentrations, specific guidelines
ProceduresCustom-fitted whitening trays, gel, sanding, UV light therapyWhitening strips, toothpaste, mouthwash, paint-on whitening gels

Teeth Whitening vs. At-Home Bleaching: Factors to Consider when Choosing the Right Treatment 

With dozens of at-home teeth whitening products on the market and professional dental services offered how do you know which treatment is best for you? There are several factors to consider including the cause of the discolouration, the condition of your oral health and the urgency for the treatment. 

  • Desired Level of Whitening: Over-the-counter products can give minimal results while professional cleaning provides longer-lasting results. 
  • Budget: Quick fixes can be done with at-home treatments since regular dental whitening treatments can be expensive and usually are not covered by dental insurance. 
  • Sensitivity of Your Teeth and Gums: Any form of dental treatment involving harsh chemicals can cause tooth sensitivity and discomfort for most people. This usually dissipates a few days after finishing the treatment.

For the best treatment for your individual needs, consult your local dentist. Make sure to discuss the existing condition of your teeth and any discolouration you’d like addressed during your initial examination. 

Ready for a Brighter Smile? Visit Princeview Dental for Treatments in Etobicoke

Professional teeth whitening in Etobicoke has never been easier, more affordable or more convenient than the services offered at Princeview Dental Group. Our teeth whitening products and treatments are tailored specifically for your dental health plan. Our safe and effective whitening services help to eliminate surface stains and address deeper issues that cause the discolouration of the teeth. Contact us today at (416) 231-4562 to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening.

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