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Norge Dental Center Blog

What’s the Difference between Store-Bought & Professional Whitening?

williamsburg-dentist-whiteningYour smile is your trademark; therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a common dental concern of many Americans is the discoloration and staining of their teeth. Many people seek whitening options but are not sure whether to tackle the task at home or if professional whitening is worth it. Here are a few qualities that distinguish professional whitening from store-bought options.

At-Home Whitening

There are a few different options when it comes to store-bought whitening: rinses, toothpastes, gel strips and whitening trays. No matter which selection you make, however, you are going to be buying a product less effective than the whitening products used by a professional dentist: bottom line. While most of the store-bought products are relatively easy to use and inexpensive, they will simply not produce the same desired results that will come from a professional whitening. Out of the at-home products, whitening trays are of the most effective when it comes to potency of the whitener, but are not made to custom fit your mouth, so if you have specific dental parameters regarding the shape of your bite, this option might not be for you. Not all teeth are created equal, and without the proper fitting from a dentist, the trays will not sit right in your mouth properly and can irritate your teeth and gums in the process. Gel strips are one of the most popular at-home methods. While they provide noticeable results, it is a cumulative practice that requires multiple applications over the course of anywhere from 10 to 20 days. This fact causes more people to abandon the daily ritual and their dreams of whiter teeth.

Professional Whitening

The most common whitening practice you will find in a dentist’s office is a custom-made tray that is filled with a whitening solution that will fit snugly, and securely over your teeth. This solution is able to be made stronger than what is found in at-home options since it is used under the supervision of a licensed professional. Choosing to have your teeth whitened by a dentist instead of trying it yourself at home will better customize your experience. The age of your teeth, the specific dental work you have had in the past and your overall dental health will affect the options needed to whiten your teeth. A dentist will evaluate your dental history and health status and make the best, most informed decision for you.


In conclusion, store-bought whitening products can be a cost-effective way to achieve relatively positive results, but in the grand scheme of things, time is money, therefore a professional whitening could prove to be worth more dollar for dollar. The results are much more impressive with a professional whitening and you will feel like you really accomplished your goal of improving your smile when you walk out of the door. Give our office a call at 757-941-5290 and we would be happy to schedule you an appointment to get you one step closer to a brilliant white smile! Click to Contact Us Ask questions or request an appointment!
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