Whitening Strips vs. Professional Teeth Whitening

Is it worth paying more for professional whitening? Teeth whitening treatments are extremely popular because most people desire the benefits of having pearly white teeth. There are a wide range of whitening products available on the market. This can make it difficult to choose the best option for you.


Causes of Discolored Teeth


Teeth are mostly white. But over time, your tooth enamel can accumulate stain and lose its shine. Many of the factors leading to teeth discoloration are in your control. Sometimes, however, discoloration may be due to an illness or injury. Some of the most common causes of discolored teeth include:


  • Age


  • Food and drink


  • Medications such as those for high blood pressure, antipsychotics, and antihistamines


  • Tobacco use


  • Trauma


According to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whiteness is what people would like to improve most about their smile. Another study by the American Association of Orthodontics found that almost 90 percent of dental patients request teeth whitening.


Common Teeth Whitening Options


If you are considering whitening your teeth, you need to learn about various whitening options and what to expect. Also, you need to ask your dentist whether you are a good candidate for over-the-counter or professional teeth whitening before you consider either option. Your dentist will help you choose the right option based on your unique situation.


Whitening Strips


You will find tons of products claiming to whiten teeth in your local pharmacy. Since their introduction in the 80s, DIY teeth whitening products seem to be everywhere. However, you might be wondering whether they work.


Teeth whitening strips do work. They can whiten your teeth by a couple of shades within a few days. They use bleaching agents such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the enamel and enter the dentin layer. This is where they bleach the pigmented molecules that cause staining.


That being said, you need to understand that they are not as effective as professional teeth whitening treatments. Whitening strips can also cause certain side effects, such as gum irritation and tooth sensitivity.


Professional Teeth Whitening


Professional whitening treatments usually contain higher peroxide levels, allowing them to whiten teeth by up to eight shades or more. However, it is important to understand that the level of whiteness will vary from one patient to another. Nevertheless, professional whitening is more effective than home whitening products.


When it comes to safety, professional whitening treatments are the way to go. While most whitening strips are quite safe, using them too often can damage your tooth enamel. In addition, whitening strips can potentially cause damage to your gums and teeth if you have an oral health problem, aside from causing intense pain.


Professional whitening treatments, on the other hand, are quite safe. If you have symptoms of gum disease or any other dental condition, your dentist will address those problems before whitening your teeth.




Most people start to see results within one or two weeks of using whitening strips. Those results can last for six months or even longer, depending on lifestyle habits. Results from professional teeth whitening, on the other hand, are usually quicker. Additionally, they tend to last longer than those of whitening strips.


To learn the difference between whitening strips and professional teeth whitening, visit Smile Center at our offices in Delaware or Sunbury, Ohio. You can call 740-417-9565 or 740-965-2451 today to schedule an appointment.