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In-Office Whitening or Take-Home Kits?

Perhaps you have a special event coming up and just want your smile to look its greatest. Perhaps you're looking to undo some of the staining and/or discolouration you've accumulated with your coffee/tea intake. Perhaps you just want that white smile to look more youthful. Whatever your reason may be to get a dazzling whiter smile, you might be overwhelmed with all of the decisions.

So here's our summary of the factors you can consider when choosing between our take-home kits and our in-office whitening.

1) Convenience

Well, the names "take-home kits" vs "in-office whitening" is a clue to the convenience of it.

Some of you would prefer coming into our office for about 2 hours and be done with your whitening.

  • No clean-up on your part (because we'll do it for you)

  • No worry about 'getting every tooth' (because we'll do it for you)

  • No concern about daily 'whitening sessions" at home that can cramp your schedule

  • No need to work with those awkward whitening strips

Others will prefer the "comfort of your own home":

  • Allows more flexibility in terms of treatment times - you don't need to book with a hygienist, you can just use the product whenever you get a chance - and if that's midnight, then you can still go at it! (As a side note, if you skip out on it too often, you likely won't get the results you desire!)

  • You'll have to clean up on your own - and let's be honest, some of the trays-and-gels business that whitening products come in can be a hassle if you're doing it yourself. That's why we've chosen Opalescence Whitening Kits - because all you have to do is open up a package and put in the trays!

  • You will likely need to apply the whitening product regularly for a longer period of time in order to see results. So, if you're in a time-crunch (e.g. for an upcoming event), you'd either need to plan longer for it, or choose the in-office option)

2) Cost

If cost is a factor, in-office whitening is usually more expensive. You're booking:

  • The dental professional. Yup, it's always going to be more costly if you're paying for another person to offer you a service.

  • A higher concentration of whitening ingredients. That is, at-home products are designed so that they're safe for the lay-person to use and therefore, concentrations are usually much lower than what you'd get in a professional setting (which is why you have to use those products for a longer period of time, consistently - in order to get results).

  • A quicker whitening experience than if you were going the DIY route - the higher concentrations of (usually) hydrogen peroxide allow us to safely and quickly whiten your teeth!

3) Effectiveness

As mentioned earlier, you're getting a higher concentration of whitening ingredients when you choose the in-office option over the at-home versions. So, you're going to get a quicker 'white' in our office than at home. At-home kits allow a whitening effect over a longer period of time, so it might be harder to notice a difference - think small, incremental changes over time compared to a bigger change over a short period of time (that you'd get from in-office Zoom whitening). It could still get to the same shade of white as the in-office, but it may take much longer.

Effectiveness also depends on the original colour of your teeth. Many whitening options do not work on greying of teeth - the ones you see on tetracycline-stained teeth. They work on yellowing of teeth - and depending on how deep the yellow of your teeth are to begin with, you may experience a different degree of whitening when you try both options. Since every person is different, we would advise having the dentist examine your teeth to see if you're a suitable candidate for either whitening procedures.

4) Longevity

This largely depends on lifestyle factors - for example, how much red wine, coffee and/or tea you drink, etc. One who consumes these products on a regular basis may experience discolouration (again) quicker than someone who does not enjoy these drinks.

One option (that one of our guests actually recommended!) was choosing Zoom in-office whitening first to get that dramatic white. Then she purchased the at-home kit for touch-ups - which becomes way less expensive than constantly getting the in-office treatments as her 'touch ups'. Brilliant!

Woman photo created by freepik -

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