Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-the-Counter Products

Teeth Whitening - The Tooth Booth Family & Cosmetic Dentistry


If you’re interested in teeth whitening, then you may be wondering what the difference is between over-the-counter whiteners and in-office treatments. Both options come with pros and cons. Knowing what to expect can help you decide between the two. 

No matter what type of whitening you choose, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, your teeth and gums should be healthy before either type of whitening. Also, the American Dental Association recommends getting a dental exam before either professional or at-home whitening. In addition, teeth whitening doesn’t work on plaque, so you may want to get a good cleaning before trying a whitening treatment or product. 

Pros and Cons of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners

Teeth Whitening - The Tooth Booth Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Teeth whitening helps brighten your smile.

Over-the-counter whitening products typically cost less than professional treatments. This is one of the main reasons people go for those products instead of in-office services. Probably the second most likely reason people choose over-the-counter teeth whitening is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home. 

However, over-the-counter products come with disadvantages, too. First, while most of these products contain peroxide, a chemical that can help whiten teeth, it’s usually in very low concentrations. Because of this, they may be less effective or may take longer for you to see results. For perspective, the whitening gels our family dentistry professional uses are generally around 25% hydrogen peroxide. Over-the-counter gels are usually more than half that concentration. 

Now, you might be thinking that all you have to do is find the highest concentration over-the-counter product. However, this comes at a cost. Peroxide can also chemically burn your gums, and the risk of that goes up with higher concentration formulas. Whitening from our dentist involves using special custom trays to hold the teeth bleaching gel on your teeth and help prevent it coming into contact with your gums. It can be difficult to prevent contact with your gums when using over-the-counter products. 

Pros and Cons of Professional Teeth Whitening

One of the main objections to professional teeth whitening services is the cost. Treatments tend to be more expensive than over-the-counter options. This is because it’s done under the supervision of our dentist in Katy, TX and because the high concentration whitening formulations are only available to dentists. 

However, many people decide that professional teeth whitening is worth the extra cost. 

First, professional whitening often offers more dramatic results in less time. This is because of the higher concentrations of peroxide in the gel. Some people even achieve their goal shade after just one in-office treatment. However, this depends on a few different factors, like how stained their teeth are.

In-office teeth whitening treatments generally take just 20-40 minutes. Also, we send you home with your custom-made whitening trays and refill bleach to help you continue the whitening process. 

Whether you want to brighten your smile or it’s time for your dental cleaning, choose our team at The ToothBooth Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. We welcome new patients and offer state-of-the-art dental services to help you improve and maintain your smile. Give us a call today at (832) 437-0841 to schedule an appointment!