Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on February 25, 2022

The smile is one of the most prominent physical features, and for most people it is important to feel satisfied with its appearance. Unfortunately, even when the teeth are healthy and well-cared for, the aesthetics of the smile can be compromised by discoloration and dental stains. 

While tooth color may be a common concern, the good news is that there are plenty of teeth whitening products and services that promise to brighten the smile. With all the types of teeth whitening treatments that are available, which is best? Dr. Rafael Mercado helps his Castle Hills, TX, patients understand their teeth whitening options, so that they can determine the method that best meets their unique needs and desires.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products have grown very popular in the past several years. These non-prescription whitening products come in a variety of forms, including trays and whitening gel, toothpaste, mouthwash, and even gum. The appeal of over-the-counter teeth whitening products is that they are easy to purchase, are affordable, and can be used at each individual’s convenience. 

However, when purchasing over-the-counter teeth whitening products, our Castle Hills patients should be aware of their limitations. Over-the-counter products generally contain just three percent of hydrogen peroxide, as opposed to the 35 percent or more that is found in most professional teeth whitening products. Because the bleaching agent is not as concentrated, over-the-counter products usually only brighten the teeth by one or two shades after several weeks of use.

In-office Professional Teeth Whitening

In-office professional teeth whitening offers the fastest and most effective whitening results. A single teeth whitening treatment generally takes under an hour. Prior to treatment Dr. Mercado uses the pola shade guide to identify the current shade of the patient’s tooth enamel, along with their desired shade of tooth color, so that treatment can be properly monitored. A pola bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, where it usually sits for just 30 minutes. After one whitening session, the teeth can be brightened by up to eight shades.

In-office teeth whitening results are impressive, but this type of whitening costs significantly more than over-the-counter products. And although teeth whitening treatment is fast, some people don’t feel they have the time to sit in a dental office, which is why they may prefer take-home teeth whitening kits.

Take-home Teeth Whitening Kits 

Take-home teeth whitening kits offer our Castle Hills patients the convenience of over-the-counter teeth whitening products along with the professional results of in-office teeth whitening. At-home teeth whitening kits include custom whitening trays that are made to fit comfortably and securely and a professional strength bleaching gel. Patients who opt for a take-home teeth whitening kit can choose between poladay and polanight. 

Poladay whitening trays are worn for 30 minutes at a time, whereas polanight whitening trays can be worn overnight, while the patient sleeps. Take-home kits are generally used for 5-14 days, and can brighten the teeth by five shades or more. 

Get in Touch

If you want to enjoy a brighter, whiter smile, Dr. Rafael Mercado can help you determine which type of teeth whitening treatment is right for you. To discuss your aesthetic goals and get a personalized teeth whitening treatment plan, contact our dental practice online, or call (210) 405-1257.