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Whitening Kits vs In-Office Whitening

At-Home Products

Whitening rinses. They’re easy to use. All you do is swirl it around in your mouth for a minute.

The whitening agent in the product is in contact with your teeth for just a short time, so your choppers get brighter gradually. Rinses can help prevent new stains after you whiten your teeth.

Whitening toothpaste. It has ingredients that remove surface stains with gentle brushing and may provide gradual brightening. But some people get sensitive teeth if they use these products.

Gel strips. You usually put them on your teeth once a day for up to 2 hours. Depending on how strong the product is, you may need to wear them for 10 to 20 days.

Whitening trays. These are filled with a gel that you fit over your teeth.

They can whiten your choppers fast. But the trays sold in at-home kits aren’t custom-made, so they’re more likely to rub and irritate your gums. Make sure you follow the directions on the package carefully.

In-Office Procedures

The most common one involves custom-made trays filled with bleaching solution that fit firmly over your teeth. Because your dentist supervises the procedure, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than what’s found in home kits.

He may recommend doing everything in his office. In that case, a light or heat source may be used to speed up the process.

Another option is to get fitted for custom-made whitening trays that you can use at home.