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In the world of dentistry, the appearance of a patient’s teeth can change and enhance a person’s looks and, possibly, self-esteem. One way to enhance teeth is by whitening.

The practice of whitening your teeth in order to achieve a brighter smile is nothing new. For centuries, men and women have tried various techniques to remove stains from their teeth. And for the past few decades, men and women have made their way to dental chairs worldwide, so that they can have a smile that others will envy. There are two ways to whiten your teeth – either at home or in the office.

For many years, at-home whitening trays with messy gels were the go- to method for anyone that wanted to whiten their teeth themselves.. This has been made easier to do in recent years because major companies such as Rembrandt, Crest, and Walgreens have released their own versions of whitening strips that allow people to conveniently whiten their teeth at home.

With more and more people deciding to use whitening strips, many are wondering about the purpose and benefits of in-office whitening procedures. Another question that arises is when should people use whitening strips in place of in office bleaching and laser whitening.

Finance plays a factor in answering the question as to a person should use an at-home kit or pay for in-office procedures. For starters, whitening strips cost significantly less than any in-office procedure. Rembrandt stain dissolving strips cost only $20 and Crest White Strips retail for around $40. If you want results, but aren’t ready to make a major investment at this time, whitening strips might be the best option for you.

Keep in mind that while whitening strips do yield results, they are not immediate. Most users should see results within two weeks, and the teeth whitening results lasts for about a year after completing the use of one box of whitening strips.

The main difference between in-office whitening procedures and whitening strips is that in-office whitening procedures such as bleaching and laser whitening contain high levels of hydrogen peroxide concentration that range between 15%-38% and at-home treatments range anywhere from 3%-10%.

Additionally, in-office procedures will whiten below the surface of your teeth, while whitening strips whiten the surface of your teeth. In-office treatments take about an hour, and results are visible almost immediately. The results of in-office procedures can last anywhere between one and two years.

Patients should always consider what option is best and discuss options with your dentist.

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