At-Home Teeth Whitening vs. Dentist-Supervised Teeth Whitening


Many people can become obsessed with teeth whitening. A little stain and you could find them scrubbing and washing it off with a bleaching agent. At-home bleaching is one of the common approaches people take to wash off light stains. But when the stains are more pronounced, it is important that you visit a nearby dentist and go for a supervised teeth whitening procedure. There are definitely some differences in doing teeth whitening at home and visiting the dentist for the same. Let’s check out the difference between the two –

Teeth Whitening Dentist Home - Soft Touch Dental San Diego, CA

Strength of Bleaching Agent

There is a definite difference in the concentration of bleaching agents used at home and those used by the dentists. The products recommended by dentists or those purchased over the counter usually have a 10 to 22% carbamide peroxide which are much weaker bleaching solutions. (These are equivalent to about 3% hydrogen peroxide). Dentists, on the other hand, use concentrations ranging from 15% to 43%.

Type of Mouthpiece Trays Used

Mouthpiece trays are important accessories for teeth whitening. These trays are applied with whitening gel which is then fit into the teeth. The gels come in contact with the teeth and gums and do their work. When you to whiten your teeth at home, you end up using an over-the-top counter purchased tray which can fit any teeth mould. However, when you use such an ill-fitting tray, they tend to irritate the gum and soft tissues and let the bleaching gel to seep into tissues. On the other hand, when you visit the dentist for teeth whitening, he/she makes a customized tray after taking an impression of your teeth. Since this tray snugly fits into your teeth and gums, the gel evenly spreads across the teeth and gums.

Extra Protective Measures

Dentists will offer additional protective shields which help the gel stick to the gum and protect the gums and oral cavities from the effects of bleaching. However, when you go for teeth whitening at home, you do not have these protective gears, leaving your teeth vulnerable.

Matters of Cost

If you are wondering which of the two methods costs less (or more), you can actually make a calculated guess. Over the counter bleaching systems are less expensive than visiting the dentist and fixing regular appointments.


It almost goes without saying that dentist supervised at-home bleaching or in-office treatments are better than over-the-counter procedures. It is mainly because dentists follow a routine before teeth whitening, checking your medical history (to know whether your teeth will allow whitening), deciding whether a cosmetic procedure will help your cause and calculating the approximate time taken to treat the teeth. When you do it at home, you are under nobody’s supervision and thus can make grave mistakes that can do more harm than wonders.

Teeth-whitening is a scientific procedure which has become extremely popular today. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about teeth whitening and follow his advice thoroughly. If the dentist recommends doing it at home, you can do it yourself, otherwise it is better to fix appointments and let the dentist do the needful.