Professional vs. at-home teeth whitening: Which is better?

Whether you have a special event, like a birthday party or wedding, coming up or you prefer to keep your teeth sparkling, whitening them is the easiest way to obtain the look you desire. There are two ways you can achieve a pearly white smile — at home or with professional whitening treatments. While both methods ensure access to whiter teeth, each has pros and cons.

Are you wondering about the differences between whitening your teeth at home and getting them done professionally? We break down the disparities between the two so that you can determine which teeth whitening treatment is best for you.

Types of teeth whitening treatment

When you want to whiten your teeth, you can get it done in a couple of ways. At-home and professional teeth whitening treatments ensure you can achieve your desired smile. Before starting either process, see your dentist or orthodontist to ensure your teeth are suitable for whitening. If they are, your doctor may also perform a routine cleaning to prepare the surface of your teeth for the treatment.

With your dentist’s approval for teeth whitening, it’s time to choose which route you want to take.


One option is to whiten teeth at home with kits you can get online or at your local grocery store or pharmacy. These kits contain whitening strips or multiple trays and solutions you’ll use to whiten your teeth. They are a convenient whitening method, but they may not be as effective or work as fast as a professional service.

Most teeth whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide as part of the bleaching solution. At-home kits often have less concentrated bleaching agents because they are regulated for at-home use, helping you avoid hurting your teeth or gums. Due to the lower concentration level, it may take several weeks to achieve the shade of white you desire. Additionally, you may have to continue treatment for a long time if you want the results to last. The effects of at-home teeth whitening kits can wear off faster compared to professional treatment.


Another way to whiten your teeth is by getting them done by an expert. Professionals use a whitening agent and high-intensity light, such as a lamp or laser, which works with the solution to lighten your teeth. This whitening agent contains a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than at-home options, so your results will last longer.

Orthodontists or dentists with experience and training in professionally whitening teeth can complete treatments in an hour or so. Depending on how bright you want your teeth, you may have to visit a few times, but you will still need fewer sessions than if you did at-home treatments. Professional teeth whitening services may be more costly upfront, but you receive higher-quality results and are less likely to have to continue treatments every few weeks.

Why get your teeth professionally whitened?

With professional teeth whitening services, you can enjoy several benefits, including:

  • Safe treatment: When you receive professional teeth whitening services, you know the process will be done safely. Your orthodontist or dentist can also modify the process and take extra precautions to accommodate you if you have sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Fast treatment times: You’ll have a brighter smile within your first couple of sessions. Teeth whitening sessions usually take between 60 and 90 minutes, and depending on your teeth’s current and desired whiteness, you may only need a few treatments.
  • Quality results: Your white teeth will sparkle after in-office whitening services. The whitening solution ensures your teeth remain white for a long time before you need additional sessions.
  • Greater longevity: With proper care after whitening your teeth, you can enjoy their brightness for a long time. Changing daily habits that affect the color of your teeth and practicing proper teeth and mouth care can also help you maintain your sparkling smile.

You’ll love the outcome when you get your teeth professionally whitened.

Enjoy effective teeth whitening services at Hess Orthodontics

Experience the benefits of professional teeth whitening when you come to Hess Orthodontics. We offer Opalescence Boost teeth whitening services, which are fast, safe and effective, so you can get the brighter smile you desire. We serve communities throughout Florida, including Lithia, Riverview, Apollo Beach, Parrish and Sarasota.

Ready to start your journey to a sparkling smile? Complete our teeth whitening contact form today to get started.