There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening.

No matter which one you choose, working with the dentists of Kenmar Dental will see that your teeth become shades brighter, giving you a boost in self-confidence and a sparkling clean smile. Is teeth whitening in-office or at-home worth the trouble? Find out now about the kind of results you can expect!

Woman with white teeth from tooth whitening

The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening. This procedure is performed in a dental office. During an appointment, your dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes, and you will be able to see results immediately. Depending on the number of visits (usually one but sometimes two or three), you will see three to eight shades brighter!

If you have ever debated whether an office visit is worth the trouble, we can almost guarantee you will love the results much more than if you whiten your teeth at home. However, in-office whitening is only one option, which is sometimes not covered by insurance. If this is the case, you may consider a few other alternatives, prescribed under your dentist’s supervision.


Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyl radicals help whiten stained teeth. If you have heard of hydrogen peroxide, then you may have an idea of what hydroxyl radicals can do. Often used as a whitening agent, these base chemicals work to “bleach” the pulp of the tooth for a brighter smile. Unlike over-the-counter strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and contains ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to fourteen days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.


There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and one type of readily accessible whitening product is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over the counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.

We recommend following the instructions of the teeth whitener precisely to get the best results. Often, they will inform you not to eat or drink for a time while the whitening agent does its work.


Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.


The least expensive options are whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.


Absolutely! If you are looking for a more pleasing smile that can make you feel more secure and self-confident, then we say give it a try. Under the direction of your dentist, teeth whitening is a safe and proven treatment that will give you amazing results in less time than you may think.

We recommend you be in a positive state of dental health before considering teeth whitening. If you require fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges, or other reconstructive treatments, we recommend getting these performed before whitening. This is so we can match the coloration of your teeth and make everything even. Before whitening, we will also make sure your teeth and gums are free of plaque to ensure the procedure works as intended.

Teeth whitening may cause an increase in tooth sensitivity to cold or heat. However, this will fade over time. Over-the-counter whitening kits can have this effect as well. Of course, follow the instructions of over-the-counter whitening kits correctly to avoid unintended results.


If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We love to help our patients smile brighter!