Over the Counter and Natural Whitening vs Professional Tooth Whitening in Albion

Jan 7, 2023 | Blog Posts

Professional Tooth Whitening in Albion

Yellow or dull teeth can greatly affect your confidence and willingness to smile. That’s why professional tooth whitening in Albion is a great option if you want to brighten up your smile and eliminate distracting stains that prevent you from grinning ear to ear with confidence.

Myths About Whitening Treatments

Before we get into the difference between home whitening kits and professional whitening treatments, it’s important to talk about some pervasive general myths surrounding teeth whitening treatments.

Myth #1: Brushing More Often Can Whiten Your Teeth

Contrary to popular belief, brushing more often or for longer than 4 minutes – as recommended by dentists – will not whiten your teeth. Over time, brushing wears down your enamel, and the yellowish layer beneath comes through. Stick to brushing twice daily for 4 minutes to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Myth #2 Whitening and Bleaching Treatments Are the Same

When you choose to get your teeth professionally whitened, the treatment restores your teeth to their natural color. However, bleaching your teeth whitens them beyond their natural color. They are not the same procedure, and they produce different results.

Myth #3: Brushing with Activated Charcoal Can Get Rid of Stains

Abrasive products like activated charcoal were all the rage a few years ago among influencers and celebrities. This translated to the general population thinking these products can help them combat stains on their teeth. This is untrue and can cause more damage to your enamel than you think.

Popular Over-the-Counter Whitening Treatments

Many people have anxiety about going to the dentist, so over-the-counter whitening treatments may feel like the best option. But what kind of over-the-counter treatments are out there?

Whitening Toothpaste

If you’re looking for a gentle way to whiten your teeth and remove strains, a whitening toothpaste might be the treatment you’re looking for. This is a good option for slight discoloration versus extremely yellow teeth. Whitening toothpaste doesn’t contain bleach, so the results aren’t as noticeable.

Whitening Strips

At-home whitening strips are a popular option for people who have slight discoloration or simply don’t want or can’t afford professional whitening treatments. The strips contain peroxide that lightens the enamel on your teeth over the course of a few weeks, typically. The average cost of a kit is $50.

Whitening Gel

While whitening strips are an incredibly popular treatment option for stained teeth, whitening gel is also. The gel, which contains hydrogen peroxide, is typically squeezed into a tray you can purchase in-store or at your dental office. You also wear them for longer than whitening strips – usually during the day or while you’re sleeping.

Cautions Related to Home Whitening Kits and Treatments

Tooth sensitivity is common in at-home whitening kits and teeth whitening treatments. Peroxide in the strips or gel can irritate your gums and teeth if worn for too long or if you have heightened sensitivity to chemicals.

The enamel on your teeth doesn’t come back once it’s scrubbed away, so it can be dangerous to mess around with these types of treatments without your dental office’s recommendation.

Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening vs. Professional Tooth Whitening: A Comparison

The effectiveness of natural tooth whitening products and at-home kits pale compared to professional whitening treatments.


Professional teeth whitening is the best option for you if you want the best results in the shortest amount of time. 1-2 hours at the dentist can leave you with teeth eight shades whiter, while you may spend weeks brightening your smile by 3-6 shades at home.


The cost of at-home whitening treatments is significantly less than if it’s done by a professional. While kits or strips can cost around $50 on average, professional whitening costs will vary from office to office but will likely be a bit more than over-the-counter methods.

How Long It Lasts

Your teeth won’t stay white for long unless you go with a professional. At-home treatments are inconsistent and only address the top layer of enamel, while a professional whitening treatment goes below the surface of your teeth for long-lasting results.

Tooth Discoloration Prevention Methods

Professional dental care can help reverse yellowing teeth, but how do you prevent discoloration to begin with? We recommend that you:

  • Avoid tobacco products, coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Opt for ADA-approved toothpaste
  • Get regular dental cleanings and checkups
  • Adopt a daily oral routine

For Professional Tooth Whitening in Albion, Come See Us at Albion Family Dental

If you’re ready to reveal your whitest smile, schedule an appointment with us at Albion Family Dental for a lasting tooth-whitening treatment. Call us at 585-589-9044.