Store Bought Vs Professional Teeth Whitening: What’s the Difference?

Article by Dr Raha Sepehrara

Discoloured and stained teeth can make you want to hide your smile from the world. You may feel embarrassed about your smile, and having discoloured teeth can harm your confidence. 

Thankfully, there are ways to address stained and discoloured teeth. Teeth whitening treatments like Enlighten, Boutique, and Philips Zoom! all provide exceptional results, brightening your smile to a natural shade of white. 

But, take a quick look online or down the aisle of a high street store, and you’ll find dozens of whitening kits available. This might leave you wondering whether you should ditch the dental appointment and save time and energy by whitening your own teeth. 

Before you buy anything, read this guide on the differences between store-bought vs professional teeth whitening treatments. 

Why Do Teeth Become Stained and Discoloured?

Several things could cause your teeth to become stained or discoloured as you go through life. Lifestyle factors like diet and whether you’re a smoker may impact the appearance of your teeth. Coffee, red wine, soft drinks, tea, spicy foods, and fruits like blackberries are all stain-inducing. 

Small particles from these foods and drinks will get trapped in the microscopic pores that fill the surface of your teeth. While a good hygiene routine can slow the buildup, once stains take hold, they’re often persistent. 

Other factors include your age and health. As you get older, your enamel naturally wears down. The white coating of your teeth becomes translucent, and the darker dentin under the surface shows through. This causes a yellow appearance. Certain illnesses and medications can also cause discolouration. 

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening uses powerful hydrogen peroxide gels to bleach your smile. The professional whitening products we provide are safe and effective. You can opt for at-home treatments like Enlighten or Boutique or an in-clinic treatment like Zoom! 

At-home treatments involve wearing custom-made trays on your teeth every night for around two weeks. This gradual exposure to the bleaching agents brightens your smile and gives them a natural radiance. 

In-clinic treatments use a light-activated whitening gel. The treatment is much quicker here, and you can see great results in a single appointment. 

Is Store-Bought Teeth Whitening Effective?

If you buy teeth whitening kits from a high street store or online retailer, they won’t be as effective as professional treatments. This is because dentists are legally permitted to use stronger products. If a store or website sells whitening kits of that strength, they are breaking the law. 

Is Store-Bought Teeth Whitening Safe?

Before we give you any whitening treatment, we’ll always assess the health of your teeth. This ensures your enamel is strong and you don’t have any cavities that need repairing. Whitening your teeth without pretreatment checks could be unsafe. 

There are no such checks when it comes to shop-bought whiteners. 

We’ll also take impressions of your teeth to create custom-whitening trays. These trays hold the whitening gel to your teeth to ensure safe and even distribution. When you buy a kit online or in a store, there are no custom trays. This impacts the safety of the kit. 

Another concern is the lack of support. We’ll always provide careful instructions before treatment and support you throughout. 

Can I Get My Teeth Whitened in a Beauty Salon?

You may get tempted by teeth whitening treatments in a beauty salon; after all, it’s easy to assume the beautician is trained. They are not. Only dentists can administer whitening treatments. We’re qualified to offer whitening, we’re regulated by the GDC, and we’re insured. 

If a salon offers this treatment, they are not qualified, not licensed, and won’t be covered by insurance. 

Teeth Whitening in Nottingham

At The Dental Suite, the safety and quality of your whitening treatment are very important to us. We use the best quality whitening products available, so you don’t have to compromise on the health or appearance of your smile. 

Get in touch today and schedule an appointment to find out which whitening treatment is right for you. 



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