Dentist-Quality At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits Offer Great Results (2024)

Dental Health

Cosmetic Dentistry

ByShawn Watson

Updated on October 27, 2022

Medically reviewed byBrian T. Luong, DMD

Fact checked byAngela Underwood

Professional at-home teeth whitening kits are those obtained from your dentist which contain a high concentration of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.They are slightly more expensive than over-the-counter whitening kits ($100 to $400 compared to $20 to $100, respectively) but are less pricey than the average in-office procedure ($650) & up.

Dentist-Quality At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits Offer Great Results (1)

Custom-fitted dental trays are included to keep the whitening solution on the surface of the tooth and limit the exposure of the solution to the sensitive gum (gingival) area. Professional in-home kits are relatively easy to use and offer exceptional results after just one to two weeks of use.

Using Home Whitening Kits

Professional in-home whitening kits aren't something you can pull off the shelf. Custom-made trays (dental cups fitted to the contour of your teeth) must be manufactured in order to ensure the whitening solution are properly distributed. Without these, a lot of the solution could be wasted or put onto areas of the mouth that may be damaged.

There are several steps to obtaining and using in-home teeth whitening kit:

  • Your upper and lower teeth will be digitally scanned; this has largely replaced using dental putty to make an impression of your teeth.
  • Custom trays will be made either in-house or in a dental lab. The turnaround time can be a few days up to two weeks depending on where the trays are fabricated.
  • In the meantime, the initial shade of your teeth will be recorded in your dental chart for comparison when the whitening is completed.
  • When the trays are ready, an appointment will be set to show you how to properly dispense and apply the solution and other instructions needed to obtain the optimal results.
  • Before starting the at-home procedure, you'll need to brush, floss, and rinse completely.
  • The procedure itself is typically performed an hour per day for two weeks, Certain brands can be worn overnight. You would need to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while wearing the trays and continue to do the same for 30 minutes after.
  • After two weeks of treatment, a follow-up appointment will be made to track your results and see how they compare to your reference shade.
  • The additional whitening solution can be used for touch-ups if needed.

Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening

If do-it-yourself whitening is not your cup of tea, you can always opt for professional in-office whitening. It is a more expensive procedure but one that offers more reliable results. Besides cost, the one downside is that you would need to make multiple visits to the dentist's office.

With that being said, professional whitening delivers optimum results over a relatively short amount of time. The process is pretty straightforward:

  • Before starting, your teeth will be polished to remove any plaque.
  • Your mouth will then be isolated with gauze and a barrier placed along the gumline to protect it from the solution.
  • Your teeth will be coated with a whitening solution on the front surface only.
  • Some whitening products require a curing light or laser to activate the peroxide. The solution will be left on for 30 to 60 minutes, or reapplied occasionally for up to one hour, depending on the brand.
  • Once the optimum shade has been reached (or the maximum time has passed), the teeth are rinsed. A fluoride application may be used to help ease any tooth sensitivity.
  • Additional visits will be scheduled until the desired shade is reached. The frequency of touch-ups will depend on your eating/drinking habits. For example, frequent consumption of coffee and tea can re-stain teeth quickly.

The 9 Best Teeth Whitening Kits of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

4 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Pinto M, Gonçalves M, Mota A, et al. Controlled clinical trial addressing teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide in adolescents: a 12-month follow-up.Clinics. 2017;72(3):161-170. doi: 0.6061/clinics/2017(03)06

  2. American Dental Associtation. Whitening.

  3. AL-Omiri, M.K., Al Nazeh, A.A., Kielbassa, A.M.et al.Randomized controlled clinical trial on bleaching sensitivity and whitening efficacy of hydrogen peroxide versus combinations of hydrogen peroxide and ozone.Sci Rep8,2407 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20878-0

  4. Féliz-Matos L, Hernández LM, Abreu N. Dental bleaching techniques; hydrogen-carbamide peroxides and light sources for activation, an update. Mini review article.The Open Dentistry Journal. 2015;8(1). doi: 10.2174/1874210601408010264

Additional Reading

  • Carey, C. "Tooth Whitening: What We Now Know." J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2014; 14 Suppl:70-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006.

By Shawn Watson
Shawn Watson is an orthodontic dental assistant and writer with over 10 years of experience working in the field of dentistry.

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