Office Whitening Gels vs Over the Counter Products - A Comparison

One of the easiest and simplest ways to improve one's overall appearance and restore youthfulness is through teeth whitening. A bright, stain-free smile is generally associated with aesthetics, proper self-care, and good oral health, and this notion has made teeth whitening treatments much popular worldwide. 

When you visit your local pharmacy or grocery store, you will have a large number of teeth whitening products available, from teeth whitening gels and strips to bleach. Numerous teeth whitening options are available as in-office applications, dentist-supplied products to use at home, and over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products.

With so many teeth whitening options available, the bigger question is, will all of these options give equal results and the same white look? Before finalizing your choice, you deserve to know about the details of each option so that you can arrive at the most informed decision.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

When you visit your local pharmacy, an overwhelming number of teeth whitening product options are available to choose from.

The most popular OTC whitening products include whitening strips, gels, and toothpaste. Though most of them claim to be of extra strength to result in easier and faster teeth whitening, those who have tried them are likely to tell about unsatisfactory results. The major factor that differentiates OTC teeth whitening products and in-office gels is the type and concentration of the chemicals used in them. While in-office whitening products use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide over a brief time, at-home products use a lower concentration of less-effective carbamide peroxide chemicals for an extended time period. So, the results with at-home kits are generally slower - it can take a few weeks or months to reach the desired level of whitening. Moreover, the results from at-home kits last for only one-two week. 

Here are the major advantages as well as disadvantages associated with at-home teeth whitening kits:


  • Affordable teeth whitening option
  • Available at one's own convenience to use at the comforts of own home


  • No guarantee whether the treatment suits you or not
  • Achievement of results akes time 
  • Results are not long-lasting
  • Whitening solution can cause teeth sensitivity and can irritate the exposed gums
  • No dental cleaning is involved prior to the whitening treatment
  • No expert supervision

Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

If you think that professional teeth whitening treatment is a simple procedure, that's simply not right. The treatment involves the right combination of the right products and processes to get desired results in no time. And this preciseness is not something at-home teeth-whitening kits can easily match.  

  • The Right Ingredients

Hydrogen peroxide is the most effective ingredient that is known to brighten teeth. When the chemical breaks down into water and oxygen, it effectively removes stains from the surface of teeth. Professional teeth whitening treatment contains almost 25% to 40% hydrogen peroxide and is used along with a special light that accelerates the process to give long-lasting results. On the other hand, OTC whitening kits contain carbamide peroxide as the whitening agent that doesn't give instant, effective results. 

  • Customizable Whitening Trays

In a professional teeth whitening treatment, since we use custom-made trays built from the impression of the patient's teeth, the teeth to be whitened can be protected from saliva, allowing the whitening gel to do its work without any interruption.

  • Effective Treatment

Unlike an OTC teeth-bleaching kit that is a one size fit for all solution, professional teeth whitening treatments are planned and formulated as per the dental condition and exact requirements of a patient. However, we also offer take-home bleaching kits that have customized dental trays in different strengths of the chemical to eliminate each type of dental stain.


  • Faster and quicker results 
  • Safe and effective 
  • Long-lasting effects
  • Dental professional supervision
  • Guaranteed results


  • Expensive than drugstore products
  • Dental visit and appointment required

So, if you are looking to get a sparkling smile through teeth whitening, make an informed decision to get the best results. 

Still have doubts about teeth whitening options? Call All Care Dentistry at  (801) 266-1414 or schedule an appointment online.

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