Professional Teeth Whitening: Everything You Need to Know

Today, more and more people are looking for a brighter smile. Everyone wants to know the best teeth whitening options. As you might imagine, brushing your teeth with whitening toothpastes will have limited results, while professional teeth whitening is considered the most effective way to get whiter teeth.

Professional teeth whitening includes both in-office treatments and take-home trays. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about these options.

The Different Types of Professional Whitening Methods

In-office and take-home tray options are the most common ways to have your teeth whitened by your dentist. In-office whitening includes a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that is applied to your teeth. It can also include laser or light-activated whitening, which involves using a special light or laser to enhance the effects of the whitening solution.

Another type is internal bleaching, which is used to whiten discolored teeth from within. This method is typically used on teeth that have undergone root canal treatment and have become discolored.

1. In-Office Teeth Whitening

In-office teeth whitening is a popular and efficient option. This method involves a dental professional applying a highly concentrated whitening gel to your teeth. The process is typically accelerated using a specialized light or laser, such as the Zoom teeth whitening system. The high concentration of the whitening agent allows for noticeable results in just one session.

Your dentist will begin with a thorough examination to ensure your oral health is suitable for whitening. Protective measures like cheek retractors and a barrier for your gums will be applied. A high-concentration whitening gel will then be applied to your teeth. The procedure typically takes about 60 minutes.


    • Quick and immediate results
    • Supervised by dental professionals
    • Ideal for individuals seeking rapid whitening


    • May cause temporary tooth sensitivity
    • Generally more expensive than at-home alternatives

2. Take-Home Trays

Take-home trays are custom-fitted mouthguards provided by your dentist along with a milder bleaching gel. This method allows you to whiten your teeth at your own pace in the comfort of your home. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on how to use the trays and for how long.


    • More affordable than in-office treatments
    • Gradual and flexible whitening process
    • Custom trays to fit your teeth comfortably


    • Results may take longer to become apparent
    • Requires consistent use over a period

3. In-Office Teeth Whitening Vs. Custom Take-Home Trays

Choosing between in-office whitening and custom take-home trays depends on individual preferences, budget, and desired results. Professional teeth whitening cost can vary significantly, with in-office treatments typically being more expensive than take-home options. In-office treatments are ideal for those seeking rapid improvement, while take-home trays offer a more flexible approach with the convenience of at-home application.

Factors to Consider:

    • Speed of Results: In-office whitening delivers immediate results, while take-home trays may require several weeks.
    • Teeth Whitening Cost: In-office treatments are typically more expensive than take-home options.
    • Convenience: Take-home trays provide flexibility but require commitment to regular use.

Maintaining Your White Smile

Maintaining the results of professional teeth whitening is essential for a lasting, bright smile. Follow these tips to preserve your newfound radiance:

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and use an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste to prevent staining.
  2.  Watch Your Diet: Limit consumption of staining foods and beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth soon after consumption.
  3. Quit Smoking: Tobacco products contribute to teeth staining. Quitting smoking not only benefits your overall health but also helps maintain a whiter smile.
  4. Attend Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups for professional cleanings and touch-ups to keep your smile radiant.

Am I a Good Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is generally suitable for individuals with healthy teeth and gums. However, it may not be recommended for everyone. Consider the following factors to determine if you’re a good candidate:

1. Good Oral Health: Ensure you have good oral health with no active dental issues like cavities or gum disease.

2. Staining Type: Professional whitening is most effective on extrinsic stains caused by food, drinks, or tobacco. Intrinsic stains, such as those from trauma or certain medications, may require alternative treatments.

3. Tooth Sensitivity: If you have significant tooth sensitivity, consult your dentist before undergoing whitening treatments.

4. Age and Pregnancy: Teeth whitening is generally not recommended for children under 16 or pregnant individuals. Consult with your dentist if you fall into these categories.

5. Restorations: Teeth whitening does not affect the color of dental restorations like crowns or fillings. If you have visible restorations, discuss options with your dentist for a uniform appearance.

Professional Teeth Whitening in Los Angeles

Professional teeth whitening offers a range of options to achieve a brighter, more confident smile. Whether you opt for the rapid results of in-office treatments or the flexibility of custom take-home trays, maintaining good oral hygiene and following post-whitening care is crucial for long-lasting results. By understanding the different methods, considering your candidacy, and incorporating proper maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of a professionally whitened smile.

If you are looking for professional teeth whitening in Van Nuys and Los Angeles, contact 360 Dental today. We have the latest technology for the most advanced teeth whitening.