Having a sparkling, white smile is something that most people long to have. It is so much in people's minds that the entire dental care product aisle is filled with toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even toothbrushes that are meant to help you get that dazzling, white smile. There are also over-the-counter whitening trays, gels, and strips that you can use to try to whiten your teeth. While these over-the-counter whitening products can be convenient, going to your dentist for white teeth can be better. Here are three benefits of getting your teeth whitened at the dentist's office.

1. The whitening agent can be expertly applied to only your teeth - not the surrounding gums.

One of the biggest complaints there are with over-the-counter whitening products is that the whitening solution can cause gum irritation. When you are applying it on your own teeth, no matter which type of whitening product you use, it can be difficult to ensure the product only gets on your teeth. 

When the dentist applies the whitening agent to your teeth, however, he or she can make sure it doesn't get on your gums. So, even though the whitening agent is stronger at the dentist's office, the dentist can take precautions to protect your mouth from any irritation or discomfort.

2. Teeth whitening can last much longer if you get it done in the dentist's office.

While everyone is different, because the teeth whitening agent used in the dentist's office is much stronger, it has the potential to last a lot longer than the over-the-counter whitening products. If the discoloration of your teeth is caused by a genetic condition or illness, your teeth whitening in the dentist office can last up to five years with touch-ups every now and then.

However, if you have discolored teeth from choices you make (i.e. smoking) and you continue to make those same choices, your whitening results won't last very long - no matter how you have it done. 

When you get your teeth whitened using an over-the-counter product, you can only expect the results to last up to two years - with a lot of touch-ups in between. So, you would likely be better off getting your teeth whitened in a dentist's office since it has the potential to last so much longer than the over-the-counter methods.

3. You can see quicker results with teeth whitening in the dentist's office.

Not only does getting your teeth whitened in the dentist's office last longer, but you can also see much quicker results. Many people see results from a single teeth whitening session with their dentist. The reason for this is because of the much stronger whitening solution that is used, as well as using tools such as lasers to activate it. Keep in mind that it can still take more than one visit to your dentist for teeth whitening to get the results you want.

However, it usually takes several sessions with over-the-counter products to see a noticeable difference in the color of your teeth. It just depends on how badly stained your teeth are and the type of teeth whitening product you use. For more information about teeth whitening methods, contact a professional such as Cochran George S DDS.