There are some things that you could do yourself, but should you? Mowing your grass, cleaning your eavestroughs and putting up wallpaper — those are all good examples of worthy DIY projects. Taxidermy, electrical wiring and brake jobs? Not so much. On the spectrum ranging from of-course-you-can to maybe-you-shouldn’t, though, where does teeth whitening fall?

When it comes to teeth whitening in Downtown Calgary, you’ve got a lot more options than you might imagine, including several DIY alternatives and a couple that includes professional support from a dentist near you. Spoiler alert: You’re best off engaging the professionals, but there are alternatives if you’d rather not.

Two do-it-yourself teeth whitening options

You can purchase DIY whitening products from many drugstores and grocery stores in most towns and cities. When used as directed, many people find that they produce some whitening results with time — albeit far less dramatic results in much longer time than your professional options for teeth whitening near you. Having said that, these DIY options are less expensive than whitening by a dentist in Downtown Calgary.

Teeth whitening strips

Whitening strips are thin and small pieces of plastic that have been pre-coated with bleaching compounds. They offer the benefits of being pre-packaged and cut in sizes and shapes that can be easily placed over your teeth. Strips are typically used twice a day for 30 minutes at a time for a couple of weeks. Strips generally produce better results than rinses or toothpaste but can irritate your gums, especially if worn for too long. They also can not be tailored to specific types of stains or locations of stains on your teeth. When used as directed, they’re generally safe, but that’s a function of the relatively weak concentration of bleaching compounds they contain.

Teeth whitening rinses

Think mouthwash. Consistently using mouthwash is an important part of oral hygiene to protect your teeth from tooth decay and your gums from periodontal disease. Increasingly, mouthwashes and rinses are available that contain bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide. Rinses offer the advantage of being easy to use (sip, swish and spit!) and to integrate into an existing oral hygiene regime. On the other hand, they may take as long as 12 weeks to show any results. Because the product is only in contact with your teeth for a short time, many people see only minimal changes.

Two alternatives for when you want to leave it to the professionals

Whichever of the two formats of professional teeth whitening you choose, they offer the same primary advantages. First, the whitening process will include a thorough assessment of the condition of your teeth and the precise stains affecting them. Second, your dentist in Downtown Calgary will use much more potent concentrations of the bleaching compounds, meaning you’ll see more dramatic results more quickly. Third, your dentist will be able to adjust those compounds to your specific stains and oral health (including dealing with any teeth sensitivity). Your dentist and their staff can also clean your teeth before whitening begins and offer different solutions for the types of stains that can not be whitened away. All those advantages come with one significant disadvantage — cost.

Chairside teeth whitening

Chairside teeth whitening in Downtown Calgary takes place in your dentist’s office. In an appointment that lasts just an hour to 90 minutes and that includes an assessment of your teeth and several rounds of bleaching supported by exposure to accelerating lights, your teeth may be whitened by as many as six or eight shades. Despite the much stronger bleaching compounds used, the application of those compounds by a professionally trained and experienced dentist ensures your safety and comfort.

At-home whitening trays

If you want all the advantages of professional teeth whitening without having to go through the entire process in your dentist’s office, this may be the option for you. After assessing your teeth and the causes of any stains or discolouration, your dentist can load trays with bleaching compounds for you to wear at home precisely as directed. You’ll get the advantages of professional support, advice and products in the comfort of your own home. This process produces professional-grade results, though not as quickly as chairside whitening.

To find out which alternative is suitable for you and your priorities, make an appointment to consult with a dentist near you.