There are many reasons that you may decide to use an at-home or over-the-counter teeth whitening kit. Not only are these options much cheaper in cost than professional services performed at a dental office, but they are more convenient as well. If you plan to use products and solutions to whiten your own teeth, however, there are several points and considerations that you should keep in mind.

At-home and over-the-counter teeth whitening products may be relatively inexpensive in cost, but using these products will take more time than if you scheduled a teeth whitening procedure with a professional. This is due to the low concentration of the solution used. You'll need to use the product several times, usually for overnight periods and for several days or weeks to achieve the desired results.

Gum Irritation and Sensitivity
Peroxide contained in teeth whitening solutions can cause serious irritation. At-home products generally contain a low-concentrated solution, but about half the people surveyed report that they still experience some discomfort from the procedure. Be sure not to leave products on your teeth for longer periods than recommended. If you are feeling pain or severe tooth sensitivity, you may wish to dilute the solution or choose an alternative product.

Before Teeth Whitening
Before you decide to commit to at-home teeth whitening, it's best to schedule a professional teeth cleaning session with your dentist. This will remove all the debris and plaque that may currently be on your teeth, allowing the bleach and teeth whitening solution to provide the full intended effects.

After Teeth Whitening
After you have engaged in a teeth whitening session, it's recommended to avoid food or beverage for at least 2 hours. Because of the possibility of teeth sensitivity, avoiding food and drink can limit the amount of discomfort. Unnecessary staining of newly whitened teeth may be avoided this way as well.