Heritage Dentistry, 4105 E North St, Greenville, SC 29615


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Thur 8am-4pm

Professional Vs. Over-The-Counter Whitening: What’s Right For Me?

As a dentist in Greenville, Dr. Hamrick is often asked about the differences between professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening strips. Is professionally whitening really better? Yes! And here’s what you should know about it:

The Pros And Cons Of Professional Teeth Whitening


  • Choose between in-office or take-home treatment – At Heritage Dentistry, patients can choose between our in-office whitening, which offers immediate results, or our custom take-home kits, which offer you the ability to treat yourself in the comfort of your own home.

  • Safe, effective treatment – When you work with Dr. Hamrick, he uses the latest techniques to ensure that your treatment is safe, that your teeth are not over-whitened, and that side effects like tooth sensitivity are minimized.

  • Long-lasting results – Professional whitening can easily last 2-3 years or longer with proper oral hygiene and touch-ups, allowing you to keep your new smile for years to come.


  • Requires time and money spent at the dentist – It’s more convenient to just buy an OTC whitening kit from the internet or a drug store than to go to a dental office. However, most patients think that the results are worth it.

The Pros And Cons Of Over-The-Counter Whitening Kits


  • OTC whitening is cheap and convenient – Most over-the-counter whitening kits are affordable, and they don’t require a visit to the dentist. However, once patients come in for professional whitening, they find out what they were missing and never go back to OTC whitening strips.


  • Some OTC kits are dangerous – Some OTC whitening kits may contain whitening agents that are too strong for sensitive teeth, which can cause irritation and damage to your gums and enamel. Professional whitening ensures a treatment tailored to your specific needs.

  • Higher risk of side effects – DIY whitening increases your risk of over-whitening your teeth, which can lead to brittleness and a “chalky” appearance, as well as gum irritation and uneven results.

  • Less effective – OTC kits usually take longer to deliver similar results, compared to professional whitening, and may only whiten the front teeth, instead of your entire smile.

For The Best Results, Turn To A Professional 

Some OTC kits are safe when used correctly, but there are many that could damage your teeth and harm your gums, and even the highest-quality OTC kits won’t give you the best whitening results. For optimal whitening results, turn to a professional like Dr. Hamrick at Heritage Dentistry. You can trust us to take great care of your smile, and ensure your teeth look their best.