Your teeth are looking a little drab lately, and as you cruise the aisles of your favorite drug store, you see row upon row of teeth whitening products. You think, “Why not? I could really use some ‘dazzling results’ about now.”
We admit it can be pretty tempting. Over-the-counter products are relatively inexpensive, and they do claim to “get your teeth their whitest.” But what’s the downside? Are the savings worth the risks?
What’s in That Stuff?
The American Dental Association says that using over-the-counter kits is generally safe, but they do point out the possible risk for gum and teeth sensitivity. Teeth whitening kits that are purchased for home use contain hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide can cause sensitive and even burns in your mouth, depending on your level of sensitivity. You should also know that whitening kits are not classified as drugs, so the FDA does not monitor the concentration of peroxide in these products.
What OTC Products Do and Don’t Do
At-home whitening kits can be sold as teeth whitening strips, found in a brush-on system, or as a whitening tray.
- The strips are one-size-fits-all, and you may have trouble getting them to fit properly or stay in place. This increases the odds of uneven whitening of your teeth.
- A brush-on system comes in the form of a pen. While this is certainly more accurate than a strip, it is still not easy to keep the whitening agent away from your gums and lips. Hello sensitivity.
- Tray whitening systems do give you a bit more control of the fit compared to strips. We refer to these trays as “boil and bite,” because that’s exactly what you do to get them to fit. This process is obviously not very precise, and if the trays don’t fit properly, the whitening agent can leak out, causing sensitivity or even burns of the soft tissue in your mouth.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment
We all love to save money, but you have to ask yourself how much you’re really spending if you have to keep spending money on them to see any kind of results. Much like having your house painted, it’s best to leave some things like teeth whitening to the pros.
- Professional teeth whitening products available at our High Point dental office have the seal of approval from the ADA.
- Dr. Bray has the training to know how to use teeth whitening products safely. This is your mouth we’re talking about, and you should be certain that whatever you’re putting in there is safe.
- Professional take-home kits consist of a custom-made whitening tray. We ensure proper fit by using impressions of your teeth, which means that the tray fits perfectly, allowing the whitening gel to touch all surfaces of your teeth evenly.
- Since we can monitor your treatment, the whitening gel we use has a higher concentration of peroxide, which means noticeable results in a shorter amount of time.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products can be effective, but nothing is going to give you the quick, dramatic results you get with a professional treatment. Please call our High Point dental office, and we’ll be happy to show you the way to a bright and beautiful smile.