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What Should I Know About Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products?

April 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — prestonbend @ 9:10 pm
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Everyone wants a shiny and bright smile, but the way you go about achieving one can make all of the difference. Throughout history, people have used many teeth whitening methods, and many of them caused damage to the enamel layer, making their smiles weaker and more vulnerable to injury and decay. Today, there are many purported teeth whitening products available at stores, but they often produce inconsistent or lackluster results and involve a significant risk of user error. Here’s what you should know about these products and why professional whitening treatments are better.

What’s the Deal with Store-Bought Teeth Whitening Products?

When you go to the grocery store or pharmacy, you may notice a selection of teeth whitening products in the oral care aisle. While whitening toothpastes can often be a good way to brighten up your smile a little bit, store-bought whitening kits can leave a lot to be desired. These kits include a tube of whitening gel as well as a set of one-size-fits-all dental trays, and the patient is instructed to fill the trays with the gel and wear them over their teeth for a certain amount of time. These kits can cause problems such as:

  • Uneven whitening: Since the trays provided are one-size-fits-all, some people’s teeth may be too large for them, leading to their smiles being unevenly whitened due to insufficient coverage.
  • Soft tissue injuries: If the patient’s teeth are too small for the trays, their gums and other soft tissues may be exposed to the whitening gel, which can cause irritation and other injuries.

Why Are Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments Better?

Luckily, your dentist offers professional teeth whitening treatments that are safer and deliver results far superior to those of store-bought whitening products. They can leave your teeth up to eight shades whiter, and they minimize the risk of injury since they are overseen by a qualified dental professional. These treatments come in two forms:

In-office procedure

If you want your teeth whitened fast, your dentist can perform a whitening treatment that takes only about an hour in their office. Your dentist will place barriers in your mouth to protect your soft tissues before treating your teeth with a few coats of concentrated whitening agent. Your teeth will then be treated with a special light to activate the bleaching effect, and you will be sent on your way to enjoy a shiny new smile.

Take-home kits

If you’d rather whiten your teeth more slowly, your dentist can provide you with a take-home kit that includes a tube of professional-grade whitening gel and a set of dental trays customized to fit your smile. All you’ll have to do to brighten your grin is apply the gel to the trays and wear them every day for two weeks.

Professional treatment is the best way to whiten your smile. Consulting with your dentist can determine if teeth whitening is right for you.

About the Author

Dr. Anita Naik Madhav earned her dental degree at the Oklahoma University College of Dentistry before completing an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency. She was honored to be named one of the best dentists in the Dallas area by D Magazine in 2023. Her office in Plano, TX offers general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening. To schedule a teeth whitening consultation, contact her office online or dial (972) 618-1111.

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