Do You Need Professional Teeth Whitening?

As societies preferences evolve, more and more emphasis is being placed on ones appearance.  Brought on by the social media era that is all about selfies and pictures, having white, shining teeth is something that everyone wants.  Who wouldn’t want a brighter, whiter and healthier looking smile to enhance your look and your confidence. 

That’s why teeth whitening is a topic at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to their dental health.  There are a whole plethora of options available on the shelves of your local pharmacy that advertise a perfectly white smile.  The alternative is a professional teeth whitening treatment from your dentist, but this costs quite a bit more.  This raises the question of whether a professional teeth whitening is worth the cost or if a store-bought kit will do the job effectively.

Most whitening options found in store will not give you the white smile that your dentist could with a professional cleaning.  While there may be some options available in stores that are capable of doing a satisfactory job of whitening your teeth, these ‘at-home’ treatments involve some level of risk, if they even work properly to begin with.  Products in stores include bleaching strips, bleaching gels, pens, toothpastes and more.  Most products, or whitening methods for that matter will contain either hydrogen peroxide or

peroxide to effectively brighten the enamel of your teeth.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the popular over-the-counter alternatives to professional teeth whitening.

Whitening toothpastes

First off is the easy-to-use whitening toothpaste.  Almost all toothpastes sold on the market these days advertise “Whitening” on the package.  The truth is that these toothpastes actually do very little to effectively whiten your teeth.  Most are missing the key ingredients (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide), instead relying on abrasives or detergents to fight stains.  This is because of the ingestible nature of toothpaste and the way it is used.  People such as smokers or coffee drinkers may benefit from a slight daily whitening, to fight off the worst of additional staining but may cause damage to tooth enamel over time due to the abrasives used.

Whitening strips

Another option for whitening your teeth are systems revolving around whitening strips.  These are very similar to paint on whitening systems, so we will group them together here.  These systems are very popular due to their inexpensive nature and their ease-of-use (perceived).  For these products to actually whiten your teeth it is not as easy as you’ve been led to believe.  The products contain very little bleaching agents which means that for them to work, you must be consistent with their usage, typically over a timeframe of two to four weeks.  They contain little bleaching agents so that your gums, lips, cheeks are not harmed during the process.  These products are advisable as a maintenance tool in conjunction with a professional teeth whitening at your dentist.

Over-the-counter Tray Whitening Systems

These trays typically contain an adequate amount of bleaching agents but must be used with caution.  The trays are often ill-fitting and can lead to complications such as soft tissue injury, gum burns, malocclusion issues and poor surface area coverage.  While they can be effective, they are also potentially dangerous to use.

Professional Teeth Whitening

There is a reason that teeth whitening performed at your dentist office is more expensive.  It works amazingly well!  There is nothing on the market that can deliver the level of white, bright and shining teeth that pro treatment can.  With the professional attention to tray fit, laser work or other method, your dental professional will ensure complete coverage for a shining smile in no time.  The results speak for themselves and make these treatments worth every penny.  Damage to your mouth and teeth is avoided, while your teeth will be whiter than you ever remembered them being.

As with all dental procedures, it is recommended to consult a professional to help inform of your best options for a whiter smile.

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