What You Should Know About Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
You may be wondering why you need to go through a dentist to purchase an at-home teeth whitening kit. After all, there are countless products available from your local supermarket, drug store, or online, so why not just buy one of those? While it’s true that OTC products are plentiful and easy to get, the fact is that they never work as well as professional teeth whitening services provided by a dentist. There are two reasons why this is true: 1) the solution used in professional whitening products is typically much stronger than anything you can buy over-the-counter, and 2) your dentist can create a set of custom-made trays to deliver that whitening agent to every tooth surface. That stronger concentration of whitening solution combined with custom-made trays results in spectacular results. In fact, it’s common for in-office whitening services to brighten a patient’s smile by 6 or even 8 shades! That makes a dramatic difference in anyone’s smile. Best of all – you can purchase the custom-made trays created by your dentist, along with a whitening solution they provide, and whiten your own teeth at home as needed in the future.
What’s Included in Teeth Whitening Kits from Dentists
During your initial visit to the dentist for in-office teeth whitening, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth, then send that impression out to a dental lab where your custom-made trays will be created. Once your trays are ready, you’ll return to the dentist office for the whitening procedure. That process usually involves your dentist filling the trays with a whitening solution, inserting the trays into your mouth, and leaving them there for a period of time (typically 30 minutes or so). Some whitening products are “light-activated,” which means that your dentist will use a specially designed light to enhance the bleaching process.
- Opalescence 35%– Whitening solutions created by Opalescence produce dramatic results when used on a regular basis as directed. These whitening gels come in different concentrations, with the most effective being 35%. When used in combination with custom-made trays created by a dental lab, the results are fast and impressive!
- Lumibrite 32% — Teeth whitening can result in the patients’ teeth and gums becoming sensitive. Although this sensitivity usually only lasts for a short period of time, it can still make the whitening process uncomfortable for some patients. For these individuals, using a whitening solution that has a lower amount of peroxide can help reduce sensitivity. Lumibrite 32% not only produces significantly whiter teeth – it also results in very little sensitivity.
- Zoom NiteWhite – Another brand that is commonly available from dentists is Zoom. This whitening gel is also designed to be used with custom-made trays and typically comes in a more moderate strength of 22% peroxide. That lower concentration provides a strong enough solution to whiten teeth while minimizing sensitivity at the same time.
Your dentist can help decide what strength solution would work best for you.
Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?
While there’s no doubt that whitening your teeth can produce a much brighter smile, whitening may not be the right choice for everyone. We mentioned sensitivity earlier. For some patients who normally experience sensitive teeth and gums on a regular basis, using a whitening product may simply be too uncomfortable. And whitening products don’t work on dental restorations like fillings and crowns, for example. So if you have restorations that are visible when you smile, you should know that you won’t be able to change the shade of those restorations with any type of whitening solution. If you have any oral health issues – such as gum disease, for instance – you’ll need to have those problems resolved before having your teeth whitened. People with eroded enamel often end up with yellowish teeth that can’t be whitened with peroxide-based solutions. To brighten teeth with compromised enamel, your dentist may recommend another dental treatment, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers, for example. And remember that teeth whitening services are intended for adult teeth and are not recommended for children.
Having a beautiful smile can improve your life in so many ways, and one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your smile is with professional take-home whitening kits from your dentist. To find out more about teeth whitening kits available in Cedar Park, Texas, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment. You could be on the road to a more attractive smile today!