Whitening discolored teeth can have a dramatic impact on your appearance. When your teeth are bright, you can look younger and healthier. Marketers know this, and that’s why you see so many advertisements for various products that are supposed to whiten and brighten your teeth.
The problem is, it can be very difficult to know which products are trustworthy. At Trident Dental in Houston, our dentists have helped many patients get the bright, white smile of their dreams, and they want you to have the smile of your dreams, too.
In this blog, our providers talk about the problems with over-the-counter options, explain why you should see a dentist before whitening your teeth, and discuss why professional whitening is usually the best choice.
The problem with over-the-counter products
Not all whitening products work the same. Over-the-counter strips and pastes don’t always work as advertised, nor do they work in the same ways.
You may need to commit to using a product twice a day for 30 minutes each time for a week, or you may need to use a product for a month before seeing results. And, they may only “work” well enough to make your teeth one shade lighter, which would be a barely noticeable change.
Another issue is that certain whitening products can cause tooth and gum sensitivity. If you experience pain afterward, would it be worth the effort?
Before you whiten your teeth, talk with an expert
The first step in deciding which product to use — if any — is to talk with your dentist. This is because not everyone is a good candidate for whitening.
For example, if you have gum disease, whitening could cause gum irritation. Or, if your teeth are discolored due to thinning enamel, some products won’t work, because they’re only designed to address surface level staining. And, whitening may not work at all if your stains have gray undertones.
Furthermore, if you’ve had fillings or crowns, whitening may make the restorations very obvious. That’s because the materials used to make tooth-colored restorations don’t respond to bleaching agents.
Similarly, if your teeth are discolored because of medications you take, whitening products may not help. When you consult with your dentist, they can give you advice based on your teeth.
The benefits of professional whitening
If you’re considering an over-the-counter option because you worry about the cost or having to make an appointment, you should reconsider.
While you’ll have to take time for an appointment, it won’t take very long. In fact, we can brighten your teeth by as much as eight shades in less than an hour. Compare that to having to apply an over-the-counter product repeatedly through the course of the treatment.
And when it comes to cost, think about the value you get with professional whitening as opposed to over-the-counter products. Geneally, store-bought products lighten teeth very little, if at all. It’s often just wasted money.
Professional whitening solutions, however, work, because they contain powerful bleaching agents that over-the-counter products don’t contain. And what’s more, you can expect your results to last a year or longer!
Furthermore, we use a medical-grade gel to protect your gums. This prevents irritation during the procedure. Over-the-counter options, however, can cause gum irritation.
We offer an at-home product, too
If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home when you have time, we have a product for that, too. It’s more effective than over-the-counter products, and we make sure that it’s suitable for you.
As part of the kit, we give you a tray that’s customized to fit your teeth. This will help you get better, more even results. Depending on your treatment plan, it can take several days to a few weeks.
And, if you still think that an over-the-counter product is right for you, we’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you choose a product that will work for you.
To see if a teeth whitening treatment can help you, call 281-975-4915 or book an appointment online with Trident Dental today.