Dental Tips: Over-the-Counter vs Professional Teeth Whitening
At Bondi Dental, we often hear the question, “Are tooth whitening kits from the drug store as effective as the professional treatments you get at a dental office?”
And the question makes sense as most of us shop with one eye on how expensive things are, and over the counter whitening products are initially less costly than treatment from a dental professional.
The answer to that question is mixed. In some cases, over-the-counter whitening systems can work, but they take far more time, are far less safe, and don’t whiten as effectively as whitening treatments from Bondi Dental.
In this post, we’re going to compare over the counter whitening systems and professional whitening systems, both take-home and in-office.
Why whiten your teeth at all?
Studies show that whitening your teeth can improve your work life, social life, and love life. Here are four specific reasons to consider whitening.
Discolouration. Over time our teeth darken naturally. Foods, drinks, diseases, and other influences can also lead to additional darkening or discolouration.
Special occasions. Want to look great at a wedding, birthday, anniversary, or graduation? Teeth whitening can make your smile sparkle in the pictures!
Job interviews. An attractive smile has been proven to be an advantage at job interviews as it makes you look confident, energetic, enthusiastic, and younger.
Increased self-confidence. Your smile plays an integral part in your confidence. Teeth whitening can boost your smile and give your self-confidence a bit of a boost as well.
What’s the difference between professional whitening and over-the-counter whitening?
While over the counter kits can lighten your teeth, they don’t work as quickly, comfortably, or safely as professional dental cleaning systems. Additionally, your results are unlikely to be as long lasting.
What this adds up to is, that although you may feel you are saving money with over-the-counter kits, you will likely end up spending more money and time for results that don’t match what your Bondi dentist can give you.
Most over-the-counter whitening kits use hydrogen peroxide as their main ingredient, which is the active ingredient used in many in-office or professional at-home whitening kits.
However, the concentration is much lower, and over-the-counter whitening kits don’t come with the special bleaching lights that you can find in a dental office.
The reason over-the-counter kits have low concentrations of bleaching material give a hint of another reason that over-the-counter kits are less effective.
The ingredients can damage your teeth and gums. By receiving your treatment at Bondi Dental, you ensure you get more effective concentrations of bleaching agent and have it applied with complete safety.
Other than concentration levels, the main difference between professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening kits is how the whitening gel is applied.
With professional whitening at a dental office, your gums and mouth are protected. If you use at-home professional whitening, you use a custom-made dental tray that keeps the bleaching gel in contact with your teeth, but away from your gums. In short, the process is more effective and far safer.
The case for professional whitening
The cost and dental visit may seem to make professional whitening more complicated than over-the-counter kits, but the efficiency of the process, over time, meaning professional whitening is likely to be more convenient.
The custom trays mean that the bleaching gel is applied uniformly and safely, as opposed to the over-the-counter trays, which are mass-produced and can lead to uneven results and leaking bleach.
Of course, the higher concentration of gel also means that results are achieved much more quickly. With in-office whitening, you can walk out of our office in about one hour, with teeth up to eight shades whiter.
This means that you can get your teeth whitened, in the morning, for an event you attend in the afternoon!
Another benefit is the professional wisdom of the dentist, which can help you achieve better results and avoid potential pitfalls. And this professional help extends beyond the whitening session to the check-ups after.
Your dentist will keep track of how your whitening has progressed, and if touchups are needed. A dentist can help you whiten if you have crowns and tooth-coloured fillings, which do not whiten as teeth do.
Your dentist will work with you to avoid a “checkered” appearance. Finally, a dentist can advise on any issues of sensitivity, safety, and final tooth shade.
For safe, effective, and quick whitening, professional whitening is far better than over-the-counter kits.
The Bondi Dental Advantage
Bondi Dental is located in the Eastern Suburbs – Bondi Beach, Bondi in Sydney. Our skilled dental professionals have over six decades of combined experiences in all fields of dentistry.
We provide high quality dental preventative, restorative, and cosmetic services for all patients in the area. Bondi Dental has free parking behind our building and offers a FREE Dental Consultation including a complete dental check-up.
We are open seven days a week, 8am – 8pm!
FREE Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation Available!