One of the most frequently asked questions is, “Do whitening kits from the drugstore work as well as the professional grade option you get from your dentist?” We understand the reason individuals want to know this answer – the ones at the drugstore seem to be a little more cost effective. Our answer when someone asks us this? The over-the-counter options DO work, they just don’t work as fast or as well as the professional grade. But what is the difference?
Let’s break it down:
Over-the-counter whitening products, whether in strip form or gel form, typically use hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient. Companies manufacture these products using a low concentration of the chemical, so there is no damage to the gum tissue – if it were higher, there could be serious consequences, such as chemical burns. (Let’s be honest – we are all familiar with how messy whitening trays and strips can be and who would want to risk a chemical burn for whiter teeth?! Not us.) But because they create these whitening products with a low concentration of the peroxide, it takes multiple applications before you start seeing a change in your smile’s appearance. And while 3-4 weeks for results isn’t the longest waiting period, it doesn’t help when you need a whiter smile for a major event or big trip coming up!
Professional grade whitening is different because of the higher-concentration bleaching techniques. Trained dentists oversee the safe application of the a high-concentration bleaching gel administered to your teeth. We use a custom-tray fit to the mouth to make sure it is applied directly onto the tooth and stays far away from the gum area. And unlike over-the-counter options, you can walk out of the office with a drastically brighter smile after just one whitening treatment. We suggest these treatments for more worn, yellowed teeth that have a lot of noticeable staining, or for those clients who just want a boost in their smile’s appearance.
Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t knocking at-home whitening kits. In fact, we encourage them! This is why BRIGHT Dentistry gives a free Bright teeth for life! Every single one of our clients receives a personalized whitening kit during their first visit into our office. Including a customized tray, designed specifically for your mouth, our take-home kits mold to your teeth perfectly for maximum over-the-counter whitening.