Many of our patients ask us if at-home teeth whitening is as effective as the professional whitening systems that we offer in our office. Before starting a teeth whitening regimen, it is important to speak to your dentist about what whitening solution is best for your smile.
What is teeth whitening?
Dentists have been doing what’s called “non-vital” whitening for many years. Non-vital bleaching is done on a damaged, darkened tooth that has had root canal treatment. “Vital” whitening is done on healthy teeth and has become more popular in recent years. Whitening, may be carried out at Dentistry at Market Mall or our dentists may instruct patients on how to whiten their smiles at home.
There is also a wide variety of products for sale in stores. Not all products are the same and not all give you the same results.
Product options for teeth whitening
Whitening toothpastes with abrasive ingredients are really not whitening products at all, but work on surface stains only. Some whitening toothpastes do contain a chemical ingredient that causes a chemical reaction to lighten teeth. Generally, they have the lowest amount of carbamide peroxide. They may not whiten as well as stronger products, but they have less chance of side effects. These pastes are brushed onto teeth and rinsed off, like regular toothpaste.
Whitening kits sold in stores stay on your teeth longer than toothpaste and contain stronger carbamide peroxide. These store-bought products do not come with the added safety of having your dentist monitor any side effects. They also come with a one-size-fits-all tray that holds the whitening solution and is more likely to leak onto your gums.
Dentists may use products with stronger carbamide peroxide but they give patients careful instructions to follow. They are also trained to spot and treat the side effects that patients sometimes report during whitening. In addition, dentists supply custom-made trays. Because products used by dentists are stronger, they tend to produce the best results.
Patients should be aware that the long-term use of whitening products may cause tooth sensitivity or tooth abrasion. Please speak to your dentist about the best whitening solution for your smile.