Teeth Whitening: Over-the-Counter vs Professional Treatment
A walk down the toothpaste aisle will tell you how keen manufacturers are to fulfil everyone’s desire for whiter, brighter teeth. From bleaching pens to whitening strips, there’s a full range of products that promise to get you closer to that perfect smile. So, what is the best way to get whiter teeth?
Over-the-counter whitening kits
Whitening your teeth involves applying a type of bleach solution to your teeth which will lighten the organic molecules trapped in the porous tooth enamel covering your teeth. Whitening strips, pens, and gels will have a higher percentage of whitening agent present, whilst toothpaste and mouthwashes will have a smaller amount.
An over-the-counter whitening kit is not only convenient, but also cheaper when compared to professional in-chair whitening treatments. Simply pick one up at your local chemist or supermarket and you’re on the way to whiter teeth. However, be aware that you’re on your own when it comes to technique and results.
Compared to dental office supplied treatments, over-the-counter treatments have mild active ingredients in them which will slowly whiten your teeth, and the effects generally don’t last as long either. Plus, you’ll need to figure out how to use them on your own and be patient in waiting for the results. A toothpaste can take up to six months before you see results!
However, these are good options if you’re on a tight budget or stuck and can’t get to see the dentist or oral health therapist. However, beware of overuse as these chemicals can be harmful to your teeth and strip away gums. Those with sensitive teeth may also not be able to use them.
Professional treatments, although more expensive, will give you longer lasting and whiter results. Dental practitioners are able to access ingredients and products which will whiten your teeth faster, and more deeply than any over-the-counter treatment safely can.
The techniques used are also professional, minimising the chances of damage to your gums and teeth due to over or miss-use. An in-chair treatment will normally involve a whitening gel being applied to your teeth, and a protective gel to your gums. This will be left on for about 30-45 minutes, and sometimes a light may be applied to activate the product.
Some patients prefer to whiten their teeth at home in their own time. And for this reason, many dental offices offer whitening products which can get the job done more effectively than the typical over-the-counter products. Your dentist and oral health therapist will take the time to cast your teeth and prepare a custom professional mould for you. It’s in this that you’ll add some whitening gel and leave on your teeth for 15-30 minutes each night until your teeth are white enough.
Which whitening treatment is best for you?
Both over-the-counter and professional treatments offer benefits. However, to achieve the best results, it’s important to have a good understanding of what can be reasonably expected from each and to start with a clean slate of teeth. Click through to book an appointment for teeth cleaning or call Coburg Hill Oral Care today on (03)90415301 to chat with the dental team and learn more about teeth whitening.