Teeth whitening dilemma: Going to your dentist vs. Doing it yourself
If you’ve been wanting to whiten your teeth by yourself, then you’re probably familiar with various over-the-counter whitening products available out there. The most effective ones use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide whitening gel to help remove deep tooth stains. This eliminates the yellowness within teeth and gradually turns them white and bright. Here is a list of some more common and most effective options available to you:
- Whitening strips directly apply bleaching gel against your teeth. They work very well because they allow the gel to sit against teeth surfaces for long periods of time. Be sure to apply the strips evenly onto your teeth surfaces, otherwise you could end up with yellow spots.
- Pain-on brushes allow you to directly apply whitening gel wherever need. However you must pay attention to keep the area dry so that saliva doesn’t contaminate it.
- Bleaching mouthwashes typically contain baking soda and peroxide solution. They are quite effective when used over time. Make sure to allow the mouthwash to sit on your teeth for a while and don’t rinse it off too quickly.
- Whitening toothpastes work by removing teeth surface stains.
Pros of using over-the-counter teeth whitening products
Lets look at the advantages that using over-the-counter teeth whitening products offer as compared to dentist treatments:
Whiter teeth for a fraction of what dentists charge
Dentist whitening options are typically expensive and usually set you back a few hundred bucks. On the other hand, over-the-counter whitening products are much more affordable. On top of that, going to the dentist means you’ll probably need a dental cleaning and possibly other unexpected dental treatment. Keep in mind that dentists won’t whiten your teeth until you’ve addressed your dental cleaning and cavities first. This can really run up your costs, especially if you don;t have dental insurance to cover your checkup and dental cleaning.
Results can easily be duplicated with over-the-counter whitening products
No matter how white your teeth become after bleaching them, they slowly turn yellower over time. Many food items that we consume cause our teeth to turn yellow:
- Cigarette and tobacco products
- Coffee and tea
- Red wine
- Sodas and colas
- Many spices and food flavors
You must modify your diet to best maintain whitening results over time. But regardless, you will require a touch-up every several months or so. However, teeth whitening touch-ups can be quite costly, especially if you plan on your dentist doing it for you every single time. Discovering an effective combination of over-the-counter whitening products can be a much more affordable long-term solution for maintaining whiter teeth.
There are less issues with post-operative tooth sensitivity when using over-the-counter whitening products
Most whitening products that your dentist uses are very strong. This can result in temporary teeth sensitivity or damage to your gum tissue. Professional bleaching gels used by dentists are typically 2 to 3 times stronger than over-the-counter ones. Sometimes this highly concentrated gel accidentally oozes onto your gum tissues during whitening treatment. This can burn your gums and irritate them for several days or even weeks. Additionally, you might develop teeth sensitivity which could last a few days, weeks or even longer.
On the other hand, there is minimal pain and sensitivity associated with using over-the-counter whitening products. The whitening gel is much weaker and can’t damage your gums or cause serious teeth sensitivity. These treatments are much simpler to use and you can’t really damage your teeth or gums unless you really wanted to.