Did you know that Americans spend over $1.4 billion annually on over-the-counter teeth whitening products?
It is a guarantee that not every one of these purchases was researched to determine if these products actually work. Do over-the-counter whitening products actually whiten teeth? Is it worth visiting the dentist and spending the extra money to have professional whitening done?
At Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing everyone within reach oral healthcare education. Today’s blog will hopefully answer many of our frequently received questions about teeth whitening.
Over-the-Counter Products; the Benefits and Drawbacks
Each of the whitening methods have benefits and drawbacks. Many of the products that can be purchased at the grocery store contain hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient does whiten teeth. Perhaps the largest benefit of these products that can be purchased over-the-counter is the cost. 12 Crest Whitestrips can be purchased for under $30.
So why would someone wanting whiter teeth do anything but go to the local store and purchase these products?
There most certainly are limitations to these products. First, the concentration of the whitening agent that can be purchased over-the-counter is significantly lower than what can be delivered professionally by your dentist. This can make optimal results much more difficult to obtain in a reasonable time frame. Second, although you can purchase stock or “boil and bite” trays to hold the material in place, none of what you can purchase will accurately fit the teeth. The result is that the material will not cover the teeth in a uniform fashion. This will lead to uneven results. This leads us to a discussion about professional whitening systems.
Professional Teeth Whitening; is it Truly Better?
Perhaps the only drawback that is associated with the professional whitening systems is the cost involved. There are; however, reasons for this additional cost. First, as stated above the percentage of whitening solution in the gel is much higher in professional systems. This can deliver noticeable results fast. Second, the dentist will create custom models of the teeth that will used for accurate whitening trays to be fabricated. This allows for an even application of the whitening gel. Third, the dentist has been thoroughly trained in this area and knows exactly what percentage of solution to use, what results are optimal, and can provide education on use as well as the intricacies of the whitening process.
A consultation should be sought if you are considering whitening your teeth. If you have had fillings or tooth colored crowns done in the past, this can complicate your whitening treatment because these restorations will not whiten like your natural teeth.
If you are looking for a dentist in Ponte Vedra, FL or surrounding areas, please contact us online or call us at (904) 285-7711.