Dental Tips: Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening vs Professional At-Home Whitening

Everyone wants a beautiful white smile, but no one wants to risk their dental health to achieve it.

This is why at EK Dental Surgery, we always recommend you use professional whitening treatment.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits might seem like a quick, easy solution to get that brighter smile, but they can significantly damage your teeth, gums, and even your stomach.

In-office teeth whitening services deliver great results, quickly, safely, and efficiently without damaging your dental health.

This is why in-office teeth whitening is among the most requested cosmetic dental procedures.

At EK Dental Surgery, we often hear the question, “Are tooth whitening kits from the drug store as effective as the professional treatments you get at a dental office?”

And the question makes sense as most of us shop with one eye on how expensive things are, and over the counter whitening products seem less expensive than treatment from a dental professional.

The answer to that question is mixed. In some cases, OTC whitening systems can work, but they take far more time, are far less safe, and don’t whiten as effectively as whitening treatments from EK Dental Surgery.

Over-the-Counter Whiteners

There is a variety of choices for bleaching teeth at home; the most common include:

Tooth whitening strips and gels. Applied directly to the teeth with a brush or a thin strip, these peroxide-based tooth bleaching products usually need to be applied once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days.

Results typically last less than four months, and the whitening effect is not that dramatic. Additionally, strips are typically used on the front six teeth only, meaning the teeth behind them stay their original dingy or stained colour.

Tooth whitening toothpaste. Because they’re mildly abrasive by design, toothpaste helps remove stains from teeth.

Whitening toothpaste, however, also has added bleaches or polishing agents that help erase stains from teeth without the aid of a bleaching agent.

Tooth-whitening toothpaste is relatively inexpensive and brightens teeth by about one shade. Some whitening toothpaste contains peroxides, but they aren’t left on the teeth long enough to have much whitening benefit.

If you do purchase a whitening toothpaste, be sure it is not too abrasive – you don’t want to wear your enamel down while trying to clean it.

Tray-based tooth bleaching systems. With tray-based teeth whitening, a mouth guard-like tray is filled with a peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste and placed over the teeth for one to several hours a day for up to four weeks.

You can buy tray-based tooth whitening systems over-the-counter or have one custom-fitted by your dentist.

Issues with Over-the-Counter Whitening

Burning/damage. When you receive whitening from a trained professional, your gums are protected.

With OTC whitening, an improper application can lead to damage to the gums and soft tissues of the mouth.

OTC bleaching gels can cause mouth infections, blistering and burns to gums, damage to nerves and tooth enamel, and receding gums.

Tooth damage. A study in the British Dental Journal determined that active ingredients found in three over-the-counter products, could, in the presence of an acid, ‘significantly reduce the hardness of the teeth and increase the likeliness for future surface abrasions of the teeth.’

Inefficiency. Perhaps the biggest problem with OTC whiteners is that they are not as effective professional at-home whitening. They are not professional-level bleaches, and professionals are not applying them.

How EK Dental Surgery can help

EK Dental Surgery offers the perfect combination of supervision by a trained dental professional and patient control of their whitening process. At EK Dental Surgery, we offer professional at-home whitening.

Take-home professional whitening is a procedure designed and overseen by a dentist, but one you can perform in the comfort of your home.

We take moulds of your teeth to create whitening trays that fit your teeth perfectly, meaning there is no threat of the whitening gel reaching your gums, soft tissue, or stomach.

Our custom whitening trays are comfortable, perfect fits. You put a small bit of whitening gel in each tray and slip the tray over your teeth. The gel consists of a hydrogen peroxide solution that actively whitens the enamel of the teeth.

You are in complete control on what final shade you reach, and how quickly the process takes. At the same time, you have the professional advice and backup of your Glen Waverley dentist. It’s the perfect mix of our expertise and your control!

Teeth whitening at EK Dental Surgery

Reasons to Smile at EK Dental Surgery!

EK Dental Surgery offers a wide variety of preventative and cosmetic dental procedures for children, seniors, and everyone in between!

We are a team of dedicated dentists and staff working to provide the best care possible. At EK Dental Surgery, we can help you achieve tip-top dental health and a movie-star smile!

EK Dental Surgery is conveniently located on Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.

Special Offer For New Patients

Pay No Gap for Exam, Scale and Clean, and Fluoride Treatment for Medibank, Bupa and HCF.

To book an appointment with us, call us on (03) 9887 8787 or make an appointment online.

We are located at 230 Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.

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