In a world where first impressions matter, having a radiant smile is often a top priority. But with the dental market flooded with so many different teeth whitening products, from serums, strips and pens to charcoal-infused solutions and DIY kits, it’s natural to question their effectiveness. In this blog, we’ll explore whether over-the-counter whitening products are worth your investment.
When browsing for dental care products, have you ever been tempted by those labelled as “whitening”? While whitening toothpaste can serve as a budget-friendly inclusion in your oral hygiene routine, with many patients not minding if they only see small improvements, a new wave of expensive products boasting dramatic results have hit the shelves. But do they live up to their claims, and can they truly brighten your teeth?
It’s All About the Ingredients
The key to effective teeth whitening lies in bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. If these ingredients are absent from the product you’re eyeing, it’s unlikely to provide significant results. Whitening toothpaste, for instance, can only remove subtle surface stains and are unable to alter the colour of your natural teeth.
The Charcoal Conundrum
Charcoal products have gained popularity, but their effectiveness is questionable. Charcoal-based products often make your teeth appear instantly whiter, but it’s merely an optical illusion. It’s tricking your eyes into believing your teeth are brighter because you’ve put something dark on them and then washed it away. Over time, these products can be abrasive and harm your enamel, and their impact on long-term brightness is minimal.
Understanding Legal Limitations
It’s important to note that teeth whitening products available on the high street are subject to legal restrictions regarding the concentration of peroxide they can contain. Typically, this limit is set at 0.1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.3% carbamide peroxide. These concentrations are so low that they are unlikely to produce significant changes in tooth shade, regardless of claims made by the product.
Over-the-Counter Products: Are They Worth It?
Considering these limitations, is it a wise decision to invest in over-the-counter teeth whitening products? As dental professionals, our recommendation would be no. Instead, we suggest directing your investment towards treatments with proven results.
Beware of Unregulated DIY Kits
What if you come across an online kit with higher peroxide concentrations? Many “DIY” whitening kits available online are unregulated and can pose serious risks to your dental health. Misuse of high-concentration bleaching agents can lead to burns and blisters on your lips and gums. They can also damage your enamel. Damaged tooth enamel is irreversible, making it a risk not worth taking. As such, we strongly discourage purchasing whitening products online.
The Professional Approach: Your Safest Bet
For safe and visibly effective teeth whitening, consider consulting your local dentist in Northampton. Dentists have access to products with higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, capable of producing significant improvements in just one visit.
The Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
Why waste money on over-the-counter products that overpromise and underdeliver? It’s better to invest in professional teeth whitening, as this guarantees impressive results. Dentists have access to solutions containing up to 6% hydrogen peroxide and 16% carbamide peroxide, all administered under professional supervision.
For those interested, we offer complimentary teeth whitening consultations where you can explore the benefits and considerations of professional teeth whitening.
Most professional teeth whitening results can last between 12 to 24 months with diligent oral hygiene practices and slight lifestyle adjustments, like reducing your consumption of staining agents such as coffee and red wine. Top-up syringes can further extend the longevity of the results.
Zoom! Whitening: A Leading Solution
At our practice, we are proud advocates of Philip’s Zoom Whitening, a trusted and effective system that guarantees excellent results. With both home-based and practice-delivered options available, we tailor our services to suit your lifestyle and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and personalised teeth whitening experience.
For the home-based kit, our team will create a custom-made whitening tray from an impression of your smile. We will then guide you on how to correctly apply the Zoom gel, offering personalised advice on the duration and frequency of use to maintain a beautiful smile.
With the practice-delivered system, we will apply the Philips gel to your teeth and activate it using a specialised chair-side lamp. The light breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into smaller molecules, allowing them to penetrate your teeth and effectively eliminate deep stains and discolouration.
Learn More About Professional Teeth Whitening in Northampton
Who Is a Suitable Candidate?
While professional teeth whitening is generally suitable for most patients seeking a radiant smile, specific circumstances, such as the presence of white stains, tooth sensitivity or existing dental work like crowns or fillings, may require additional consideration. We always prioritise your dental health and well-being, ensuring that your treatment plan is tailored to your specific needs.
So, is it worth investing in over-the-counter whitening products? If you’re looking for visible and lasting results, then the answer is no. Achieving a truly stunning smile is best left to professionals who have the knowledge, experience and access to effective whitening agents.
Don’t be swayed by marketing claims; prioritise your oral health and the lasting beauty of your smile by consulting with a trusted dentist. Additionally, steer clear of online ‘DIY’ whitening kits, as they may pose risks due to potential tampering or unsafe levels of bleaching agents that could harm your teeth and gums.
Contact us today at 01604 604545 to book a teeth whitening consultation with our team. We are open six days a week, including evenings.