Does Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Actually Work?
April 6, 2023
When people talk about things that make them unhappy about their smile, the color of their teeth tends to be at the very top of the list. That’s why teeth whitening is such a popular cosmetic treatment—your dentist can offer you a brighter smile within just an hour or two!
The popularity of professional whitening has led to the rise of over-the-counter whitening products that can be done at home. However, some patients are rightfully concerned about whether these whitening kits are any good. If you’re curious, here’s what you should know.
Does Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Work?
You might have seen viral ads or tv spots where these over-the-counter whitening products give incredible results. The fact is that the actual benefits aren’t usually quite as impressive.
Over-the-counter whitening products can work, but they don’t always. It’s possible that you don’t get the results that you want, or worse, that you actually wind up doing damage to your teeth.
What Problems Can Arise from Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening?
The main issues with over-the-counter teeth whitening come from the fact that they’re ultimately a one-size-fits-all solution. A professional will tune the whitening solution to your needs, which you can’t necessarily do on your own.
Some people complain that teeth whitening makes their teeth ache, and this is much more likely with over-the-counter whitening treatments. You may wind up getting bleach that’s too weak and overusing it, or one that’s too strong and causing your teeth to become sensitive. You also have a much higher chance of accidentally getting bleaching solution on your gums or lips, which can be deeply uncomfortable.
Even if you get the concentration just right, the tools you use to apply the solution aren’t tailored to you. Over-the-counter whitening trays won’t fit your teeth as well as professional ones will, so it’s possible that you wind up with splotchy or uneven whitening.
How to Whiten Your Teeth
If you want the convenience of over-the-counter whitening, there are other ways to go about getting it. Whitening toothpaste is available at any store, and that actually is fairly safe and effective.
Most dentists also offer take-home whitening treatments tailored specifically to you. If you want the convenience of teeth whitening from your home, this is a much better option!
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali is a dentist who deeply loves her work, and her patients can see that from the moment they step into her office. That passion for her field drives her to stay at the forefront of dentistry and to constantly understand the latest in oral medicine. Dr. Kamali began as a dental hygienist but became a dentist in 2000, earning her degree from the Baylor College of Dentistry.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (972) 818-1300.