Most of my patients coming to me as an want to know what the truth is about all of the over the counter teeth whitening products. Over the counter, at-home teeth whitening products can be confusing. Lots of dentists in Aurora CO offer teeth whitening (we offer it for free—for LIFE!), but what’s the truth about teeth whitening? Do all of the teeth whitening products really work? Here are the answers you need!
Teeth whitening can work! But how? Read on…
First, some background, and a little science lesson (consider this the official warning that something boring may be coming up!). Most teeth whitening products, whether they’re over the counter or professional whitening that you might get at your dentist’s office are based in peroxide. Not hydrogen peroxide per se, but different kinds of peroxides. The main difference between whitening products is the strength of the peroxides. Whitening strips are common and come in concentrations around 10% (so pretty weak for the most part). Over the counter gels can also come in concentrations of 5-10%. Professional whitening trays that you use at home come in concentrations of 15-35%. Professional in-office whitening is the strongest type of whitening and usually comes in strengths greater than 30%.
But what about laser teeth whitening?
The lasers and lights that sometimes accompany professional whitening products have been accused of being just gimmicks, and from what I have seen as a general dentist in Aurora CO, there just isn’t a lot of great research on their effect. My personal opinion is that the lasers and lights are overrated. The problem is, once your Aurora dentist decides to invest in an expensive light that “whitens teeth,” they kind of have to pay for it, which can mean trying to sell patients on the idea that it’s a lot better than it really is. Instead, what I’ve found is that most of the effect comes from the whitening gel, not from the lights or lasers.
(May not work as magically as advertised)
So, whitening gels are based in peroxide and the stronger the teeth whitening gel, the faster you can get whiter teeth, but there’s a dangerous catch—fast teeth whitening can also mean terrible, irreversible cold sensitivity afterward! For this reason, as a general Aurora dentist, I recommend my patients not try to do an extremely strong 1-hour in-office dental whitening. It’s just too risky in my opinion.
Don’t let this be you!
As far as over the counter products go, whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes don’t usually have enough active whitening ingredients to make any difference. I’m not entirely sure how they can even get away with calling these products “WHITENING” products, since their ability to intrinsically change the color of teeth is extremely unlikely (that might be a personal bias, so mind the disclaimer there). My recommendation is a professionally made, custom whitening tray with professional gel that you can take home and apply up to one hour at a time. In my years of practice as an Aurora dentist, this provides the best result with the least amount of time and sensitivity.
Are you looking for an Aurora dentist? Do you want to whiten your teeth for free, and keep them white for the REST of your LIFE!? Call now to find out about our new White For Life program! The whitening is free, and the results are beautiful! Call now to make an appointment, 303-693-1215 or fill out our easy contact form here and someone will be in touch shortly! To watch our youtube video about teeth whitening, you can also click here!