When you buy something, you expect it to work as advertised. If you buy laundry detergent and it doesn’t get your clothes clean, you’d never buy it again even if it was cheaper. After all, having to buy the same thing twice or more just to do the job right gets expensive fast.
With teeth whitening, you can face a similar problem. Getting a professional teeth whitening system from Dr. Betts, your dentist in Decatur, AL, will definitely get your teeth several shades whiter. However, there are many kits in drugstores and supermarkets that claim to do the same for much cheaper. Why not go with that? Because teeth whitening systems in those stores usually don’t do the job well. Here’s why.
Five Problems With Store-Bought Teeth Whitening
1. The whitening agent is made weak to avoid needing a prescription.
Most teeth whitening systems have a special agent that bleaches your teeth. Normally, this is done by lifting the small stains on the enamel. However, anything strong enough to do that is controlled because too much can cause damage. That’s why dentists like Dr. Betts are usually the only ones able to sell teeth whitening.
Then how do those kits in the drugstore and supermarket get sold? Because the whitening agent is made weak on purpose. Companies dilute the whitening agent so it’s legal to sell without a prescription. Unfortunately, that also means these kits aren’t going to work nearly as well as a professional-strength one from our Decatur, AL dental office.
2. You can damage your gum tissue unless you’re very careful or lucky.
The gel or strips used in these OTC teeth whitening kits might not be as strong as a professional system, but it’s still strong enough to irritate your gums. These systems usually need you to apply strips or wear something on your teeth for a while. If you get the strips on your gums, that whitening agent tries to do its job on your gum tissue. That can irritate and damage your gums similar to the early stages of gum disease.
3. The instructions have to be followed exactly.
Almost every teeth whitening kit as a warning that says, “Use as directed.” That’s so the companies behind the kits can say they told you to follow all of the directions. However, you know how some directions in a box (or on the side of that box) can be hard to understand. That’s when you’re at your best. Imagine coming home from a long day at work and having to read those instructions. If you don’t follow the instructions correctly, you could have some teeth whiter than others or damaged gums.
4. Too much can make your teeth sensitive to temperature.
Since the whitening agent is made weaker on purpose, you’ll have to use these store-bought teeth whitening systems repeatedly to get your teeth truly white. However, there’s a risk in that. The more you use these systems, the greater the chance you’ll make your teeth overly sensitive to temperature. Drinking hot coffee or eating ice cream could actually hurt.
5. Some kits have abrasives that can hurt your enamel.
To make up for having a weaker whitening agent, some teeth whitening products include strong abrasives. The idea is that these can scrub away stains like steel wool. How do you like the idea of cleaning your teeth with steel wool? Any abrasives strong enough to strip your teeth of stains can also strip some of the enamel off.
Teeth Whitening That Works
Simply put, the teeth whitening kits you can buy cheaply at drugstores and supermarkets will need to be bought and done repeatedly. This puts your teeth at risk. And remember, cheap isn’t just a way to describe something’s price.
At our Decatur, AL dental office, you can get professional-strength teeth whitening. Our system gives you take-home trays with clear instructions and a strong whitening gel only available to dentists. For two weeks, you put the trays over your teeth for a little while. You’ll soon have a brighter smile.
Our system also comes with the Whitening For life program. As long as you keep coming into our Decatur, AL dental office for regular dental cleanings and exams, you’ll receive a more whitening gel. You use this to touch up and maintain your white smile for years to come.
If you’re ready to get your teeth professionally whitened, call us today at 256-274-8680 for a new appointment.