Don’t Settle with Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

December 2, 2021

Don’t Settle with Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Learn Why Drugstore Teeth Whitening Products Can Be Harmful to Your Dental Health and What to Do Instead!

If you’re hoping to brighten your smile, over-the-counter teeth whitening products may seem like a simple solution. While some individuals see success with these whiteners, they aren’t usually the safest or most effective whitening solution.

Over-the-counter whiteners aren’t effective against all types of tooth discolouration, and they pose risks such as eroding your tooth enamel, increasing tooth sensitivity, and damaging your gums. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the risks of drugstore teeth whitening products and discuss the safest and most effective solutions to whiten your teeth. 

Disadvantages of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Temporary results
Typically, over-the-counter whiteners have relatively short-lived results. Not only is the bleach concentration lower than professional whitening methods, but the application methods leave a lot of room for error. 

Whitening toothpaste is the least effective over-the-counter whitener. These types of toothpaste typically contain hydrogen peroxide or a different kind of bleach, but because they do not remain on your teeth for a prolonged period, they offer very little in the way of whitening. They may make your smile appear brighter for a day, but they are most effective when paired with another whitening solution. The same is true of whitening mouthwash. 

Whitening strips and whitening trays offer the best results of any over-the-counter whitening method. Results may last for as long as a year, but they vary depending on the type of tooth discolouration and how effectively you use the product. Dentist-supervised teeth whitening methods can be tailored to your specific needs, and results can last for up to two years with occasional touch-ups. 

Harms gums
Whitening products contain bleach that can leave sores or burn marks on your gums, causing pain or discomfort. Unlike professional whitening products, over-the-counter whitening trays are not moulded to the shape of your teeth, making it easy for the whitening solution to overflow onto your gums. This can be dangerous for gums, especially for someone who has an existing gum condition such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Additionally, these types of whiteners can be harmful if they are left in your mouth too long or used too frequently. For the safest whitening solution, speak to your dentist. 

Uneven whitening
Over-the-counter whitening products aren’t effective for all types of teeth discolouration. While they may help brighten teeth that have naturally yellowed over time, they are less effective on teeth that have been stained by substances like coffee or cigarettes. Coffee, cigarettes, and other substances can leave discoloured deposits on teeth that whitening products won’t eliminate. 

For the best results, use whitening treatments in conjunction with a regular teeth-cleaning schedule. If you’re interested in whitening, speak to your dentist. They will recommend the whitening method that is best suited to your situation. 

Damages enamel
Tooth enamel is the hard outer coating that protects your teeth from cavities and tooth decay. It’s essential to take care of your tooth enamel because it does not regrow. Acidic food, teeth whiteners, and over-brushing can all be damaging to your enamel. If misused, over-the-counter teeth whitening methods can cause irreparable damage to your enamel. Always speak to your dentist before using any teeth whitening products for advice on the safest option. 

Possible side effects of teeth whitening products
Due to their inexact nature, over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions have several potential side effects that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Damage to healthy gums
  • Aggravation of existing gum issues
  • Erosion of tooth enamel
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Deterioration of existing cavities

Some of these issues can be treated or reversed, while others, such as the erosion of tooth enamel, cannot. Don’t take the risk of permanently damaging your teeth and gums.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is the safest and most effective way to brighten your smile. Dentist-guided whitening products are much more precise, reducing the risk of injuring your gums or damaging your enamel. Plus, professional whitening methods contain a higher bleach concentration, which leads to brighter teeth and long-lasting results. 

Your dentist can work with you to create a tailored whitening plan that meets your needs based on your dental health and the type of discolouration you have. 

Talk to us about teeth whitening
If you’re interested in whitening your teeth, Tuxedo Dental is here in Winnipeg to help. We offer in-office and whitening treatments, in addition to take-home treatments that you can complete safely with our guidance. Book a consultation to determine which teeth whitening option is best for you. We’ll guide you through the entire process, answer any questions you may have, and help you find the safest way to your brightest smile! 

For more information about teeth whitening, see our previous article on this topic:  Facts vs. Myths of Teeth Whitening

Schedule a teeth whitening consultation today!