Teeth-whitening kits have become very popular during the last years,...
Teeth Whitening Kit: Does it Work?
Teeth-whitening kits have become very popular during the last years, mainly because they are a cheaper option. Also, most people will agree that they wished they had a whiter smile, so it is not surprising that the market has developed all types of teeth whitening products that are available over the counter. But the question is, does it work?
More importantly, is your teeth whitening kit safe for you?
Types of Teeth Whitening Kits
There are several types of whitening products. You can find toothpaste, bleaching agents, teeth whitening lights, etc. All of them have two bleaching agents in common:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Carbamide peroxide
The market is full of products that promise to whiten your teeth at a meager cost.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Your teeth are lined with an outer layer called enamel. But it is dentin, the inner layer, that determines the color of the tooth.
Essentially, the components in teeth whitening (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) penetrate the translucent and porous enamel to brighten the dentin and remove stains. The enamel is the reason why merely brushing your teeth will not get rid of stains.
At your dentist’s office, teeth whitening can happen through take home trays or a combination of trays and in office bleaching. The dentist will first make sure that your teeth have been professionally cleaned and safe to bleach before proceeding.
In the case of over-the-counter kits, they usually have strips with the whitening solution or dental trays that you fill up with a gel to apply over your teeth. All of this is done at your home, not under the care of a professional.
Are Teeth-Whitening Home Products Effective?
There is no guarantee that the kit that promised you pearly white teeth is going to work. Their effectiveness is dependent on the type of stains. Furthermore, results will vary from patient to patient.
Here’s the thing. When you go to the store, you need to note the bleaching agent’s concentration. Many of these products have a hydrogen peroxide concentration of 3% that will not penetrate the deeper staining.
Is a Teeth Whitening Kit a Better Option than Going to your Dentist?
Absolutely not. While over the counter whitening kits may work for some, the peroxide level is so low that you may be disappointed if using these products alone.
The concentration of hydrogen peroxide dentists regularly use for whitening is 35% to 38%. The procedure is done by a professional in a controlled environment.
In addition, your dentist will examine your teeth and determine which level of bleaching is suitable for your specific needs.
If you are looking to brighten your smile for the holidays or have a big event coming up, no need to worry. At Canatella Dental, we will discuss your cosmetic concerns and ensure you are happy with your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Todd Canatella wants you to have optimal oral health. That is why apart from preventive care and a host of additional services he provides, he is happy to offer tips and advice on ways to improve your teeth and gums at home. As part of the patient education aspect of his practice, Dr. Canatella can suggest nutritional foods you should incorporate into your daily diet that will not only protect against gum disease but also combat tooth decay. To find out how changes to your diet can make a difference in your smile, visit our website.