If you ask someone, “What’s the one thing you could change about your teeth?” the most likely response you’d receive is having whiter teeth.
Over the course of our lifetime, everyone’s pearly whites darken and discolor. From the foods and drinks we consume, to the minimal care one might take with their teeth, it’s hard to keep them white. Plaque builds up on our teeth, causing them to lose their whiteness.
So, it’s no surprise that there are a myriad of whitening products available on the market. From whitening toothpaste to at-home whitening strips, the options can be overwhelming, and the marketing can be vague. So, what’s the solution for you?
Whitening with Your Local Dentist
It should come as no surprise that the best path to whiter teeth is to work with a professional who deals with this every day. It’s unanimously understood that getting a whitening procedure done with your dentist is the most effective way to get whiter teeth. But is the time and effort worth it, compared to over-the-counter products?
The bleaching agents used at a dentist’s office are professional-grade. This means that they’re more highly concentrated than the ones that are used in over-the-counter whitening products, as professional intervention is required when using stronger tools.
This is another benefit of working with your dentist – supervision and professional guidance. One of the downfalls of using a product without the help of a dental hygienist is that you leave room for error, and you may not be getting the best results from your whitening products. Another potential issue is that some of the dental pain that is a side-effect of whitening can go unsupervised.
Using a Tray with Whitening Gel
Arguably, at-home kits with trays that you place on your teeth are one of the better over-the-counter products you could use. However, the trays still are not custom fit for your teeth. A dentist will be able to develop a custom tray that ensures the stronger whitening gel is evenly applied to your teeth, so you don’t end up with different shades of white at the end.
Getting custom trays are also recommended for people who are still in need of teeth straightening, or have dental work like crowns or caps that need professional supervision.
Beware Products that Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
The problem with retail whitening products is that if you’re not satisfied with the results, there’s really no one that you can hold accountable. The marketing on the packages can be pretty vague, making claims like “10 to 30% whiter teeth!” What does that even mean?
Sometimes, adding a feature like “whitening” gives a toothpaste brand the opportunity to charge more for the product, while only being nominally better than its original product. Even if used on a daily basis, many customers report seeing a lack of results in the whitening of their teeth.
If professional whitening isn’t an option, some dentists suggest that at-home kits with trays and whitening gel, like Crest Whitestrips, might be top-of-the-line in regards to retail products.
Professional Teeth Whitening is the Way to Go
At the end of the day, your doctor knows best. Getting treatment with your dentist not only allows you to get the best product available for whitening, but also offers you some comfort in the process. Your dentist will ensure you get the best results possible, while also mitigating some of the negative side effects of whitening.