Hello and welcome back! Dr. Seth Monson here on a few key questions about whitening products, and in particular, take-home whitening products.
On 6/29, Allure had a great article regarding the best whitening products on shelves near you, let’s dive in a little deeper and learn how these products work and if they work.
Many of us know peroxide does the whitening whether it is take home or in office. The main difference is in the strength of peroxide and whether or not the patient can protect the surrounding structures such as the gums, lips, and cheeks. Dr. Messina says in this Allure article, “If we’re doing something where we can mask off the gum tissue…where the gum tissues are protected, we can use a stronger whitening agent…because it’s only touching the teeth,” she goes on to say “Something you’re using over-the-counter has the potential to touch the gum tissues or be swallowed. So, we have to use a much lower strength of the active ingredient because…it might burn [the patient’s] gum tissues.” Professionals, on the other hand, “can take all the necessary precautions to make sure the gum tissue is safe and protected and the whitening agent is only getting on the tooth enamel that we want whiter.”
So what this means is that over the counter products work great, but it just might take longer and more frequent dosages of whitening agent.
So if you want that nice white smile using the take home kits, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are like me and want it done yesterday, than call your local dentist for a more intense in office treatment followed by lower levels of peroxide treatment at home.
Hydrated silica was mentioned as one of the red flags in whitening products-in the Allure article Dr. Hadaegh says that the substance is “made from a crystallized compound found in quartz and sand [and] can damage tooth enamel and gum tissue.” Also, keep an eye out for these products to get the ADA seal of approval (like Crest White Strips).
Before you begin down this path on your own, make sure and get a teeth cleaning at a dentist office because your whitening will go farther with clean teeth. Also, sometimes our teeth cannot be whitened-please consult with a dentist first. Thanks and give us a call if you would like to hear about our whitening specials currently!!!
Dr. Seth Monson
Main Street Dental