After your eyes, your smile is your most visible and memorable facial feature. A bright, white smile can help you feel self-confident and impart a positive self-image to others, too.
While you may be tempted to brighten your smile with do-it-yourself (DIY) kits that are sold at pharmacies and grocery stores, you risk damaging your teeth and gums as well as wasting a lot of time. The trays in DIY kits aren’t customized to fit your gums, and the solutions usually aren’t strong enough to make a dramatic difference. Furthermore, these kits can take weeks to work.
At Duval Orthodontics in Albany and Warner Robins, Georgia, our expert dentist J.A. Duval, DDS, whitens patients’ teeth with medical-grade whitening formulas that can work quickly and effectively. In this blog, Dr. Duval explains more about why professional teeth whitening trumps DIY products.
Problems with DIY options
A host of complications can arise if you use DIY kits. Here are a few of them:
Gums can get irritated
DIY kits come with trays that aren’t customized for your mouth. The trays can be too large or too small, which can allow the whitening formula to make contact with your gums. This can cause irritation and harm.
Dental problems can worsen
Before you whiten your teeth, you need a dentist’s OK so that your teeth won’t be damaged by the process. If you have dental problems, DIY products could make them worse. The teeth whitening chemicals can seep into cracks and abscesses, which could cause pain and increase the risk for infection.
Enamel can suffer
A major problem with DIY kits is that they don’t include a dentist — or a dentist’s knowledge — in the box. If you overuse a DIY system or fail to use it correctly, it could damage the protective layer of enamel on your teeth. Eroding your teeth’s enamel could lead to sensitivity, pain, and other complications. Once your enamel is gone, you can’t get it back.
Results can be disappointing
A major drawback of using DIY teeth whitening products is the results can be unimpressive. Some products may leave you with no noticeable teeth whitening, while others may result in uneven bleaching.
The benefits of professional whitening
Professional teeth whitening provides a host of benefits that can’t be bought at the local pharmacy. First, and foremost, we use state-of-the-art products that are stronger and work much more quickly than DIY kits.
Furthermore, we examine your mouth to identify any issues and provide the best path forward to whitening your teeth. We offer both in-office whitening treatments and take-home kits. Here’s a look at both of them:
With in-office whitening treatments, we can whiten your teeth up to eight shades brighter in just one visit. With this treatment, we first paint a protective coating over your gums and soft tissues to keep them from contacting the bleaching agent.
Then, we apply a strong bleaching solution to your teeth. Finally, we use a special light that helps the bleaching agent penetrate deep into your teeth to break up difficult stains. In-office treatments typically take about one hour.
With our at-home kits, we make customized trays that fit your mouth exactly. This can give your teeth even coverage and keep the bleaching agent away from your gums and soft tissues. You then fill the trays with the bleaching agent and apply them to your teeth. When it comes to the strength of the bleaching agent, it’s much stronger than what comes in DIY kits.
We also give you specific instructions about how often to use the trays and for how long. While at-home treatments take longer than in-office treatments, the advantage of this method is you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re ready for a dazzling smile, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Duval Orthodontics today.