April 29, 2022

What immediately comes to mind when some people think about teeth whitening in Hialeah is the dizzying array of bleaching products available at the nearest grocery store. Thanks to the commercials of models donning strikingly white and bright smiles, the cosmetic tooth bleaching industry is getting bigger fast.  

However, what do you know about those do-it-yourself whitening kits that promise to make your pearly whites white? We’ve outlined the answers to people's most common questions about DIY whitening kits.

individual set for Teeth Whitening in Hialeah

Answers to the Top Questions Asked About Store-Bought Teeth Whitening Kits  

What Are the Most Popular Over-the-Counter Whitening Kits?

  • Whitening Strips  

Whitening strips are small pieces of polyethylene or flexible plastic coated with a whitening formula that has hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The plastic strips are applied to the front parts of the teeth before the plastic is molded to fit their shape.

Although whitening strips are affordable and accessible, they won’t whiten the crevices between your teeth. If you use them excessively, their whitening formula can cause tooth sensitivity and white spots on the gums.  

  • Whitening Trays

Whitening trays are plastic retainers that hold the bleaching gel against your teeth. Although the whitening trays from the dentist fit your mouth perfectly, the ones you buy from the store don’t. Using ill-fitting whitening trays can cause the bleaching gel to spread to your gums and the other parts of your mouth.  

  • Whitening Pens

A whitening pen or brush works by applying a layer of bleaching gel to the teeth. Once the gel solidifies, it creates a film over the teeth.  

Unfortunately, these products only have a small percentage of the whitening agent called hydrogen peroxide. For this reason, don’t expect it to give you dramatic results.  

  • UV Light Whitening Kits

A UV light whitening procedure involves the direct placement of ultraviolet light frequency over the peroxide-based whitening gel previously applied to the teeth. The UV light accelerates the activation of bleach whitening to ensure a quicker whitening process.  

UV light whitening is safe and effective under the supervision of a qualified cosmetic dentist. On the other hand, going the DIY route with UV light whitening can cause toothaches, soft tissue burns, gum shrinkage, and nerve damage.

female patient manually doing Teeth Whitening in Hialeah

Are Store-Bought Whitening Treatments Effective?

If you end up with teeth whitening solutions that aren’t too strong, chances are they’re too weak. While they may whiten your teeth, they won’t deliver your desired level of whiteness. Since you get what you pay for, don’t expect the whitening to be as bright or as lasting as you would’ve hoped for if you skimp on store-bought whitening treatments from the convenience store.

Those bleaching gels and strips will only whiten the front surfaces of your teeth. Since they won’t cover the nooks and crannies of your smile, your teeth can be unevenly whitened. As a result, those small crevices will remain discolored, and you’ll get those unwanted bleaching patches or spots on your teeth.

Additionally, gels, strips, and paint-on bleach only work best when they stick to completely dry teeth. Without the proper dental tools to achieve a dry mouth, you'll get results that are hardly different from your starting color.

Alternatively, visiting the dentist for teeth whitening allows you to take advantage of a curated bleaching solution that suits your smile. Dental professionals use the latest technology and the best treatment to effectively whiten teeth without causing damage. The result is an overall striking effect that’s numeorus shades brighter than your starting shade.  

What Are Their Potential Side Effects?

  • Enamel Erosion

The extraordinarily hard substance that forms a shell around the visible crown of each tooth is called the enamel. It’s specifically designed to shield and protect the vulnerable area inside the tooth called the dental pulp. Without the enamel, your teeth will sustain damage due to tooth decay and cavities.  

Misusing or abusing a DIY whitening product can erode your tooth enamel and cause other oral health issues. For example, using a whitening kit with activated charcoal for brushing will scrape off the enamel and compromise the integrity of your teeth. Likewise, using a strong bleaching solution and leaving it on for too long will cause significant damage to your enamel.

  • Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common side effects of over-the-counter whitening gels, strips, and paint-on bleach. Without a professional’s input, overuse or abuse of the product is exceptionally high. Since most of these items aren’t professional-grade, many contain a high amount of peroxide or bleaching agents.

It’s important to note that tooth whitening kits leave you with sensitive teeth because the whitening process exposes your teeth’s dentin layer. If you have overly sensitive teeth, leaving the product on too long or misapplying it can lead to severe tooth sensitivity that causes pain and discomfort.

  • Gum Irritation

Since DIY dental whitening kits use the one-size-fits-all approach, they’re not customized to fit your unique dental anatomy. Using whitening strips or mouth trays that weren’t specifically made for your mouth will cause the powerful whitening solution to get on your gums for as long as 30 minutes at a time.  

As a result, your gums are at risk of developing mild to severe gum irritation. Continued exposure to the bleaching agent can even cause your gums to turn white or lead to bleeding and severe pain.  

  • Allergic Reaction

The risk of allergic reaction is always present with DIY teeth whitening. Patients who are sensitive to bleaching agents may experience extreme discomfort for days due to swollen lips or burning gums. However, under the supervision of a dental professional who knows about your allergies and medical history, you can safely proceed with any teeth whitening treatment.

Are All Store-Bought Whitening Kits Bad?

Although not all over-the-counter teeth whitening kits are bad, not all of them are created equal either. For instance, many of these store-bought bleaching products have potent ingredients or harsh abrasives that can cause considerable damage to your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to future stains and decay.  

satisfied patient after getting professional Teeth Whitening in Hialeah

Considering Professional Teeth Whitening in Hialeah?

If you’re looking to upgrade your smile and remove the stains from your teeth, professional teeth whitening is available to you. The team of dedicated dental professionals at Best Dentistry Miami is here to help you whiten and brighten your smile without putting your oral health at risk. Call now to make an appointment.

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