Many people have tried over the counter teeth bleaching systems only to be left disappointed. The results were barely noticeable. Jeffrey Dalin, DDS says, “over-the-counter teeth whitening products have their limitations. Most of my patients tell me that they had little or no effect on their teeth.” So many patients give up on ever getting the bright smile they want. Don’t make that mistake. There are professional teeth whitening services in Sonoma that can and will make a difference in your smile.
As Adrian Fenderson, DDS told Everyday Health, “Nothing that you can buy in the supermarket is going to provide you with the same results as the treatments or products you will find at your dentist’s office. Simply put, the solution that your dentist can permissibly use is far more concentrated than what you will find in a box on store shelves, and therefore will yield more beneficial results.” For a free consultation about professional teeth whitening, please call us at 209-532-2915, or read on to learn more.
The Differences Between Over the Counter Products and Professional Teeth Whitening Services
The main difference lies in a single word – professional – and it is a big difference, indeed. The most obvious difference between over the counter products and what the pros use is the whitening agent itself. According to WebMD over the counter teeth bleaching products have peroxide concentrations between 3% and 20%. Professional whitening agents have peroxide concentrations between 15% (usually for people with sensitive teeth or gums) and 43%. This means that the bleaching solutions dentists can use can be up to 1200% stronger than what you can buy in the store. That leads to a much brighter and whiter smile a whole lot faster than you could ever do at home.
The reason that professionals can use higher concentrations is that they can properly prepare for and monitor your treatment. Higher concentrations are carefully regulated by the FDA and reserved for use by medical professionals. They can make sure that the bleaching agent goes only where it is supposed to go, not on one’s gums or dental work. The American Dental Association strongly advises people with gum disease, caps, crowns, bridges, or other significant dental work to consult with their dentist before doing any teeth whitening regiment. In most cases, whitening is not an option for these patients, and veneers may be a better alternative.
In some cases, custom solutions that exclude dental work must be devised by your dentist. This is not something people should even try with a do-it-yourself home bleaching kit. WebMD also notes that in addition to teeth sensitivity and pain, “when used incorrectly, home kits can also lead to burned — even temporarily bleached – gums.” With higher concentrations of the bleaching agent, tooth and gum sensitivity can be a frequent problem, unless carefully monitored by a trained professional. Everyday Health says, “That’s why it’s best applied by a professional teeth whitener, rather than by yourself.”
Finally, dentists will do a better job of preparing your mouth for any treatment. This can take many forms. Whether this means custom fitting/casting a tray to your teeth, or providing a thorough cleaning before whitening, the extra time your dentist spends before the bleaching agent is applied can result in big differences to your smile.
Get Better Results With Dr. Jeff Berger
WebMD notes that teeth whitening done by your dentist can make teeth brighter faster. Many treatments involve just one or two visits (typically about an hour or so) to achieve a brighter, whiter smile. Meanwhile, many over the counter treatments advise twice-daily applications with moderate results not visible for a week or two. If you want results quickly, or don’t want to spend the next couple weeks fidgeting with whiteners, professional treatment is for you.
Whiter and Brighter
WebMD again notes that professional whitening can get teeth from three to eight shades whiter. It is almost unheard of to get similar results from at-home whitening kits, much less in a single treatment or two. Due to the higher concentration of peroxide available to your dentist, they are going to be able to give you the brightest and whitest smile.
Many over the counter teeth bleaching kits only whiten a handful of teeth in the front of one’s mouth. That leaves odd discoloration for folks with big smiles. What’s worse, people with crooked or uneven teeth often find that over the counter treatments do not whiten teeth evenly. Instead, there may be dark or shadowy portions of uneven teeth, which look worse than before the treatment. A quality, professional teeth whitening service can address these concerns. We all know someone who tried an at-home hair dye that went terribly wrong. Uneven teeth bleaching can be just as bad. If you have crooked or uneven teeth, please consult Dr. Berger before trying anything at home.
As we have already mentioned, there are health concerns for people who try over the counter teeth bleaching, especially if they have any of the following conditions:
- gum disease
- tooth decay
- sensitive teeth
- any other dental/oral condition that affects the sensitivity of their mouth
If you have any of these conditions, both Dr. Berger and the ADA strongly encourage you to consult with a dentist before engaging in a tooth whitening regiment.
How to Maintain Your Brilliant Smile
So, let’s say you have visited Dr. Jeff Berger, and finally have the radiant smile you have always wanted. What next? Well, unfortunately, even professional teeth whitening does not last forever. To maintain your bright, white smile longer, it is important to practice great oral hygiene. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing at least daily. In addition, certain foods, and especially drinks tend to stain or darken teeth. For the brightest smile, keep your exposure to the following at a minimum:
- Red wine
- Sports drinks
- Carbonated beverages (both dark and light-colored sodas)
- Berries and other strongly colored foods
- Products with strong artificial coloring
- Sauces (soy, tomato, curries)
- Most of all, avoid smoking
As Elisa Mello, DDS and cosmetic dentist told Everyday Health, “many over-the-counter whitening products are not as effective because their chemistry is either very weak and cannot bleach the teeth for sufficient amounts of time or they are very strong and dangerous to use and ingest. Professional teeth whiteners are safe, effective, and done under the supervision of a dental professional. In most cases, it is worth the extra cost to visit the dentist to get long-lasting, safe results.” Dr. Berger would love to give you those great, safe results.
We would welcome the chance to talk with you about your specific needs. If you have sensitive teeth or gum, or dental work, and are looking for professional teeth whitening services in Sonoma, please call us at 209-532-2915, or complete the form. We look forward to visiting with you.