Where it concerns teeth whitening, there isn’t exactly much “harm” to speak of in a bit of DIY initiative – provided the customer accepts certain realities of “getting what one pays for”.
Oasis Dental and other reputable family and cosmetic dental practices worldwide would be hard-pressed to label various and sundry whitening products by Crest or Colgate as snake-oil lies. Truth be told, they do achieve measurable results and many whitening toothpastes in particular employ active ingredients that effectively repair and fortify enamel while preventing cavities.
When we see advertising such as this, however, we fear for the disappointment that may await when the exaggeration has faded…
With that in mind, we would like to clarify some muddied waters surrounding the more realistic expectations you should attach to any over-the-counter DIY whitening product. We just have this nagging feeling that “professional results” have been a bit ill-defined.
To once more be clear, home-whitening kits can certainly brighten your smile in the comfort of your own home. They can’t hone in on more targeted coloring needs, such as brightening a single darker tooth’s shade to match those surrounding it. Commercially available kits contain significantly weakened whitening agents paired with single-sized mouth guards that can cause gum damage and painful blisters from leaking whitening gel if the applicators don’t fit just “so”.
Clinical treatments tailor most key elements in the process to the patient’s desired results, comfort, and unique variations in tooth coloration. Almost any dental clinic will custom-fit a mouth guard to your unique profile and emphasize any particularly discolored teeth for more even coloration. Also, though continued results from even a clinical treatment can require multiple visits over the course of a year for touch-ups, the results are still-longer lasting will less repetition that home-whitening kits require for much less significant results.
Nope. This is categorically false.
Whitening toothpastes do contain highly abrasive agents that noticeably wipe out especially tough surface stains that food and beverages can leave behind. Though these ingredients can cause collateral damage and discomfort due to increased sensitivity and premature enamel and cosmetic-surface wear, Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening in particular contains a fluoride formulation for hardening and protecting enamel that many dentists recommend to patients after clinical whitening treatments.
That does not make it or any other toothpaste “the same as a whitening treatment,” even with dedicated use. Whitening toothpastes do not contain the same active ingredients at the same concentrations employed in professional whitening systems. They tend to instead utilize silica-like crystals and peroxide.
Whitening toothpastes certainly have their benefits, but don’t expect results that come close to matching an in-office treatment.
Again, the most remarkable teeth-whitening results are combined products of time and training.
Next to specially formulated toothpastes or gum with concentrations of active ingredients too weak to take seriously, whitening strips are the simplest delivery system for carbamide peroxide. Strips typically contain concentrations ranging from 3 to 10 per cent at $25 to $45 per box at many drug and grocery stores. While risking easily less gum damage than trays, they can still irritate gums while sliding around on teeth with ease and ultimately providing uneven results that take up to a month to show.
When they don’t work – which isn’t unusual – the dissolving effect of some systems can leave behind an unpleasant, sticky residue that tastes horrible.
Oasis Dental cares about the one smile you have to last you a lifetime. While some products have their merits, there is simply nothing that compares across the board to the personally tailored attention of a trained whitening technician.
After all, you get what you pay for.