Looking to brighten your smile this summer? Stained or discolored teeth can affect your confidence both at work and in social settings. You may shy away from smiling at the camera or avoid talking to friends and coworkers directly if you feel embarrassed about the appearance of your teeth.
For decades, dental clinics continue to offer professional teeth whitening services to help patients achieve pearly white teeth they love showing off. And with new advances in technology, your results can last even longer, making tooth whitening a popular cosmetic procedure. But what about using teeth whitening kits from a retail store? Are these Over-The-Counter (OTC) products just as effective as the teeth whitening services at your dental office, and more importantly, are they safe for your teeth?
Is Teeth Whitening at Home Safe
OTC teeth whitening kits are affordable and easy to access, which is why most patients gravitate to these options. On average getting a professional tooth whitening from your dental care team can range from $100-$600. The price will depend on whether your dentist provides you with a tooth whitening kit for home use or if you are receiving an in-office whitening treatment.
In comparison, teeth whitening stripes you might purchase at a retailer can average anywhere from $30 to $75, depending on the brand, its supply count, and whether it includes certain features that improve the application and effectiveness of its whitening strips.
But are store-bought teeth whitening strips safe to use?
Crest, an American brand-name manufacturer and distributor of oral care products, has built a strong reputation in the tooth whitening industry and continues to expand its line of products to include advanced features. You may have seen these products in stores or even used their whitening strips in the past. In fact some of Crest’s whitening strips, including the Glamorous White Whitestrips®, have received an ADA seal of acceptance, based on the evidence that the products are “safe and effective in whitening natural teeth when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”
However, brands like Crest also confirm that there are certain factors that customers should consider before choosing OTC whitening strips vs. professional whitening services.
- Allergies: To help whiten teeth, brand name strips like Crest contain a gel-like substance that includes peroxide. Other products may contain bleach, as well. If you experience allergies or sensitivity to certain chemicals, OTC strips may cause a reaction or sensitivity.
- Medications: Certain prescriptions can also interact with the chemicals used within your at-home whitening kit.
- Dental History & Health: Whether you experience gum and tooth sensitivity or perhaps you wear braces, dental implants, or recently had tooth filling or restoration treatment, OTC teeth whitening strips may cause discomfort, whiten teeth unevenly, or cause tooth damage. If you have worn enamel, for example, you’ll want to avoid certain whitening strips as this can lead to other oral health issues.
Does Teeth Whitening Damage Your Teeth
The answer depends on your dental health and the product you choose. Not every home kit is created with the same quality standards, especially if you purchase your products online from unknown vendors. The best way to ensure you can achieve a healthy, bright smile and still protect your teeth is to consult with your dentist on which tooth whitening kit is best for your individual situation.
At Dakota Dental, we offer professional tooth whitening services and can also guide you to the right OTC tooth whitening products that ensure your teeth’s safety and won’t create any damage to your enamel or cause any oral health issues. If you’d like to schedule a consultation to learn more about our teeth whitening services, or if you have questions about OTC whitening strips, contact us today!
Before you decide on the right treatment, it’s essential to get the facts and information from your dental team first, so you choose the best option for your dental health and wellness! Get in touch with us today and start smiling brighter!