Professional Teeth Whitening Services vs. Over-the-Counter Products

Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2019

Is one teeth whitening method better than the other?

As time goes by, you may notice that your smile just isn’t what it used to be. All of that coffee, tea, and possibly tobacco has caused a discoloration of your teeth. Is it too late to fix it? The answer is no. Most people can have their teeth whitened, but how do you know which teeth whitening method is best? We would like to leave it up to you as to how you want to go about this process, so we have come up with a pros and cons list of over-the-counter teeth whitening products versus getting your teeth professionally whitened.

Woman Smiling White Teeth

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Whitening toothpaste has been around for about 4,000 years, dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Having white teeth during that time was a sign of wealth and beauty. Nowadays, you don’t have to be wealthy in order to get your teeth whitened. With over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products like activated charcoal toothpaste, whitening toothpaste or strips, you can get a brighter smile for as little as $6.

Pros of over-the-counter whitening products

  • Affordable - As stated above, you can get whitening toothpaste for as little as $6 for a small tube. Whitening strips become a little more expensive at a rate between $20 and $40 but are still very reasonably priced in comparison to a professional whitening session.
  • Easily accessed - With OTC whitening products, you don’t face the hassle of visiting the dentist, trying to work your appointments around your schedule. If you are using a whitening toothpaste, you really don’t have to change anything in your daily routine. Just simply replace your regular toothpaste with the whitening toothpaste.
  • Show results - After using whitening products for the recommended time, there should be a noticeable difference in the coloration of your teeth. However, that white color that you have been looking for may not last, bringing us to the cons of OTC whitening products

Cons of over-the-counter whitening products

  • Deeper enamel stains - Since OTC whitening products do not contain the same bleaching agents as professional teeth whitening products, they are not able to eradicate the deeper enamel stains that your teeth may have. These deeper stains can be caused by tobacco or just simply aging of the teeth and may show no matter how many times you use these whitening products.
  • Slower results - Using OTC whitening products, it can take up to four, if not more, weeks of continuous use before seeing results. On top of that, the results aren’t long-lasting in the end.
  • Possible damage - Because teeth whitening products contain active ingredients that are abrasive, they can wear down tooth enamel and even irreversibly damage it. This is especially true with people who are prone to over brushing.

Professional Teeth Whitening Services

Getting your teeth professionally whitened can be scary for some, especially if they already have a fear of visiting the dentist. Lucky for those people, with the laser teeth whitening treatment, Zoom, offered at Kneib Dentistry in Erie, PA, patients can relax by watching TV or listening to music while their teeth are being whitened. With Zoom, the whitening gel is applied to the teeth and then activated by a gentle LED light. This new advanced system allows Dr. Kneib and other dentists to adjust intensity settings and desensitizers to accommodate each individual’s needs.

Man Laughing Smiling White Teeth

Pros of professional teeth whitening

  • Safety - First and foremost, safety is always a top priority. Having your teeth whitened professionally reduces the risks and side effects of teeth whitening procedures.
  • Quick results - After just a one-hour session with your dentist, you will notice an up-to-several-shades whiter smile immediately.
  • Unique needs - Every person’s teeth are different. OTC whitening products cannot cater to every individual’s unique needs, therefore, you are getting the most generalized treatment with OTC products. Dentists cater to individual’s needs and plan their teeth whitening sessions accordingly.

Cons of professional teeth whitening

  • Expensive - While OTC whitening products are decently priced, getting your teeth professionally whitened can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars. Even if you may have dental insurance, they do not usually cover the costs for cosmetic dentistry, unless it is deemed medically necessary. However, we do have a discount happening right now. Call today to take advantage of the $250 promotion for Zoom Whitening!
  • Potential sensitivity- The chemicals and bleach used to whiten your teeth professionally contain different and ultimately stronger activated ingredients that your teeth may not be used to. These ingredients can cause sensitivity in your teeth and gums, and some patients have developed canker sores after getting their teeth whitened

No matter the route you take to improve your smile, be sure to talk with your dentist about your options to see which one would work best for your teeth. In either case, get ready to show off your new smile and create memorable first impressions just by flashing your newly-shined teeth.

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