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Teeth Whitening Kits: Do They Really Work?

When you’re self-conscious about your discolored smile, it shows up in many aspects of your daily life. You’ve realized this, and you’re interested in doing something to change the problem, but you are a little skeptical about teeth whitening kits. 

It’s understandable; not all teeth whitening kits are the same. Since the activating agent in whiteners is bleach, you should be cautious about the product you put in your mouth.

If you’re looking for ways to make your smile pearly white, teeth whitening products are everywhere. But before you grab an over-the-counter whitening kit, talk to your dentist about the benefits and dangers of using them and arm yourself with the basics of how they work.

What You Need to Know About Teeth Whiteners

Putting a potentially harmful chemical in your body, such as hydrogen peroxide, requires research first. Many over-the-counter products advertise themselves as the best teeth whitening kit around but don’t mention the high levels of bleach they contain.

Even the American Dental Association advises you to be cautious about choosing a teeth whitening kit, although they are approved for use. To select the package that is right for you, it’s a good idea to understand how they work.

The process behind a typical teeth bleaching kit works like this: You get an applicator, usually a sticky strip or a tray that contains the gel. The sticky strip is applied to your teeth directly, where you keep it adhered to for a certain time. With a tray, the gel is poured in the opening and then placed on your teeth.

teeth whitening tray

Both of these methods work to get the tooth whitening agent onto your enamel. It then processes over time to lighten your teeth. 

The best teeth whitening products take into account ADA recommendations of safety measures. Pay attention to the seal on the box to see if it is ADA accepted!

Any teeth whitening products work by expanding the pores in the dentin of your teeth. While this area is open wider, the whitening agent enters the dentin and soaks into it, slowly lightening the color.

An agent that is too strong or that is incorrectly used could cause adverse reactions, such as increased sensitivity or irritation of the gums. The protein in the layer of dentin could also be harmed, and the texture of your teeth may change.

Because of the possible adverse reactions from whitening products, it’s best to do your research on teeth whitening kit reviews or stick to a professional treatment.

The Professional Way: How Dentists Do Better Than a Whitening Teeth Kit

Teeth whitening procedures have become a popular treatment in many dentists’ offices. People who are concerned about their overall smile, teeth, and dental health don’t want to chance using an OTC teeth whitener.

Professional dental office whitening treatments are safe and you’ll probably notice a change immediately after your treatment is over. The big difference between a home whitening kit and an in-office therapy is the use of a teeth whitening light.

Dentists have access to a professional-grade light that enhances the effectiveness of the gel treatment. Your dentist will use a tray to apply the gel to your teeth and then activate the light. 

When the teeth whitening light is used, the gel absorbs into your dentin faster. The increased absorption rate lets you get on with your day faster, enjoying your new, whiter smile! 

More importantly, when your teeth aren’t exposed to harsh chemicals like bleach and hydrogen peroxide for long periods, they’re less likely to be damaged. 

This combination of the best tooth whitener product, professional-grade, and ADA recommended, along with the teeth whitening light, is the top of the line treatment. A dental office whitening procedure is the smartest option if you’re looking into a brighter smile!

Follow Your Dentist’s Aftercare Instructions

Your teeth didn’t become stained and discolored overnight. It took years of unhealthy eating habits or genetic conditions to change them from the shiny baby whites to the unhappy smile you had.

The teeth whiteners may have almost magically given you your dazzling smile back, but you have to keep it up. That means taking care to follow the instructions your dentist will provide you with about taking care of your teeth after the treatment.

Whether you use a teeth whitening kit or schedule for in-office care, you’ll need to continue brushing your teeth every morning and night at a minimum. Use mouthwash and floss to help get those hard to reach places and prevent plaque buildup and staining.

During the first two days after a whitening, be careful about what you eat, too. Food and liquid with dark or bright colors can mess up your treatment and cause your teeth to lose their newly white pigment.

You want your new smile to last, and the best way for that to happen is to take care of your teeth!

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