Should You Use DIY Teeth Whitening Kits or Visit the Dentist?

Posted on: 14 September 2020

Teeth whitening has plenty of enthusiasts in Australia, partially thanks to the availability of DIY kits. Online retailers promise sparkling smiles with their array of teeth whiteners, like strips, charcoal products, toothpastes, gels, and LED lights.

A study by the Australian Dental Association found that about 50% of people who whiten their teeth rely on over-the-counter kits. These statistics are concerning because some of these products have abrasive chemicals that expose the teeth to damage. If you want to brighten your teeth, here are a few reasons why you should do it at the dentist.

1. Stronger Formula

The effects of DIY whitening kits pale when compared to the results of professional teeth whitening. Dentists can use stronger bleaching gels with as much as 40% hydrogen peroxide for dramatic results. In comparison, most over-the-counter kits have under 10% hydrogen peroxide. You can seek professional services if your teeth have both surface and intrinsic staining and you want quick results.

2. Better Results

Teeth whiteners have varying concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, which is the active element that bleaches the enamel for a brighter result. Over-the-counter kits have the lowest concentration of peroxide, which means that you will notice little change with your teeth's colour.

Whitening agents used by dentists are more potent, and you will see results after the first visit. Your dentist may use a laser to speed up the action of the bleaching agent. Dentist visits are particularly advisable if you have discoloured teeth and you want to remove the stains in the shortest time possible.  

3. Safety

Dental practitioners typically caution people away from using DIY teeth whitening kits because of the safety risks involved. Your dentist will first screen your teeth and gums for any oral health problems since bleaching gels can aggravate issues like sensitivity. They will customise the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching formula to protect your teeth during whitening and then mould a dental dam to spare your gums and mouth from the action of the bleaching gel.

4. Long-Lasting Effects

Your dentist will customise a whitening kit for you after a successful session at the clinic. They will demonstrate how to use the whitening gel at home to help you brighten your smile safely. A professional will also advise you on how to keep up with an oral hygiene regimen and which food and beverages to avoid during the teeth whitening process.

To learn more, contact a dentist.