Stroll through any drug store, and you’ll find numerous over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products. How do these differ from what’s used at the dentist’s office—and which is better? Isn’t it just easier to whiten your teeth at home?
The Main Difference Between OTC and Professional Teeth Whitening
There are many types of OTC teeth whitening products available, including strips, gels, toothpaste, and bleach kits. While some of these products are pretty good, they all have a much lower concentration of the whitening agent than what’s used at the dentist’s office. You’ll also be applying it to your teeth over a shorter period of time. Essentially, you’ll see less of a change in the appearance of your smile, and it will take much longer.
At Enamel Dentistry, we use a higher-concentrated bleaching gel, which allows us to whiten your teeth by 5-10 shades in a single office visit. It’s much more effective than OTC whiteners! OTC bleaching gels can cause sensitivity and discomfort; we use custom trays and monitor you the entire time to make sure you have a comfortable experience throughout the entire process.
In addition, some OTC whitening products contain charcoal or other substances that can damage your enamel!
What About Convenience?
OTC whiteners are certainly convenient—you just need to grab one off the shelf and use it at home. Believe it or not, professional teeth cleaning can be just as convenient! At Enamel Dentistry, you don’t have to sit in the dentist’s chair to get a whiter, brighter smile. Although that’s certainly an option, we also offer custom take-home whitening kits. While still more effective than OTC products, they’re designed to give you gentler, more gradual treatment than what you’d get with our in-office whitening. This is perfect for patients who’d like a more natural whitening process or don’t have the time for in-office appointments.