According to market analysts, the professional teeth whitening industry is estimated to be worth $3.2 billion globally. And the reason for the price tag is clear: a great smile is priceless.
But in a world of coffee, wine, and tobacco, how can you be sure your smile is looking its best? The options for over-the-counter whitening products are as endless as the medical aisle they’re sold in. However, if you want a superior clean, professional teeth whitening may be the way to go.
What makes dental whitening better than OTC strips and solutions though?
Read on to learn more about the easy-to-do whitening method that will have you grinning ear to ear.
Types of Whitening
Before we get into the pros and cons of whitening at your dentists’ office, it’s worth establishing the types of professional whitenings available.
In most cases, the term professional teeth whitening is used to describe an hour-long teeth cleaning appointment, which removes stains and imperfections immediately.
But, it can also be used for whitening trays, which are created specifically for you at the dentist’s office. These trays, which are fitted to your mouth, are used over the course of a week to lift stains from teeth and whiten your smile — on your own time and in the comfort of your own home!
(In case it wasn’t clear already, OTC products can’t compare to these stellar services. But let’s get into the specific benefits of dentist intervention.)
Easy to Use
I think we can all agree that OTC whitening strips are a pain to use. They get stuck to your fingers and never hang onto your teeth no matter how you position them. OTC solutions are just as bad and can leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth (literally).
By scheduling a professional whitening, you can skip the frustration.
Requesting an appointment is as easy as filling out a form and hitting submit. In as little as an hour, you can walk away with teeth up to three shades brighter.
Or, as mentioned above, easy-to-use whitening trays provided by your dentist can be applied on your own schedule if you’re in a rush.
Ease of Mind
It’s no secret that OTC whitening products have overtaken the market in recent years. But how many of them can you really trust?
Certain types of products that claim to be whitening agents do not have full FDA approval. And even those that do have a much lower concentration of the bleaching agent used to effectively whiten teeth, hydrogen peroxide.
For example, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in OTC products usually isn’t higher than 10%. Professional teeth whitening is much more effective, with levels around 40%.
That means more bang for your buck and shine for your teeth in a single appointment.
Another challenge of OTC products is their application.
In addition to being hard to handle, many OTC whitening strips only whiten the front six teeth. This can leave your molars looking dull and yellow compared to the rest of your mouth.
And if you have rotated or crooked teeth? You might as well skip your trip to the drug store altogether.
Working with your dentist, professional whitening can accommodate those hard-to-reach stains and offer full smile brightness not achievable with whitening strips.
Professional Teeth Whitening Easy for Your Comfort
No one wants a sunburn while they’re trying to tan. And, likewise, no one wants burning gums while they’re trying to get ready for a date.
The American Dental Association notes that common effects of OTC teeth whitening are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Decay or gum recession in the mouth can also cause increased pain when exposed to OTC whitening agents.
Dentists can evaluate your teeth for sensitivity and help you determine the next steps through whitening appointments and general checkups.
For example, whitening trays can be fitted exactly to your mouth so that no solution escapes the mold and touches your gums.
That way, you’ll be date-ready with a smile instead of a grimace.
Professional Teeth Whitening Easy on the Wallet
At this point, you may be wondering about the cost of professional teeth whitening while you think about how good you’re going to look after you make an appointment.
Although dental whitening costs more than OTC products, averaging anywhere from $450 to $1,000, don’t let the price tag scare you off. The superior results offered by a professional whitening means that you won’t have to throw away money on pricy but useless OTC products.
Professional Teeth Whitening Easy on Your Schedule
So how long does professional teeth whitening last then? On average, a single appointment can offer lasting whiteness for up to three years. That’s enough time to change careers, move, get married, and have a child.
In other words, it’s a long time.
Unlike at-home whitening, which requires constant touch-ups, professional teeth whitening requires no upkeep. This makes life easier for you and your busy schedule.
Professional Teeth Whitening Easy on Your Gum-Line
OTC products can sometimes damage your gums through overexposure to chemicals. Meanwhile, the long-lasting power of professional whitening provides you freedom from aches and pain.
With the support of dental staff, professional whitening sessions are closely monitored and controlled. Furthermore, the quickness of the procedure ensures that there is little risk of prolonged exposure. Offering you peace of mind in more ways than one.
Is Professional Teeth Whitening Worth It?
As you can see, professional teeth whitening works best. Going above and beyond OTC remedies, dentists can provide reliable, comfortable, and effective whiteness renewal to any client. So what’s stopping you from restoring your smile to a photo-worthy one?