When it comes to teeth whitening, it’s tempting to want to try it yourself and leave the dentist behind. Many of us like a challenge, don’t we? Whether it’s convenience, money, or plain determination, there’s a certain pride in doing something yourself…and with all the whitening products on the market today, why not?
Mass-market whiteners are a one-size-fits-all, so unless your teeth are perfectly aligned, the bleach won’t get into every stained nook and cranny. Even the flexible strips can’t reach all your gaps and crevices. You might not even know you had crevices until you see what was missed – and it’s too late. However, your dentist will create a customer fit whitening tray that molds perfectly to your teeth, ensuring you get a thorough and even result.
Convenience comes at a cost
Because over-the-counter whiteners are not as potent as the dentist’s recipe, the effects don’t last as long. And they also require multiple applications to achieve the same results you get from 60 minutes in the dentist’s chair. This requires you to buy the product more frequently. This can add up. So, you may think it’s more convenient to whiten your teeth on your own schedule, but: Your dentist can do a bleaching in about an hour and it lasts a lot longer than doing it yourself – up to one year.
Your gums on bleach
Bleach can irritate your gums. Even minor exposure can irritate your gums and that pain can last for days or even weeks. When you use off-the-shelf whiteners, you stop it from making contact your gums. But your dentist can protect your gums from the bleaching solution, leaving your gums comfortable and happy.
The bleaching pain
Your gums aren’t the only part of your mouth sensitive to bleach; your teeth are as well. It’s not uncommon for people to experience painful teeth sensitivity after bleaching. However, your dentist can add a desensitizing solution to the mix to prevent that provocation. You don’t have that option when doing it yourself.
A blue hue
Over-bleaching can happen and it can result in discoloration…and this can’t be as easily corrected as recoloring your hair. You can also do permanent damage to the enamel, causing it to prematurely erode. But your dentist will time your session, and knows just how long it should be.