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The Dangers of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

July 23, 2021
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Posted By: Springs Family Dental

When you’re on a tight budget, we know it can be tempting to pick up one of the numerous teeth bleaching kits you see on shelves while you’re doing your grocery shopping. And while it may seem harmless to test out these drugstore bleaching kits, many over-the-counter whitening products can actually damage your teeth or leave you with lasting sensitivity. 

When you want a whiter smile, the best route to take is always to trust a licensed, professional dentist to oversee and supervise your whitening process. 

At Springs Family Dental in Colorado Springs, we offer affordable professional teeth whitening kits to take home and use when convenient for you. We recommend this customized way of whitening your teeth if you want safer and more effective results. 

What’s the Problem With Store-Bought Teeth Whitening?

Not all drugstore teeth whitening kits are bad, but the problem is that they are not all created equal. Many over-the-counter bleaching products contain strong ingredients that can damage or hurt your teeth, such as whitening toothpaste that use harsh abrasives or charcoal. Such ingredients can actually wear down your enamel, permanently leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay and future stains.  

Additionally, when you use a teeth whitening strip or tray from the store, there is no way to mold these materials to fully cover your teeth or fit your smile correctly. The result is often ill-fitting whitening apparatus that causes the whitening gel to seep over the sides and onto your gumsーleading to sensitivity, irritation, and unwanted bleaching “patches” or spots on your teeth. 

Are Any Drugstore Whitening Products OK to Use?

Because you’ll never have a customized gel strength or a tray designed to fit your teeth when you use over-the-counter teeth bleaching, you should be prepared for sensitive or even mildly sore teeth after use. 

You should also be aware that most of these whitening kits simply don’t work and end up being a waste of money, especially when you purchase them several times a year to maintain your smile. 

The only over-the-counter teeth whitening product we recommend is Crest Whitestrips. However, we still caution that using these strips will not give you results as consistent or long-lasting as the results you would see with professional whitening treatments. 

If you have additional questions about store-bought vs. professional teeth whitening in Colorado Springs, please don't hesitate to reach out to our dental office!

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