Everybody likes the idea of having white teeth. That’s because a bright smile full of white teeth looks healthy and attractive. That’s why you can find all kinds of over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening systems in drugstores, grocery stores, and even convenience stores. They’re often cheaper than what you can get from a dentist. With all that, why not use those OTC teeth whitening systems? Because they often come with several problems.
Problems With OTC Teeth Whitening Systems
- The chemical that lifts the stains is diluted. The government regulates all medicine to make sure they are used and sold properly. In the past, you could only get teeth whitening from a dentist, who technically prescribes them to people. How can these OTC teeth whitening systems be sold without a prescription? By diluting the chemical that does the whitening. It’s weak enough that the FDA said there’s not enough to require a prescription. In other words, teeth whitening can be sold over the counter because it’s weak.
- You’ll have to use OTC systems repeatedly to get the same results as professional teeth whitening. Because the chemical responsible for lifting the stains from your teeth is diluted, your first time using an OTC teeth whitening system will likely not give you great results. It will work, just not as well as you might want. If you are hoping for a truly white smile, you would have to use these OTC systems repeatedly.
- You can get inconsistent results unless you follow their instructions correctly. When you get teeth whitening at our Tulsa, OK dental office, you’re working with a dentist who is experienced and trained in using these systems. When you buy an OTC teeth whitening system, you are suddenly the dentist. That means you will have to understand and correctly follow all of the instructions that come on the side of the box. Otherwise, you might wind up with some teeth being whiter than others.
- Repeated use of OTC systems can make your teeth sensitive to temperature. Again, you’ll probably end up using several OTC teeth whitening products in a row to get the results you want. The whitening gel or liquid needs time to lift the stains, so it starts to soak into your enamel. If you use too much or leave it on your teeth for too long, you run the risk of temperature sensitivity. Your teeth could actually hurt if you drink hot chocolate or eat ice cream.
- Some OTC systems like toothpaste use abrasives that can damage your teeth. Because the whitening agent used in OTC systems is weak, some companies make up for that by adding abrasives. Teeth whitening toothpaste often as these. The idea is to scrape the stains off of your teeth instead of lifting them away.
- You can irritate your gums if you don’t use the OTC system correctly. The chemical that lifts stains from your teeth is designed to work on hard enamel. If some of that gets on your gums, you will likely irritate or even damage your gums. Remember that, with these OTC systems, you have to decide how much to use and how often to use it.
Why Zoom Teeth Whitening Is Better
As you can see, these OTC teeth whitening systems have several significant disadvantages. That’s why we offer Zoom teeth whitening instead. Our dentists have found this professional teeth whitening system is more safe, quick, and effective than the ones you can buy without a prescription.
Zoom can be done either at our Tulsa, OK dental office or at your home.
- At our Tulsa, OK dental office, our dental team will carefully apply the Zoom teeth whitening gel to your teeth. A dental laser is then used to activate the stain-lifting agent in the gel. This process is often done a few times in a row, taking about one hour to complete. When the cosmetic dentistry treatment is complete, you will leave our office with a bright, white smile.
- With teeth whitening at home, you’ll receive a series of trays loaded with the Zoom teeth whitening gel. There’s no laser, so it will take a few weeks to get professional results. Unlike OTC systems, this take-home version does include professional-strength whitening.
Teeth whitening is important. If not done right, you could hurt your teeth or gums. Plus, you’re doing this to have a bright, white smile. Call us today at 918-925-9687 to learn more about how Zoom teeth whitening is the system you really need.