The answer is yes and no – yes because teeth whitening under a dentist’s supervision is safe, but over-the-counter whiteners have a potential for misuse that can harm your teeth.
Over the years, research on the effects of teeth whitening shows that low concentrations of peroxide are safe to use as directed by your dentist. The most common bleaching concentrations are 10 percent carbamide peroxide for at-home use and 35 percent hydrogen peroxide used by your dentist.
The difference between the two is that carbamide peroxide can remain active for up to 10 hours with a low concentration that doesn’t damage tooth enamel. Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, only stays active for an hour, and because it is more acidic, treatment must be supervised by your dentist.
That said, sensitivity is common when you whiten. If you opt for an in-office treatment, your dentist will protect your gums by covering them with a thick gel. Professional take-home kits are preferable to store-bought versions because they include a whitening tray that’s made using impressions of your teeth. Unlike generic one-size-fits-all trays, customized trays do a much better job of keeping the gel on your teeth and away from your gums.
Dr. Jennifer Finney is an experienced dentist who offers customized take-home whitening kits that you use over a two-week period because she feels they provide the brightest, most consistent and long-lasting results. She will supervise your whitening to help you achieve the whitest smile with the least amount of sensitivity and is always available to answer your questions.
Please call us today to arrange an appointment to learn how we can help you whiten safely and with the best results.