Nearly every patient who walks through my Noblesville and Carmel dental office wants the same thing. They want a beautiful, bright, white smile.
Unfortunately, when it comes to teeth whitening, most people get caught up in trends. They want fast results and they want them for the cheapest price.
This idea of cheap teeth whitening has resulted in a lot of people coming up with whitening solutions. These whitening remedies are generally found at the corner supermarket.
These whitening trends are popular because of their supposed cheapness and effectiveness. But are they really more effective than bleaching systems from a cosmetic and family dentist like myself?
More importantly, are these cheap teeth whitening trends really that safe?
The Latest Cheap Teeth Whitening Trends: Helpful or Mediocre?
Two extremely popular whitening trends are whitening strips and activated charcoal. Are they helpful, harmful, or mediocre?
These strips have been around for awhile now. You can find them in just about any store. Some well-known brands, like Crest, have their own version of this product. And some not-so-well-known companies are selling theirs as well.
I have two problems with these strips:
- Whitening strips aren’t that effective: People who have intrinsic stain (stain inside the tooth) can’t successfully use these. Others who don’t find success with whitening strips are people who have really heavy stains. If the stain is more than a shade or two darker than a beautiful white, these strips won’t help.
- Whitening strips can damage the gum tissue: Because the strips aren’t custom-made to form to the teeth, some of the bleach inevitably ends up on the gums. The soft tissues of the mouth are very delicate and the bleach can easily burn them.
Another popular trend is brushing your teeth with activated charcoal. This is a black powder that is tasteless and odorless. It’s mixed with water and brushed on the teeth for a few minutes. Activated charcoal comes from heating things like wood and coconut shells. The ash is then re-heated using a chemical, and the result is carbon.
My issue with activated charcoal, like the whitening strips, is two-fold:
- The charcoal isn’t on the teeth long enough: To truly be able to whiten your teeth, a product needs to remain on them for more than a few minutes. A three-minute brushing session isn’t going to do much. Unless, of course, you have very light stain. In that case, after a few weeks you might start to notice a difference.
- We don’t know the long-term effects: Even if activated charcoal works for you, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. This product hasn’t been around long enough for researchers to study the long-term effects. Why is this important? Unlike other tissues in your body, tooth enamel doesn’t grow back once it’s damaged. Once it’s gone – it’s gone. Therefore, before jumping on board with this trend, I recommend waiting until we have more proof that it’s safe.
Protect Your Teeth with Proven Whitening Solutions
If you are interested in a brighter smile, your first concern shouldn’t be looking for teeth whitening in cheap trends. Instead, you should look for products with proven safety and effectiveness.
This is what I look for when comparing whitening products for my Indianapolis and Hamilton County patients. I will not give my patients unsafe or mediocre products.
The products I use in my office are powerful. They are effective on the really tough stains that whitening strips could never even touch.
These whitening products are safe, too. They’ve been extensively tested. You can find years of research to back up safety claims. Of course, some people might experience some sensitivity. However, we can reduce sensitivity while keeping the patient comfortable.
When it comes to teeth whitening, the professional-grade whitening products are a clear winner.
Talk to Your Dentist About Safe, Effective Whitening Options
Cheap teeth whitening could, in the long run, cost you more money. If your teeth become damaged by the whitening solution, you might have to spend money on dental treatments. Or, you’ll have to keep buying the cheap products because they aren’t that effective.
Instead of putting yourself in this frustrating situation, contact me first about teeth bleaching safety. The tools and products used in dental offices are safe and we’re offering a complimentary Teeth Whitening For Life program that can set you up for the long term.
Protect your teeth and your wallet – talk to us, your Hamilton County dental office, and we can help you achieve the beautiful, bright smile you want.
Dr. Mike Deldar
Noblesville dentist and Indianapolis dentist