Teeth whitening is perhaps the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry, but how it works isn’t as widely understood. This misunderstanding is the reason why people still question if professional treatment is needed, considering the vast amount of products available over the counter. The truth, though, is that there are important differences between professional and OTC teeth whitening – mainly the results, which are typically unsatisfactory with store-bought products.
How Teeth Stains
The secret to how teeth whitening works (or doesn’t work) is in the nature of your teeth’s stains. The most common stains occur on the surface of your tooth enamel (known as extrinsic stains), and teeth whitening focuses on removing these. If your teeth are discolored from within (known as intrinsic discoloration), then teeth whitening may not be effective, even if it is done professionally.
The Answer Lies in Professional Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a chemical treatment that is applied to your teeth’s outer surfaces, and at your dentist’s office, the solution is carefully created for maximum results and minimal sensitivity. The bleaching agent works by breaking up staining deposits and brightening the tooth structure underneath for a bright and blemish-free finish. If you choose to use an over-the-counter option, the solution will significantly diluted, making it less able to effectively erase your teeth stains.