Are home teeth whitening kits effective for a better looking smile?

home teeth whiteningA quick internet search can prove how much professional whitening can cost. With the economy being the way it is, it is pretty hard to justify spending $1,200 for a dental treatment that is not really necessary. However, people also want to have a better looking smile, so a home teeth whitening kit is the obvious solution.

Even the best home teeth whitening kits can be found for less than $80, which is a far cry from the $1,200 or so it can cost for a professional laser treatment. There are ones that will cost a little more than that, they are the ones that need a custom made mouth tray, but they are more of a matter of choice versus a difference in results.

But before buying a home teeth witening kit you have to be conscious that the whitening process is carried out by the use a bleaching chemical such as hydrogen peroxide that liberates oxygen that permeates the enamel layer of teeth and reacts with coloured compounds to neutralise them. The degree of whitening achieved depends on the chemical compounds employed and the time they are in contact with tooth enamel. As observed by the American Dental Association, the carbamide peroxide used in many bleaching products has some negative side effects like increased tooth sensitivity and occasional irritation of soft tissues in the mouth (oral mucosa), particularly the gums. On rare occasions, irreversible tooth damage has been reported.

These effects are absent with home whitening treatments that are gentler in their action, especially with non-peroxide systems like Zero Peroxide. These safer versions of home whitening kits typically use sodium bicarbonate in conjunction with sodium fluoride as the main bleaching agent, and are virtually as effective as the peroxide types but without the potential danger of sore throat, chemical burning of the gums, or increased sensitivity of the teeth.

It is true that you can get very good results these days with a reputable home kit, but if you see a dentist it will cost you much more: your dentist is a professional, like a doctor or lawyer, offering a service and has overheads to pay before being able to make any profit. Rents and rates are high and the dentist gets no help with premises or staff from government sources, and therefore has to charge a fee that allows him or her to make a profit. This explains why going to a dentist will cost you more than doing it yourself, and with the appearance of safe home whitening kits now there really is no reason why you shouldn’t do it yourself and make a big saving.


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