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5 Reasons You Should Avoid Over the Counter Teeth Whiteners

Whitening products are extremely popular among people of all ages. Over the counter teeth whitening trays and strips promise to give you a bright smile that we all want in a matter of days, without the expensive visits to the North Scottsdale cosmetic dentist’s. Yet, these products are not as great as they are marketed. In fact, there are numerous reasons for which you should avoid buying and using them. Here are top 5 reasons why you should avoid over the counter teeth whiteners:

Side effects of over the counter teeth whiteners

Teeth and Gum Sensitivity

Teeth and/or gum sensitivity are two of the most experienced side effects of teeth whiteners. When done in a dental office, the sensitivity is minimal and any discomfort (if experienced at all) is most likely to vanish in just a few hours. When using over-the-counter teeth whitening substances, there are great chances of gum irritation and tooth sensitivity, which may last for a couple of days or even weeks, if the patient keeps on re-applying the product. Check out here to know how to minimize the tooth sensitivity discomfort and pain at http://www.freysmiles.com/blog/view/how-to-soothe-sensitive-teeth-after-whitening.


Although many of the over the counter teeth whiteners are marketed as fast, safe and easy to use, the truth is that you need a lot of patience to see the results. Regardless, if you consider stripes, trays or toothpastes, the result is the same: barely visible effects, even after using it for a long period of time. The reduced effectiveness is because, the at-home whitening products cannot have more than 10% hydrogen peroxide, while treatments used in dental offices have up to 30% to 40% hydrogen peroxide or 35% carbamide peroxide.

Universal trays

Over the counter teeth whitening trays come in a universal size and shape. Yet, the teeth have a unique setup, and most of the times these trays fail to cover all teeth. Some teeth will be more exposed to the substance, while some may not even come in contact with it. This will result in an uneven whitening or stained teeth.

The cavities absorb the Whitening substance

Teeth whitening should not be performed if your roots are exposed, teeth are damaged or you have untreated cavities. A whitening procedure done in these conditions may lead to absorption of hydroxide peroxide by the nerves which results in increased tooth sensibility, irritation and pain. Additionally, the tooth surface may be damaged even further. When performing at-home whitening, you are not under professional supervision, and might not even know that you have tooth problems. Also, they may fail to dose the product correctly and add unnecessary stress to teeth and gums.


It may be surprising, but over the counter teeth whiteners are actually more expensive than a whitening procedure performed in a dental office. This is mainly because the latter is highly effective, so the patient needs only one treatment to witness the dramatic improvement in the color of the teeth. Once the treatment is performed, the effects of the dental whitening procedure can last up to two years.

On the other hand, the over-the-counter teeth whiteners need to be used repeatedly to get the visible results. Also, once you get the desired results, you need to keep using the product to maintain the look. Therefore, in two years you get to spend more on the over-the-counter products than on the dental procedure and the effects are not nearly as satisfactory.

Over the counter teeth whiteners are not as safe and effective as marketed and can produce serious teeth and gum issues. Therefore, make sure you seek professional advice and help if you want to have a pearly white smile.

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Aesthetic Family Dentistry

26232 N. Tatum Boulevard,
Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85050
(480) 515-0404

If you're looking for a professional and highly trained dentist in the North Phoenix & Cave Creek area, you've come to the right place. Our amazing dental team is ready to take care of all your dental needs. We welcome patients from all over Phoenix, including the Cave Creek, North Scottsdale, Tatum Ridge, and Desert View Village neighborhoods. Some of our more popular dental services include: cosmetic dentistry, regular cleanings, exams, dental implants to take care of those missing teeth, teeth whitening for a brighter, whiter smile, and porcelain veneers for a more beautiful smile. Contact Aesthetic Family Dentistry to book your next appointment at our North Phoenix dental office today.