If you’re interested in teeth whitening, that’s because you want a whiter smile. That might seem obvious, but you need to think about that when deciding how to whiten your teeth.

When you go into the supermarket, drugstore, and “big box” stores, you’ll find many different teeth whitening products on the shelves. Some are gels you put in trays. Others are strips you place on your teeth. You can even buy toothpaste that claims to whiten teeth. All of these are approved by the FDA, so they work — to some degree.

At both of our Laredo, TX dental offices, we don’t sell any of those kits. Instead, we offer two professional teeth whitening systems: Lumibrite and Zoom. Why do we offer these and not the kind you can buy more cheaply at the store? Because those systems tend to have a few problems. Here are some of the reasons why the teeth whitening kits you can buy in stores usually doesn’t work nearly as well as professional versions.

Problems With Cheap Teeth Whitening Kits

– Using them too often can cause temperature sensitivity in your teeth. All teeth whitening systems (professional or store-bought) contain a whitening agent. This is what lifts the stains from your enamel. As with just about every cleaning product, you have to be careful with it. Using a store-bought system on your teeth too often can increase their sensitivity to temperature. Having a hot cup of coffee or enjoying a cold sweet tea could cause pain. That’s not exactly why you bought the kit in the first place, is it?

– To be sold without a prescription, the whitening agent is purposefully diluted. This might be the biggest reason why you should skip these store-bought kits. That whitening agent is strong; otherwise, it wouldn’t lift the stains. That means it can be dangerous if not used correctly. You cannot buy regular-strength teeth whitening systems without being a dentist. To get around that, the store-bought kits dilute the whitening agent. You’ll most likely need to repeat the process several times to get your teeth as white as one professional use.

– If you get too much on your gums instead of just your teeth, you can irritate your gum tissue. Enamel is tough stuff. That means teeth whitening systems need to be strong. It’s only supposed to go on your teeth. That said, it’s easy to get a little on your gums. This can irritate your gums and even damage them. With store-bought kits, things can get a little sloppy. It’s easy to use too much gel or place strips too close to the gumline.

– To get the proper results, you have to follow the kit’s instructions to the letter. If you’ve ever tried to put together a children’s toy at Christmas, you know how hard it can be to follow tiny, confusing instructions. For many store-bought teeth whitening kits, that’s what you’ll find. The instructions need to be followed to ensure it works properly. Put too little or too much gel on your teeth, and you can face problems. You might even wind up with some teeth darker than others.

– Some products contain harmful abrasives to make up for weak whitening agents. This is especially true with a lot of toothpaste brands that claim to whiten teeth. To make up for having diluted whitening agents, store-bought kits might compensate by using powerful abrasives. The idea is to scrub stains away that the weak whitening agent cannot deal with. However, anything that strong is sure to damage your enamel as well.

Lumibrite And Zoom For Better Teeth Whitening

At both of our Laredo, TX dental offices, we have two professional-strength teeth whitening systems that work well: Lumibrite and Zoom. Both can be done at our Junction Drive or Winfield locations. You’ll get incredible results fast with the in-office option. However, we also offer take-home versions. You’ll get expert instructions and can do the whitening at home.

Lumibrite and Zoom both have strong whitening agents that are not available in stores. Our dentists can guide you in their use at our dental offices, ensuring that you are getting teeth whitening that’s safe and effective.

If you want a bright, white smile, don’t settle for store-bought systems that are weaker and less safe. Call our Junction Drive dental office at 956-242-6745 or our office on Winfield at 956-517-2695 for professional teeth whitening that does what you want in the first place. Now is a great time to schedule your next regular checkup, too!