The Pitfalls of At-Home Teeth Whitening

Millions of individuals try at-home teeth whitening kits every year, hoping for a brighter, whiter smile without a trip to the dentist. In 2022, over 37 million Americans underwent some form of teeth whitening.

In response to the high demand, multiple companies have introduced at-home teeth whitening kits that can be purchased over the counter or through your dentist. At Tonka Smiles, we offer professional-grade whitening kits designed and prescribed for our patients based on their individual needs and whitening goals.

The Problem with Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits

Choosing the right over-the-counter teeth whitening product can make your head spin. There are gels used with dental trays, whitening strips, toothpaste, and mouthwashes that are advertised as having teeth-whitening ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Toothpaste and mouthwashes have much lower concentrations of these chemicals, making them much less effective.

At-home kits utilizing trays that fit over the teeth or strips that stick to the teeth while the whitening agent goes to work are more popular but have many pitfalls: 

  • Over-the-counter kits use bulky, generic trays that don’t conform to your teeth, resulting in uneven whitening.
  • The concentration of bleaching agents varies widely from one brand to the next. Some are ineffective, while others may be so strong they damage tooth enamel.
  • Without your dentist’s guidance, you might choose a product that has a detrimental effect on your oral health.
  • Over-the-counter products often irritate the gums.
  • Long-term tooth sensitivity to hot and cold is often reported with over-the-counter products.
  • Because teeth whitening kits are considered cosmetics, the FDA does not as strictly regulate them.

What Does Tonka Smiles Recommend for Teeth Whitening?

After considerable research, the dentists at Tonka Smile now offer a customized, professional-grade teeth-whitening kit that patients can use at home. These kits are of a much higher quality than those found on a store shelf and are available only through a dentist.

Unlike store-bought whitening kits, ours use custom-fitted whitening trays created from impressions of your teeth. The whitening trays, or mouthguards, fit snugly over your teeth, fitting their contours to ensure complete contact between the whitening gel and each tooth for even bleaching.

Our dental care team explains in detail how to use your personalized bleaching trays and the whitening gel. We cover how long to wear them, how much gel to use, and how to optimize your results without irritating your teeth and gums.

Research indicates that some over-the-counter whitening products can contribute to softening of the teeth’s surface, roughening of the enamel, and discoloration rather than whitening. However,

you can use our teeth whitening products with confidence, knowing they will not damage your tooth enamel.

If you are interested in learning more about Tonka Smiles’ customized teeth whitening products, give us a call at Tonka Smiles Phone Number 952-938-8533. A brilliant smile is only a phone call away!