When it comes to achieving whiter teeth, you have probably heard that professional whitening outperforms over-the-counter whitening every time. But, what exactly makes professional teeth whitening products so much more effective than the kind you can buy at your local pharmacy? This quick, simple guide will help you understand the science behind professional whitening services and why they are the better choice.  

Understanding the Composition of Teeth  

Before you can fully understand how professional whitening services work, you first need to understand the composition of the visible portion of your teeth. If you were to pull out a microscope and use it to look at one of your teeth, you would see that your enamel (the hard, outermost layer of teeth) is made of crystal-like structures called rods. These rods are packed so tightly together that they appear to be very smooth to the naked eye. However, there are tiny cracks and crevices between them. Stains can seep into these tiny cracks and cause noticeable discolorations of the teeth.  

Professional Whitening Chemicals  

Professional whitening products (like those used in cosmetic dentistry) contain chemicals that break up stains in tooth enamel. These chemicals are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide actually converts to hydrogen peroxide inside your mouth, so hydrogen peroxide is the main active ingredient that breaks down the stain compounds on your teeth. The end result is an instantly whiter smile. A cosmetic dentist can help you achieve the precise shade you want within a few hours or days with professional teeth whitening.  

Over-the Counter Treatments

Unlike professional whitening products, over-the-counter teeth whitening products contain very low concentrations of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. They may also contain other ingredients to help reduce tooth sensitivity and improve the flavor. These less-potent products are not as predictable as professional products and can take weeks or even months to whiten your teeth to your preferences.  

Schedule Your Appointment  

Ready to find out if you are a good candidate for professional teeth whitening services? Call Complete Health Dentistry in Amherst, NY today and schedule your consultation with Dr. James Lesinski.