Teeth whitening is such a popular cosmetic transformation that you can find plenty of options in every health and beauty section at stores. But over the counter treatments aren’t the right solution.

It’s not because they have hydrogen peroxide. Dentists across the country use hydrogen peroxide-based treatments to help their patients every day. Instead, it’s about controlling the hydrogen peroxide in the treatments. Here’s why that matters:

1. Over the counter treatments are constantly destabilizing.

Hydrogen peroxide isn’t a stable chemical, and it’s just a step away from water. That’s why it’s stored in opaque, darkly colored bottles: if it was constantly exposed to light, it would quickly break down into water. But a dark bottle only slows down the process instead of stopping it. Unless you know precisely how old your teeth whitening strips and gels are, you don’t know how much whitening power they have left.

But dental offices have more control over their supply. It doesn’t sit on store shelves before reaching their hands and your teeth. Dentists also know the best ways to store hydrogen peroxide products to protect their lifespan.

2. Tooth-whitening treatments have more potent hydrogen peroxide than bottles of hydrogen peroxide.

At the same time, strong concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can be a concern. The dollar bottle you pick up from the store is watered down to a 3% concentration, and teeth whitening products have more than that. While that might not be a danger to your teeth, it can aggravate your gums if the product gets on them for too long. When you want a strong whitening treatment, head to the dentist so they can control the application.

3. The best treatments activate the hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is just one part of the process. Dentists also use light to help accelerate the chemical breakdown of hydrogen peroxide so it can reach deeper into your teeth and bleach the visible surface. So instead of using more often or stronger treatments, you can go to a dentist for less frequent, light-activated whitening.

Go to Exquisite Smiles to learn more about our teeth whitening process and schedule an appointment.