The White Stuff: Professional vs Shop Bought Teeth Whitening

Article by Dr Raha Sepehrara

If you want to give your smile a quick lift to reignite its natural radiance, you’ve probably already considered teeth whitening. A simple search online for teeth whitening brings up many options, each offering to give a natural or dazzling smile with minimal effort. 

You might find teeth-whitening toothpaste, strips to apply to your teeth, or whitening gels available in stores and online. Alternatively, you may see treatments on offer at beauty salons, or professional whitening either carried out in a dental clinic or prescribed by a dentist for use at home. 

With so many options available, it’s hard to know which is the best route to take. So, when comparing professional and shop-bought teeth whitening treatments, which is best?

In this article, we lift the lid of teeth whitening and discuss everything you need to know. 

Shop-Bought Teeth Whitening Options

Here are some of the teeth whitening products you can buy in shops and online:

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Many toothpaste brands have products that claim to whiten your teeth. These usually contain the usual ingredients found in toothpaste and additional items like bicarbonate of soda or activated charcoal. These extra elements are abrasive and are designed to scrape off any surface stains to improve the appearance of your teeth. 

However, these products have limited effectiveness. They may remove a small amount of staining, but they’re not powerful enough to make a noticeable difference. Constant use could also weaken the outer surface, making you more susceptible to sensitivity and cavities. This type of toothpaste is only really recommended for short-term use. 

Teeth Whitening Kits

These may contain strips or kits with whitening gels that you apply to your teeth. There are two drawbacks to any legally bought teeth whitening kits. 

  1. They are not as strong as professional products, so have limited effectiveness. The legal limit for hydrogen peroxide whitening products sold online or over the counter is just 0.1%. 
  2. Although hydrogen peroxide levels are low, the nature of the products and lack of professional supervision can expose you to potential side effects like teeth sensitivity or blisters on gums and mouth tissue. 

Any product sold online or in a shop with a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide is illegal and, as such, won’t have received any pre-market scrutiny to measure its safety or effectiveness.  

Salon Teeth Whitening

A dental professional must perform teeth whitening. No other type of business can offer this type of service by law. This includes beauty salons. But despite the legal restrictions, beauticians still offer this service. 

If you find teeth whitening offered in a salon, don’t use this service. The beautician is not trained or qualified to deliver teeth whitening. The products they use may not be effective or safe. In addition, the salon will not have any insurance that covers you for any negative reaction. 

Professional Teeth Whitening

At Nottingham Smiles, we provide a range of teeth-whitening solutions to suit everyone. If you want to whiten your teeth from home, you can use Boutique, Enlighten, or Zoom. Alternatively, if you want us to take care of everything and whiten your smile in just one day, we can use an in-clinic treatment called Philips Zoom!

Teeth whitening treatments dentists prescribe may contain up to 6% hydrogen peroxide. This makes a marked difference to the final results. Our whitening treatments remove staining and discolouration and brighten your smile to a natural shade of white. 

The at-home treatments we use require bespoke trays like mouthguards that hold the whitening solution against your teeth. Because these are made to measure, they’re much safer than any store-bought option. 

Not only this, but we’ll examine your teeth before treatment. Cavities or weak enamel can lead to discomfort during whitening. If we spot any issues, we’ll address them before prescribing a whitening treatment. Additionally, we’ll teach you how to use the at-home treatment to achieve safe results. 

Philips Zoom!, our in-clinic whitening treatment, combines a whitening solution with special activating light to achieve fantastic results. Because we do this in practice, we’re there to ensure you enjoy the best experience possible. 

On a final note, as dental professionals, we’re trained and qualified to provide whitening treatments. Not only this, but the practice is fully insured and regulated by the GDC, ensuring you full peace of mind. 

Teeth Whitening in Nottingham

For the best and safest results, we recommend choosing a professional teeth whitening treatment prescribed by a dentist. We have four different whitening solutions available to suit your needs and preferences. Call today to book an appointment. 



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