Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic service that can enhance the appearance and confidence of your clients. However, not all teeth whitening gels are created equal. There are different types, concentrations, and ingredients that can affect the results and safety of the whitening process. In this article, we will guide you through the factors you need to consider when choosing teeth whitening gels for your salon business.
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What are teeth whitening gels?
Teeth whitening gels are solutions that contain a bleaching ingredient that can lighten the color of the teeth by breaking down the stains on the enamel. The most common bleaching ingredients are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, which have different strengths and effects on the teeth.
Carbamide peroxide is a compound that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea when applied to the teeth. It is typically used in professional whitening gels that have higher concentrations of peroxide (25% to 40%). Carbamide peroxide has a longer shelf life and a slower release of hydrogen peroxide, which makes it more stable and less irritating to the gums and soft tissues. However, it also requires a longer treatment time and more frequent applications to achieve the desired results.
Hydrogen peroxide is a pure form of peroxide that acts faster and more effectively on the teeth. It is usually used in over-the-counter whitening gels that have lower concentrations of peroxide (5% to 10%). Hydrogen peroxide has a shorter shelf life and a faster release of oxygen radicals, which makes it more potent and more likely to cause sensitivity and irritation. However, it also requires a shorter treatment time and fewer applications to achieve the desired results.
How to choose the right concentration of teeth whitening gel?
The concentration of teeth whitening gel refers to the percentage of peroxide in the solution. The higher the concentration, the stronger the whitening effect, but also the higher the risk of side effects such as sensitivity, irritation, enamel damage, and gum recession. Therefore, you need to balance the benefits and risks of different concentrations based on your clients’ needs and preferences.
Generally speaking, professional whitening gels have higher concentrations than over-the-counter ones, which means they can produce faster and more noticeable results, but also require more supervision and care from trained professionals. Over-the-counter whitening gels have lower concentrations than professional ones, which means they can produce slower and less noticeable results, but also require less supervision and care from users.
The optimal concentration of teeth whitening gel depends on several factors, such as:
- The type of stains on the teeth: Extrinsic stains (caused by food, drinks, tobacco, etc.) are easier to remove than intrinsic stains (caused by aging, trauma, medication, etc.). Therefore, extrinsic stains may require lower concentrations than intrinsic stains.
- The sensitivity of the teeth: Sensitive teeth are more prone to experience discomfort and pain during and after whitening. Therefore, sensitive teeth may require lower concentrations than normal teeth.
- The duration of the treatment: Longer treatments may expose the teeth to more peroxide and increase the risk of side effects. Therefore, longer treatments may require lower concentrations than shorter treatments.
- The frequency of the treatment: More frequent treatments may cause cumulative damage to the enamel and gums over time. Therefore, more frequent treatments may require lower concentrations than less frequent treatments.
As a general rule of thumb, you should start with the lowest concentration possible and gradually increase it if needed until you reach the desired results or encounter any adverse reactions.
How to choose the right type of teeth whitening gel?
There are different types of teeth whitening gels available on the market, such as:
- Whitening strips: These are thin plastic strips that are coated with whitening gel and applied to the front surface of the teeth. They are easy to use and convenient for at-home whitening. However, they may not cover all areas of the teeth evenly and may slip or slide during use.
- Whitening trays: These are plastic trays that are filled with whitening gel and fitted over the teeth. They can be custom-made by a dentist or bought over-the-counter. They offer better coverage and retention of the gel than strips. However, they may cause more gum irritation and discomfort if they do not fit properly or if too much gel is used.
- Whitening pens: These are pen-like devices that contain whitening gel and have a brush tip that can be used to apply the gel directly to the teeth. They are convenient and portable for touch-ups and spot treatments. However, they may not deliver enough gel or contact time to produce significant results.
- Whitening lights: These are devices that emit light (usually blue or red) that can activate or enhance the whitening effect of the gel. They can be used in conjunction with strips, trays, or pens. They may speed up the whitening process and improve the results. However, they may also increase the risk of sensitivity and irritation and may not be suitable for everyone.
The best type of teeth whitening gel for your salon business depends on your clients’ preferences, budget, and expectations. You should offer a variety of options and explain the pros and cons of each one to help your clients make an informed decision.
How to choose the best teeth whitening gel brands?
There are many brands of teeth whitening gels on the market, but not all of them are reliable and trustworthy. You should choose brands that have:
- A good reputation and positive reviews from customers and professionals
- A clear and accurate label that lists the ingredients, concentration, expiration date, and instructions of the gel
- A certification or approval from a reputable organization or authority, such as the American Dental Association (ADA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- A guarantee or warranty that covers the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the gel
- A customer service that is responsive and helpful in case of any questions or issues
Some of the best teeth whitening gel brands that meet these criteria are:
- Crest: This is one of the most popular and trusted brands of teeth whitening products in the US. It offers a range of whitening strips, trays, pens, and lights that have different concentrations and formulas to suit different needs and preferences. Its products are clinically proven to whiten teeth effectively and safely and have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Sensodyne: This is one of the best brands for sensitive teeth. It offers a whitening toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate, which can help reduce sensitivity by blocking the nerve signals from the teeth. It also contains fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel and prevent cavities. Its toothpaste is gentle on the teeth and gums and can remove stains without causing irritation.
- Philips: This is one of the leading brands of dental technology and innovation. It offers a professional whitening system called Zoom, which combines a high-concentration whitening gel with a LED light that can whiten teeth up to eight shades in one hour. It also offers a take-home whitening kit called NiteWhite, which contains a lower-concentration whitening gel that can be used with custom-made trays overnight. Its products are designed to deliver fast and lasting results with minimal sensitivity.
How to use teeth whitening gels safely and effectively?
Teeth whitening gels can produce amazing results, but they also come with some risks and precautions. To use them safely and effectively, you should follow these tips:
- Consult your dentist before using any whitening product, especially if you have dental problems or health conditions that may affect your teeth or gums.
- Follow the instructions of the product carefully and do not exceed the recommended amount, duration, or frequency of use.
- Use a whitening gel that matches the shade of your teeth and your desired level of whitening. Do not use a gel that is too strong or too weak for your teeth.
- Use a whitening gel that is compatible with your application method. Do not mix and match different types of gels, strips, trays, pens, or lights.
- Protect your gums and soft tissues from the gel by applying a protective barrier, such as petroleum jelly or dental wax, or by trimming the excess gel or strip from the tray or pen.
- Avoid eating, drinking, smoking, or brushing your teeth for at least one hour after using the gel to allow it to work properly and prevent staining.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after using the gel to remove any residue and prevent irritation.
- Monitor your teeth and gums for any signs of sensitivity, pain, inflammation, or damage. If you experience any adverse reactions, stop using the gel immediately and contact your dentist.
How to maintain your teeth whitening results?
Teeth whitening gels can whiten your teeth temporarily, but they cannot prevent them from staining again. To maintain your teeth whitening results for as long as possible, you should follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria that can cause stains and decay.
- Use a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash occasionally to remove surface stains and enhance your smile.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to remove tartar and polish your teeth.
- Avoid or limit foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, sauces, etc. If you do consume them, rinse your mouth with water afterward or use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
- Avoid or quit smoking or chewing tobacco, which can cause yellowing and discoloration of your teeth and gums.
- Use a whitening gel as needed to touch up your smile. You can use a lower concentration or a shorter treatment time than before to avoid over-whitening or sensitivity.
Teeth whitening gels are an essential part of any salon business that offers cosmetic services. However, choosing the right teeth whitening gels for your clients can be challenging. You need to consider several factors, such as:
- The type of bleaching ingredient: Carbamide peroxide vs hydrogen peroxide
- The concentration of peroxide: Higher vs lower
- The type of application method: Strips vs trays vs pens vs lights
- The brand of whitening gel: Reputation vs quality vs certification vs guarantee
By following these guidelines, you can find the best teeth whitening gels for your salon business that can satisfy your clients’ needs and expectations and help them achieve their dream smile.