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What About Over-the-Counter Whitening Products?

Strips, gels, toothpastes, kits and pens. With so many teeth whitening products available at the drugstore and online, you might be wondering which ones to choose if any. Let’s take a closer look at these types of products.

Limited Effectiveness

Teeth whitening chart compared to smileMany over-the-counter whitening products are not as effective because the ingredients are weak and cannot bleach the teeth for sufficient amounts of time. Specifically, the concentration of gel is lower. Compared to professional strength whiteners, OTC products require more extended usage for a similar effect to professional strength. Also, compliance is typically quite low.

Professional teeth whiteners are safe, effective, and done under the supervision of a dental professional. In the majority of cases, it’s worth the extra investment to visit the dentist to get the long-lasting and safest possible results.

The Trouble With Whitening Strips

While commercials make it seem easy to whiten teeth with strips, the reality is there’s the risk of uneven whitening with this method. For example, it’s likely that there will be a place where the strip doesn’t make complete contact with your tooth. The result is some spots on your teeth may not appear as white as others. Not a good look!

Another potential problem is the whitening agent making contact with your gums. If that happens, the chemicals could damage the soft tissues of your gums.

Do Whitening Kits Expire?

Teeth whitening kits also have an expiration date, typically within a year of purchase. While using them won’t harm your teeth, their whitening effectiveness may be reduced or eliminated.

If you would like more information about the difference between professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening methods, please contact Belle City Family Dentistry today!


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