Types of Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
The types of do-it-yourself teeth whitening products available at most drugstores and supermarkets seems to be growing all the time. From whitening pens to whitening mouthwashes, each of these products claims to whiten your teeth with repeated use – and to accomplish it for an extremely low price. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s probably because it usually is. The truth is that no over-the-counter whitening product compares with having your teeth professionally whitened in a dentist’s office. In fact, whitening toothpastes, for example, produce only slightly brighter teeth than other regular toothpastes if they’re used repeatedly over a long period of time. The same holds true for whitening mouthwashes.
But, in all fairness, there are some whitening products that can produce noticeable results if they’re used regularly for a two-or-three week period. This includes one-size-fits-all bleaching trays and whitening strips. Bleaching trays consist of generic-sized trays filled with a whitening agent that usually contains a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Whitening strips, on the other hand, work differently. In fact, of all the over-the-counter products available, whitening strips are often the most effective.
What You Should Know About Whitening Strips
The Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening
After using OTC whitening strips every day for a period of two weeks or so, you will likely see some improvement in the shade of your teeth. But after just a single trip to the dentist’s office for professional teeth whitening services, you could see anywhere from a 6- to 8-shade difference in your teeth!
That is much whiter than any over-the-counter product can produce. There are two reasons why professional whitening works so much better than drugstore products:
- The strength of the solution – Any type of whitening solution used in a dentist’s office is much stronger than any product you can purchase over-the-counter. That’s why the results of a professional whitening session performed by your dentist are so dramatic. Best of all, you usually won’t have to whiten your teeth again for another 6 months to 2 years after they are professionally whitened. Some dentists use a specially designed light to further enhance the effectiveness of the whitening solution.
- The custom-made tray – The first step in having your teeth whitened by a dentist usually involves having an impression made of your teeth. That impression is then sent out to a dental lab, where technicians will create a custom-made set of whitening trays designed just for you – one set for your upper teeth, and one set for your bottom teeth. These custom trays deliver a uniform amount of strong whitening solution to the surface of every tooth in your mouth. Trays created in a dental lab fit much better than the one-size-fits-all trays that come in over-the-counter kits. This means that not only will every tooth be exposed to the whitening formula; it also reduces the chances of whitening solution oozing out of the tray and into your mouth. Custom trays allow all your teeth to be whitened, as opposed to whitening strips, which only cover the surface of your front teeth.
While it’s true that over-the-counter teeth whitening strips are effective to a limited degree, nothing can compare with the results of professional whitening services provided by your dentist. But there is another option available from most dental offices: take-home whitening kits. Usually consisting of your custom-made trays combined with a strong whitening solution, these kits allow you to whiten your own teeth at home whenever it’s most convenient for you. And although you’ll need to have your teeth professionally whitened in your dentist’s office initially, take-home whitening kits make it easy for you to keep your teeth white for months or even years to come.
Considering how fast and easy it is to have your teeth whitened, it’s no wonder why so many people are choosing this method to dramatically improve the appearance of their smiles. If you want to see for yourself whether or not teeth whitening strips are effective, it won’t cost you much to give them a try. But, even though you’ll pay more for professional whitening services, we believe you’ll find it worth every penny. For more information about teeth whitening products and services in and around the Cedar Park, Texas area, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment today.