Have you walked down the dental care aisle at your drug store recently? If so, you were probably faced with a nearly overwhelming choices of teeth whitening products.
Of course, they all claim to provide “stunning” results, but are all the claims true? Some of these over-the-counter products can be quite costly, but do they deliver results that are worth the price?
Here’s a breakdown of some of the products available, and their effectiveness:
Teeth whitening strips purchased at your local pharmacy do offer some level of whitening because of their peroxide-based whitening agent but do have drawbacks. The peroxide used is not nearly as strong as that safely used by the Mount Prospect cosmetic dentist .
Also, whitening strips are one-size-fits-all and have limited contact with the surface of your tooth enamel, not the spaces in between your teeth. They can slowly remove some stains, but it may take months and a significant investment to see noticeable results.
Teeth Whitening Rinses
Teeth whitening rinses are similar to a mouthwash and are effective for killing bacteria, removing some plaque and refreshing your breath. Unlike mouthwashes, though, they also contain hydrogen peroxide.
The directions instruct you to rinse twice daily for one minute each. They advise that it may take up to 12 weeks to see any results. Our patients have told our dentist that they see little or no difference after use. This is probably due to the fact that the rinse barely comes into contact with your teeth for a couple minutes each time it’s used.
Teeth Whitening Gels
Over-the-counter whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels that you apply directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions call for twice-daily use for two weeks. Used properly you may see results in a few days, with final results lasting about four months. The drawback to this product is that proper application is difficult because the surface of your teeth must be completely free of saliva before use in order for the gel to be effective
Whether you choose a home whitening treatment or a quick and effective in-office whitening system, always consult with your dentist first. Our Mount Prospect cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth to make sure there are no underlying oral health issues that may be negatively impacted through the use of over-the-counter whitening agents.