Do Whitening Strips You Can Buy At The Store Even Work?

Everyone wants to have a natural white smile, but not everyone can have it without a bit of help to whiten them. After normal wear and tear as well as certain life choices such as smoking or consuming tea or coffee, you may need a boost for your yellowed teeth. The question arises of whether you should go to the dentist's office or purchase some whitening strip kits over-the-counter.

Product Comparisons

Peroxide, whether it is hydrogen or carbamide, is the active ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) as well as the dentist office whitening strips. The OTC strips as well as at-home dental products contain approximately 10% to 22% of the carbamide peroxide, which is approximately 3% hydrogen peroxide. The dentist office can provide from 15% to 43% concentration.

Waiting Time

Depending on the extent of discoloration, the amount of time you need to wait in the dentist's office can vary between thirty to ninety minutes. It should take one or more times to get the wanted results. With OTC products, you might need to wear a mouthpiece for a month for thirty minutes daily or possibly overnight.

The Process

As an option, it is advised to brush your teeth with water to remove plaque that will make the teeth susceptible to the whitening products. You are only able to cover the front teeth with the strip, possibly making a distinct difference in the coloring of your teeth.  It is advisable to visit the dentist that has a tray so you can achieve the full effect of the bleaching process.

Use Strips with Caution

Not everyone is a candidate for whitening strips. Two types of discoloring happen:

  • Intrinsic: This occurs with time
  • Extrinsic: Deposits from medication, coffee or smoking stains, or as far back as from your mother's womb

You need to use caution because the chemicals can burn your gums. Do you know when 'enough is enough' if you are doing the procedure at home?

Are Your Teeth Ready to Whiten?

The teeth have to be healthy to achieve a good result from any product you choose. If you have neglected your teeth, you should have a dentist give you a thorough checkup. If you use an OTC product and have bad teeth, you could be in for a lot of pain. It is essential to have all cavities and your gums in good condition before you use any whitening products.

Each of these suggestions should give you a better viewpoint on making the decision whether the store-bought products will work for your situation. A dentist can help with the procedure and possibly save you from some unnecessary pain. Each case is different, but much of the decision depends on the damage to the teeth.

For more information, contact Treasured Smiles Dentistry or a similar location.