If you’ve shopped for over-the-counter tooth whitening products lately, you were probably overwhelmed by the number of products available that claim to whiten your teeth. But how effective are they in reality? Let’s take a look at some of the more popular products on the market today and see how they stack up.
Whitening strips purchased at your local pharmacy have drawbacks. They do contain a peroxide-based whitening agent, but it is not nearly as potent as those safely used in our San Bruno Cosmetic Dentist office. Also, whitening strips only touch the front surface of your teeth, missing the spaces between your teeth. Though it is possible to remove stains over time with whitening strips it may take months to see any significant results.
Whitening Rinses are similar to mouthwashes. They kill bacteria, refresh your breath and may help remove plaque. Unlike mouthwashes, whitening rinses contain hydrogen peroxide. Manufactures advise you to rinse your mouth twice a day for one minute each and state that it may take 12 weeks to see results. Most consumers report no difference after using, probably because the rinse barely touches your teeth for two minutes a day.
Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions generally call for twice a day application for 14 days. Initial results are seen in a few days and final results are sustained for about four months. However, application can be difficult since teeth are required to be completely free of saliva before use.
Whether you choose a home whitening treatment option or an in-office whitening procedure such as the Sapphire Whitening System, you should consult with your dentist first. Our San Bruno, CA Cosmetic Dentist can examine your teeth and determine if there are any underlying issues with your teeth or gums that would cause problems as a result of using over-the-counter whitening agents.