Should I Try OTC Whitening Strips?

If you want a brighter smile, you need to seek treatment to remove discoloration. You’ve probably seen whitening treatments at your local store and wondered, “Should I try over-the-counter whitening strips?” At Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we offer professional alternatives to store bought systems to ensure a dramatically brighter smile.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Most store bought systems consist of a special strip that is placed over the teeth for a short amount of time. The strips then whiten the teeth and remove minor surface stains. However, many people report tooth sensitivity or gum irritation after use. In addition, some forms of discoloration may not respond well to the over-the-counter treatment.

Professional Brightening Options

KoR Whitening is our professional alternative to store bought systems. The procedure first begins with an office visit, in which we complete an initial treatment. We will also create a set of custom-made whitening trays. Patients then take the trays and a powerful bleaching gel home. Each day the patient fills the trays with gel and wears them for a set amount of time. From home, you will wear them daily for a week or up to ten days. You then return for a final treatment in our office. Teeth may be brightened by up to eight shades. This combines in-office and at-home procedures to provide a brighter smile and results that can last as long as six months.

Porcelain Veneers

If you have serious intrinsic stains, or discoloration that appears below the surface, then over-the-counter systems and even other professional options may not completely remove the stains. However, we can mask them with a lifelike restoration. Veneers are very thin shells of porcelain we place on the front of the teeth, completely altering the tooth’s appearance in as little as two visits.


Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offer expert services including teeth whitening, Six Month Smiles, Invisalign, root canals, and pediatric dentistry. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 218-8936. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.