Are OTC Whiteners Worthwhile?

If you have stained teeth you’re probably looking for a solution. At your store or pharmacy you’ve probably seen strips, mouthwashes, and toothpastes that claim to brighten your smile. Are these over-the-counter whiteners worth it? Should you see a dentist for a professional treatment instead?

What Causes Discoloration?

We develop teeth stains as a result to various factors. Surface stains, also known as extrinsic discoloration, develops in response to the food and drinks we consume, including drinks and foods with dark pigments (berries, coffee, soda, tea, red wine), as well as sugary snacks that promote plaque buildup (candy, chips soda, chocolate). Smoking can also lead to surface discoloration. Intrinsic stains form below the surface, the result of medication, injury, or fluorosis. We will examine your smile to assess the cause and severity of your teeth stains.

Over-the-Counter Solutions

You can purchase a variety of store bought solutions. While they can brighten teeth, the results aren’t very dramatic and may not last long. In addition, strips can cause tooth sensitivity and whitening toothpastes may contain abrasive agents to remove stains. For less sensitivity and longer lasting, more dramatic results, we encourage patients to schedule an appointment.

Professional Teeth Whitening

We offer a free initial cosmetic consultation. We can then discuss the best options for brightening your teeth. Our teeth whitening procedure consists of an initial office treatment, followed by one to two weeks of wearing gel-filled trays for a specific amount of time per day. This can address both extrinsic and minor intrinsic discoloration. The procedure ends with a final office treatment. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, then please contact our office today.