Field Guide to Drugstore Whitening Treatments
Many of us enjoy coffee, red wine, soda, and berries. Our teeth, however, have a less than perfect opinion of these foods and drinks, and show protest in the form of yellow and brown stains.
It can be tempting to run out and purchase the latest drugstore whitening products, but too much trial and error and you can really rack up a hefty bill. Plus, do these really work? Are they safe?
Colorado Dental Group’s field guide to drugstore whitening treatments will guide you through your options.
What Causes Teeth to Yellow?
Your teeth are composed of several layers. The outermost layer is called enamel, a thin, hard, sheet that protects the teeth.
When you eat deep colored foods and drinks or smoke cigarettes, another layer of residue forms on top of your teeth. This layer, called a pellicle film, gradually embeds into your enamel. The result is deep stains that are impossible to remove by brushing, or even professional dental cleanings.
While these stains are harmless, they do result in cosmetic damage that can cause self-confidence issues. The good news is that there are options available that will help you to remove them.
Buying a product over the counter gives you a way to treat discoloration at home.
Most OTC whitening products use two whitening agents: carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. These come in the form of gels, tooth pastes, mouthwashes, or polyethylene strips you apply to your teeth and allow to sit for a half hour or so.
Since carbamide and hydrogen peroxide need to sit on your teeth for a while in order to cause whitening effects, strips and gels tend to be most effective, while pastes and mouthwashes tend to be least effective.
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide work by bleaching your teeth and lifting stains out of your enamel.
Drawbacks to OTC Whitening
When using an OTC or DIY treatment, you will miss out on guidance by a professional. Only a dental professional can assess whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment you plan to use.
Another drawback to using OTC whitening is that there is no way to vary the strength of the product, so you cannot adjust if any sensitivities occur. If using strips, not all your teeth will be treated, which may result in a less than ideal, uneven finished product.
In some cases, exposure to harsh chemicals can result in gum shrinkage and oral infections.
In-Office Whitening Options
Instead of trying to navigate the world of tooth whitening on your own, maybe it’s time to consult a professional. Using our whitening services ensures that you will safely see an excellent result.
We offer take home and in-office options—both of which will be safe and effective.
|Whitening System||Treatment Time||Cost|
|In-Office||One 60 minute office visit||$390|
|Take-Home||Once a day for 45 minutes for 2-5 weeks||$99|
In just one visit you can have amazing results! We also offer our patients the Bright Rewards program, which is a take-home whitening system that is available to all patients for a one-time enrollment fee of $99. Patients receiving our chairside whitening system are enrolled for FREE.
With the Bright Rewards, we’ll send you home with a custom tray and two tubes of whitening gel ($200 value). Then you’ll wear the tray each day for 45 minutes. Each time you come back for a cleaning, you’ll receive a FREE touch-up gel.
It’s pretty much a no brainer! Interested in getting enrolled in Bright Rewards? Visit our whitening page.