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Myth or Fact: Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products Work

August 1, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Share @ 1:06 pm
Closeup of woman's beautiful white smile

Social media is filled with “tried-and-true” tips for achieving a beautiful white smile. However, do the teeth whitening products promoted by bloggers and “influencers” really work? From special toothpaste to mouthwashes and more, there are plenty of teeth whitening options available at your local pharmacy. When put to the test against professional teeth whitening, however, there is only one clear winner. Keep reading to discover the best way to brighten your smile.

Looking Beyond the Hype

The following teeth whitening products receive a lot of attention, but may not be the ideal way to remove stains from your teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste

In general, the whitening toothpastes found at your local grocery store or pharmacy have little to no effect. Some toothpastes do contain the right chemicals to whiten teeth. However, they are usually not exposed to the teeth long enough. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth for two full minutes each time. Whitening chemicals, meanwhile, need to be in contact with teeth for anywhere between 20 minutes to several hours in order to affect a color change.

Whitening Strips

Compared to other over-the-counter teeth whitening products, whitening strips are generally much more effective. They typically contain chemicals such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide that whiten teeth but can also cause tooth sensitivity. Unlike custom whitening trays, strips are one-size-fits-all. This can make it difficult to prevent them from coming into contact with your gums and causing tissue irritation.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is often marketed online as an effective at-home teeth whitening remedy. However, most dentists strongly advise against using this chemical compound to achieve a whitened smile. When used too often or in too-high concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can cause significant damage to enamel. It can also inflame your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth as well as disrupt the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your mouth.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening offers significant advantages over many over-the-counter whitening products promoted online or on social media. Two of the biggest advantages include effective results and safe application.

Professional teeth whitening utilizes stronger chemicals than any toothpaste, mouthwash, or whitening strips that you can find at the supermarket. In addition, a dental professional has the knowledge and experience to remove stains from teeth without seriously damaging your enamel or irritating nearby gum tissue. As a bonus, professional teeth whitening can often be completed in less than one hour!

You can find a lot of beauty tips online these days, but not every “life hack” is supported by science. To safely achieve a dazzling white smile, your best bet is to partner with an experienced dentist near you.

About the Author

Dr. Jack B. Share has over 40 years of experience helping patients in the greater Boston area achieve the beautiful smiles of their dreams. He utilizes Zoom! Teeth Whitening system to dramatically brighten teeth during a single visit. To learn more about the advantages of professional teeth whitening, visit Dr. Share’s website or call 617-742-1350.

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