Teeth Whitening: Are
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products Effective?
More and more people
are becoming increasingly concerned about their smiles.
A typical person eats and drinks a number of different
items on a regular basis that can stain or discolor
teeth. In addition, the process of aging itself can
cause teeth to become discolored and stained.
With this understood
and in mind, you may be contemplating teeth whitening
products as opposed to embarking on a full blown course
of cosmetic dentistry -- a more simple approach to improving
your smile in the comfort of your own home. In this
regard, this article has been prepared to provide you
with some basic information about effective over the
counter teeth whitening products that you might want
to consider to bring the shine back to your own smile.
American Dental Association Reflections
According to the American
Dental Association, teeth whitening is a process that
causes teeth to appear whiter. This can be accomplished
by either lightening the teeth or by removing any stains
and discolorations from the teeth. Over-the-counter
teeth whitening products are usually effective and safe
as long as they are used as directed. There are some
side effects, such as increased tooth sensitivity and
irritation to gums, but they are very few and usually
temporary. The whitening of the teeth is not permanent;
therefore the treatment must be repeated ever so often
in order to maintain the whitening effects. Though the
whitening effects of over-the-counter products usually
lasts for several months, various factors including
food and beverages consumed and the patientís level
of oral hygiene can cause the timeframe to vary.
Types of Over the Counter
Teeth Whitening Products for You
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products
generally fall into two categories, whitening toothpastes
and whiteners that are peroxide based or contain bleaching
All toothpastes feature mild abrasives. These abrasives
aid in removing stains on the surface of the teeth.
The whitening toothpastes, on the other hand, feature
gentle chemical or polishing agents. Though they contain
no bleach, they do offer additional stain removal on
the surface of the teeth. For milder cases of teeth
stains, whitening toothpastes can prove to be effective.
They require extended and continued use, but they do
offer some visible and apparent whitening properties.
Agents. These products involve peroxide-based whiteners
or bleaching agents. Whitening gels and whitening strips
fall into this category. Products in this category actually
bleach the teeth, meaning that they change the natural
color of the tooth. This is great for removing both
surface and deep stains. Even though the bleaching agents
used in these whiteners is of a lower strength than
those used in the dentist office, they are usually quite
effective. Their effectiveness, though, does depend
on how often and how long the product is used.