Field Guide to Drugstore Whitening Treatments

August 18, 2017
coffee cup with chocolate syrup on top

Coffee, red wine, soda, and berries may be tasty, but they can come at a high price to your pearly whites. These foods and drinks have deep hues, which can transfer to your teeth in the form of brown and yellow stains.

While it seems like the easiest way to remedy the situation is to run out and buy the drugstore’s latest miracle product, this does come at a risk. Are these products safe? Do they even work? These products can be pricey, so it’s a good idea to educate yourself about how they work before purchasing them.

What Causes Teeth to Yellow?

Your teeth are made up of layers. Enamel is the outermost layer. It’s a thin sheet that’s very strong, so it protects your chompers.

When you expose your enamel to foods and drink or smoke cigarettes, you begin to form an additional layer, called a pellicle film. This layer sits on top of you enamel and can gradually work its way in, tinting your enamel with a yellowish glow.

This discoloration is harmless, but some patients are bothered by the way it makes their teeth look. Fortunately, there are ways that you can wipe away the staining and discoloration and get the white smile you’ve always wanted.

OTC Whiteners

Before and after tooth whiteningMany patients prefer the convenience of purchasing an over-the-counter product that can whiten their smile.

When you purchase a whitening product from a drug store, it likely contains one of these ingredients: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide. These are available in many forms including strips, pastes, gels, and mouthwashes.

In order for hydrogen peroxide and carbamide to do their work, they need to sit on the teeth for an extended period of time. For this reason, gels and strips tend to be more effective than pastes and washes.

These active ingredients work by lifting stains off your enamel and bleaching your teeth.

Drawbacks to OTC Whitening

If your goal is to whiten your teeth, guidance from a dental professional can go a long way toward advancing your cause. Only a dentist will be able to give you the advice you need and help you select the product that will work best for your unique situation.

If you get your teeth whitened by a dental professional, they will be able to adjust the whitening formula they use in order to maximize results and minimize irritation. When you use OTC products, you’re stuck with the way it comes out of the box.

There are cases when using drugstore whitening products, even when following the directions perfectly, can result in oral infection or damage to gum tissue.

In-Office Whitening Options

If you visit Hampden Dental Group for a whitening treatment, you’re sure to get better results with far less risk. We offer at home and in-office treatments, both of which are safe and yield excellent results.

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

Bright Rewards Whitening ProgramEven after just one treatment, you can see fabulous results. Our patients are also eligible for our Bright Rewards program, a take-home whitening system available to all patients for a one time fee of $99. All patients who get in-office whitening are enrolled for FREE.

Members of Bright Rewards receive a custom fit tooth tray and two tubes of whitening gel. Every time you come to us for your twice yearly cleaning, you will receive a FREE tube of touch-up gel.

Visit our whitening page to learn more about the professional whitening services available in our office.

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