What Products for Whiter Teeth are Available from the Drugstore or Retailer?
You have a wide range of choices when it comes to whitening your teeth-from whitening toothpastes, special gels, and strips to packaged whitening systems. These over-the-counter products offer an affordable whitening option that's safe for almost everyone.
- Whitening toothpastes can effectively remove surface stains with repeated use. They also help keep your newly whitened teeth looking their best. Unlike in-office procedures such as bleaching and laser whitening, every time you brush with a whitening toothpaste you fight off new stains that develop from coffee or tea, tobacco or plaque build-up. Whitening toothpastes help your newly whitened teeth stay that way longer.
- Whitening gels work by removing surface stains as well as stains within the teeth. Because they contain special peroxide-based formulas, you're likely to see a more noticeable change in your tooth color with a whitening gel than with a whitening toothpaste alone. To use just apply the clear whitening gel to the teeth with a brush applicator as directed.
- Whitening strips are also applied directly to the teeth and worn for 30 minutes twice a day.
- Whitening systems include bleaching material, often in a concentration of peroxide lower than what you would get with a dentist-supervised tray whitening system. The whitening material is applied to the teeth by using an applicator tray available in one of two styles:
- Moldable tray applicators are mouthpieces that you boil in water, and then bite down on to form to your teeth. You add bleaching material to the mouthpiece and wear it according to manufacturer's instruction.
- Non-moldable mouth tray applicators are the least expensive tray whitening option (as little as $29). They work like the mouthpieces described above, except that you don
Choosing which whitening system to use depends on how quickly you want results, how sensitive your gums and teeth are, and how much you want to pay. With any at-home bleaching method you run the risk of temporary tooth sensitivity or gum irritation. It is a good idea to check with your dentist before beginning any whitening procedure.
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