• The Pros and Cons of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners

    Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners Seattle

    The Pros and Cons of Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners

    Every time you walk down the toothpaste aisle, you stop and stare at the over-the-counter teeth whiteners. You really want to brighten up your smile, but you are skeptical of these whitening agents because they are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and they do not carry the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.

    Plus, if they really did all they claim (whiter teeth by tomorrow, anyone?), then why would you pay more to get your teeth whitened by a professional?

    If you are on the fence about whether over-the-counter teeth whiteners are right for you, then take a look at some of these pros and cons before contacting the local dental experts at Zen Dental today!


    Initial cost

    In most cases, over-the-counter teeth whitening agents are far cheaper at the initial outset than professional whitening services. Kits usually cost around $10 – $50.


    You don’t have to set up an appointment with your dentist to get whiter teeth. Simply stop by your local grocery store at your leisure and pick up a box of teeth whitening strips. What could be easier?

    Lots of options

    There are a wide variety of over-the-counter teeth whitening agents to choose from, so you are sure to find something that works great for you! If you don’t like the strips, try the gels, trays, toothpastes, flosses, or mouthwashes.

    Easy maintenance

    Once you have found a product that you like, you can use another kit to make sure that your teeth don’t yellow again.


    Overall cost

    Sure, the initial cost of a box of over-the-counter teeth whitening strips may be under $50, but what people fail to realize is that they must purchase a new kit each time their smile needs a touch up. Once you have touched up once or twice, you could have easily purchased a professional kit that requires less maintenance.


    When it comes to effective teeth whitening, it’s all about the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the mix. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products usually contain around 6% to 10% hydrogen peroxide, which bubbles away mild stains. Professional whitening trays contain up to 15% hydrogen peroxide while in-office whitening treatments contain concentrations of up to 35%. In other words, over-the-counter whitening strips will work for mild whitening needs, but if your teeth have moderate to severe staining, you will need a more effective product.

    Uneven whitening

    Whitening strips are really only good for straight, even teeth. If your teeth are crooked or slanted, the gel may not reach certain sections of enamel, leaving behind uneven white patches. You may even experience bleached or burned gums since the application method is not specifically fitted to the teeth.

    Treatment time

    It may take two or more weeks to complete the treatment and see noticeable results. With such a long treatment time, you may start to experience extreme tooth discomfort and sensitivity. Also, the whitening effect may only last for a few months, so multiple treatments may be needed to maintain the effect.

    For more information on how to whiten your smile, call 206-926-8818 today!

  • Brighten Your Teeth Naturally with These Healthy Foods

    Natural Teeth with Healthy Food

    Brighten Your Teeth Naturally with These Healthy Foods

    Everyone wants brighter, whiter teeth, but not all people have the money to splurge on over-the counter teeth whiteners or expensive professional teeth whitening services.

    Do not despair! You too can have a brighter smile with just a quick trip to the local grocery store.

    There are many common foods that can help whiten naturally without the use of harsh chemicals, bleaches, or trips to the dentist. Here is a glimpse at some of the best foods our Seattle dental experts recommend to naturally brighten your smile.


    Ok, so this is technically a drink, but as it is one of the most important things you can put into your body, it gets the top spot on our teeth whitening list. Drinking water is not only the best thirst quencher out there, but it helps wash acid-producing foods from the mouth. If you are a wine or coffee drinker or love dark, pigmented foods like blueberries, simply sip and swish between glasses or bites to prevent staining. Keep to still water, though. Sparkling water can erode enamel and harm teeth.


    Though they may stain your clothes, strawberries are excellent for teeth whitening. The malic acid in strawberries acts as a natural astringent to remove surface stains. Want to mash one up and put it on your toothbrush? Go right ahead!

    Seeds and nuts

    If you want a natural exfoliator for your teeth, then break out your party mix! The abrasive texture of almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews are perfect for removing surface stains.

    Apples, celery, and carrots

    Crunching into fibrous fruits and veggies are not only great for your figure, but they can actually help strengthen your gums. The high water content of these foods also gets the saliva flowing, washing away bacteria that could lead to discoloration.


    Think of broccoli as your go-to high-fiber tooth scrubber. Eating crisp, raw broccoli cleans and polishes teeth and provides a natural wall of protection against enamel-degrading acids, which helps prevent stains and cavities.

    Citrus fruits

    Mouth-watering fruits like oranges and grapefruit act as a mouthwash, encouraging saliva production and washing the teeth clean naturally. Pineapple is also the only natural source of bromelain, an anti-inflammatory and cleansing compound that is an effective ingredient in many tooth-whitening toothpastes.


    Yogurt, milk, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium, an essential component for strong teeth. Cheese is especially good for your teeth because it contains phosphorous and a protein called casein, which combines with calcium to help stabilize and repair tooth enamel. Hard cheeses are best for healthy teeth because they help remove food particles as well.

    Brighter, whiter teeth are within your reach! Just stock your pantry or fridge with these delicious foods and you will be well on your way to healthier teeth and gums. At Zen Dental in Seattle , we are committed to bringing out your most beautiful smile, so give us a call today to find out more information!

    Want to learn more about natural teeth whitening? Call 206-926-8818!