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!

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