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Effectiveness of Over-the-counter Tooth Whitening Products

Many people suffer from discolored or stained teeth and it can have a drastic effect on their self-esteem. In fact, in a recent study of 18-49 year olds it was found that 80% wanted to have whiter teeth and 60% believed that by improving their smile, they would improve their self-esteem and quality of life. Thankfully there are products and procedures available which can help revive a bright white smile and bring the confidence back into your life.

Over-The-Counter Products

There are several options available today for whitening your teeth. The most inexpensive methods are over-the-counter tooth whitening products, such as whitening toothpastes or whitening kits. These products are available at all drugstores and grocery stores and can be purchased without having to visit your dentist. Most of these products can offer good results if you only have minor discoloration.

While these products are inexpensive and convenient, they can often be messy and can sometime be frustrating to use. Also, you may not experience the results that you desire because the concentration of bleaching agents in the products tends to be much lower than those used in professional tooth whitening.

Results and Side Effects

While over-the-counter products may be cheaper and more convenient, some of these products might actually cause more tooth discoloration in the long term. Studies have shown that whitening toothpastes can actually lead to further discoloration when used regularly. This is due to the high amount of abrasives in these toothpastes. When your teeth are exposed to abrasives over and over, it wears down the enamel, allowing the yellow colored dentin in the center of your tooth to show.

Over-the-counter tooth whitening kits can give you decent results if they are used properly. It is very easy to overuse these products, so be careful to follow the proper instructions. It may also be a good idea to consult with your dentist before using an at-home bleaching kit.

The effectiveness of over-the-counter whitening products will vary from person to person. Because these products contain a lower concentration of bleaching agents, it may take you much longer to see results than if you had a professional procedure done. While these products are safe to use, there are some side effects which typically include tooth sensitivity and gum pain. These side effects are usually temporary, but if you experience prolonged or severe pain, please visit your dentist.