3 Things You Should Know About Dental Whitestrips

MatureLadySmWhen you think about sprucing up your smile, it’s hard to ignore the numerous boxes of Whitestrips that line the shelves of the drugstores and supermarkets in St. Augustine. Teeth whitening has become such a convenient and widely accepted cosmetic procedure that you might even be tempted to sidestep your dentist and give it a shot on your own. Before you fork over the $40 for a box of Whitestrips, there are three things that you should know about your choice:

  1. Whitestrips are generally safe, but… The active ingredient in most over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products is the same or very similar to professional teeth whitening formulas. Most strips, gels, pens, and rinses contain hydrogen or carbamide peroxide solutions that oxygenate the enamel to “bleach” away stain. While these products are not harmful to the enamel and are not harmful when accidently ingested, you may experience tenderness and discomfort if they are not used properly.
  2. They’re not as strong as professional products. Most OTC teeth whiteners are less concentrated than professional versions. Plus, the gel that coats whitestrips can become easily diluted by the saliva in your mouth. For these reasons, OTC whitening products don’t tend to deliver the most predictable or dramatic results.
  3. They provide minimal coverage. By design, whitestrips are one-size-fits-all, meaning that they may or may not completely cover all of the teeth that can be seen when you smile. You may find that it is especially hard to whiten the enamel along the gumline without placing the strip directly on the gum tissue. These strips are designed for smiles of “average” width or height, a limitation that may not be sufficient for your unique smile.

There are lots of variables when it comes to seemingly simple treatments like teeth whitening. These products are acceptable for home use if you would like to give teeth whitening a try. However, for more precision and more visible results, you might eventually consider professional bleach trays or laser whitening. For more information about teeth whitening, call to schedule an appointment today.