We’ve had a few questions regarding whitening treatments. Is there one better than the other? What’s the difference between over-the-counter (OTC) products versus in-office teeth whitening products? We’ve come up with the answers to your questions below, based on the dentist’s expertise and scientific evidence.
You may have seen items that have been promoted by the press as an alternative to teeth whitening, including household items such as acidic fruits, vinegar, products containing charcoal and the practice of oil pulling. There are LIMITED studies to date on these approaches and this raises questions regarding efficacy and safety. Acidic foods, vinegar and activated charcoal toothpaste can lead to enamel wear and weakening. There are no studies to date that confirm the benefit of whitening with oil pulling.
Here is a list of OTC teeth whitening products that are both safe and effective:
- Crest Gum & Enamel Repair (Advanced Whitening, Intensive Clean)
- Crest 3D White Whitestrips (Glamorous White, Vivid White, Brilliance White)
- Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle ( Sensitive White, Vivid White Gentle Sensitive)
- Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic Vivid
- Tom’s of Main Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste
- Colgate Total Advanced Fresh + Whitening Gel Toothpaste
Here are dentist-supervised methods that are both safe and effective:
- At-home whitening gel and custom tray: gel is placed in customized trays made to fit comfortably and minimize contact of the gel with the gum tissue. Treatment time varies. Optimal results within 2 weeks of daily use.
- In-office tooth whitening products such as Boost and KOR whitening: involves application of a peroxide-containing gel with the use of a barrier to protect your gum tissue. These whitening treatments have higher concentrations and normally take either 1-2 x 40min visits to complete treatment.
Things to keep in mind when whitening:
- Tooth-colored restorations cannot be whitened, only your natural teeth.
- Temporary tooth sensitivity/gingival inflammation are potential adverse effects. You may reduce the amount of sensitivity by either pre-op use of anti-inflammatory drugs, or application of topical fluoride.
- Avoid eating/drinking foods that would stain.
- The type of tooth stain can also affect the length of and/or number of treatments required.
- While OTC products are less expensive than dentist-supervised methods, there is a time trade-off.
Given the situation we are in now with Covid19, you can give these at-home products a try. If you are looking for something that is more timely, predictable, and immediate results, we’d be happy to help you do this at Premier Smile Center with our in-office teeth whitening systems.
Learn more about the teeth whitening procedures that are right for you. Schedule a consultation with Fort Lauderdale dentist Dr. Charmaine Johnson at the Premier Smile Center.