Over the Counter Whitening Products

May 10th, 2014 - By steve.mccormack

What about OTC whitnening products like strips, toothpastes, rinses, etc?

There are various products made by Crest and Rembrandt that are safe and effective.  However, they are not for everyone.      Also, their effectiveness and usefulness are limited.

  • Whitestrips   …   these are small strips [think cellophane tape] that fit over the front teeth and have a gel on the inside.  This gel has a similar active ingredient as the office gels we supply as part of our home whitening system.  These are sold in retail stores and are OK to use for some … not for others.   Name brands like Crest or Rembrandt are reputable manufacturers.
  • Whitestrips … Who should use them?   First of all, note that all bleaching products only work on natural teeth, not fillings or crowns.   I have not seen consistent success with adults.    For ages 18-30 it can be very effective for many.     For most adults the office supplied, customized products we use can get very good results and with fewer side effects.
  • Rinses and toothpastes   …  Most of these have minimal effectiveness for “whitening.”    They primarily help to eliminate or reduce surface staining.     Also, some people develop sensitivity with their teeth with regular use.  Bottom line   …   pick a toothpaste that tastes good and has fluoride.    They are all so similar as to make them essentially equal.
  • In-Office [one appointment] bleaching… This is a system that uses very concentrated products to get your whitening done in a single appointment.      I am not an advocate of this because it is expensive, labor intensive, can cause more tooth sensitivity, and usually doesn’t end up with any better result than our home whitening system.
  • Custom made Home bleaching traysThis is our preferred method.  It allows flexibility for length of time used and allows flexibility on the most appropriate products.     Also, if you keep your tray you can touch up once a year and simply buy another tube or two of the bleaching gel.   We supervise its use and can usually get very nice results.
  • Ready-made Opalescence trays.  These are one-size-fits-all trays [supplied by our office] that apply a whitening strip to your teeth.  This strip stays on for 30-60 minutes since it is a high strength whitening agent.  I like this for younger people since it is very effective for them.  It is not as good for patients with tougher stains that require longer use and custom trays.

This information  supplied by  Dr. McCormack