Advancement in OTC teeth whitening products and related technology over recent years has been no less than astonishing. These days, some of the very best OTC teeth whitening kitson the market are able to deliver results comparable to those of a professional treatment. Perhaps not quite as miraculous, but as close as we’ve seen to date.
Not only this, but the kinds of dentist recommended teeth whitening kitswe’re seeing today are also among the safest ever to hit the market. Refined, tested and recommended by professionals, invest in a seriously outstanding whitening kit and you’re in for impressive results.
Still, with such a dizzying array of products to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Hence, the reason why so many people buy teeth whitening kits completely at random, only to wonder why things don’t exactly go as they expected.
The good news being that with just a tiny amount of forethought, you can ensure that the OTC whitening products you buy really are the best in the business andthe best for you. The following guidelines provided by dental health professionals representing a great starting point:
First up, whitening strips are perhaps the most popular and readily available examples of OTC whitening products currently available. You remove the strips from the pack, apply them to your teeth and simply leave them in place for the required amount of time. If using the very best strips money can buy, it’s perfectly possible to reverse years of stains and yellowing in no time at all.
On the plus side, whitening strips take convenience and practicality to an entirely higher level. On the downside, the very nature of strips with their two-dimensional surface makes it difficult to apply the whitening solution evenly across all of your teeth. Precisely why it’s hardly rare to come across reviews from users who’ve ended up with rather dramatically uneven results. Still, invest in premium quality strips and use them exactly as instructed and they can be surprisingly effective.
Trays and Gels
Though slightly less convenient to use, whitening gels in conjunction with trays can be much better for creating even results. That is, just as long as you choose a high-quality kit with the kind of tray that can mould and shape perfectly to the unique shape of your teeth. Some of the more generic kits on the market come with rigid and a surprisingly small plastic trays, which can make it difficult or even impossible to use them effectively.
With trays and gels, the application process is a little more time consuming and a little less convenient. Nevertheless, many argue that the results delivered by quality trays and gels go over and above those of whitening strips. It all comes down to the quality and suitability of the kit in question, so it’s a good idea to do a little homework ahead of time.
We won’t blind you with science by going into the complexities of the various chemicals and combinations thereof used in teeth whitening products. The only thing you really need to know is that as far as effectiveness goes, there’s one active ingredient that gets the job done better than any other – hydrogen peroxide.
In some instances, whitening kits entirely remove hydrogen peroxide from the equation, in order to get the job done with a much gentler action. The only downside being that whitening products that don’t contain any hydrogen peroxide are inherently less capable of whitening your teeth as quickly and effectively as their counterparts. Peroxide should be avoided if you have any sensitivities or allergies, but is otherwise the most powerful and effective active ingredient.
That said, it’s worth keeping an eye on the actual levels of peroxide in the product itself. Pretty much every whitening kit on the market will have its own unique concentration of peroxide and combination of additional ingredients.
As a rule of thumb, higher concentrations of peroxide lead to faster results and more effective whitening in general. However, higher concentrations of peroxide can also be somewhat aggressive to the teeth and gums, significantly increasing the likelihood of sensitivity and discomfort during use. Which represents the best option for you will be entirely down to your personal preferences and dental history.
On that note, your dental health at the time should be factored into the equation when selecting whitening products. For example, if you have a history of sensitive teeth, you might want to think twice about investing in a high-peroxide whitening product. Instead, consider some of the gentler options available, or speak to your dentist for their own recommendations.
In fact, if you have any dental health issues whatsoever – or a history thereof – it’s definitely in your best interests to seek professional advice. Chances are, there will be plenty of whitening products and solutions available that are perfectly safe to use. It’s simply a case of being pointed in the right direction by those who know dental health best of all.
Last up, every whitening kit will have its own unique requirements when it comes to how and how often the product needs to be applied. In some instances, whitening strips need only be applied to the teeth for say 20 or 30 minutes, usually every other day over a given period. In others, it may be necessary to leave the solution on your teeth for any number of hours, repeating the process every week as recommended by the manufacturer.
Your personal preferences and lifestyle will dictate which products are and aren’t suitable accordingly. Think carefully about if and when you will have time to apply the products as instructed, before deciding which to go with. The last thing you want is to spend good money on a course of self-administered treatment you have to abandon halfway through!