Charlotte Emergency Dental
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Charlotte, NC 28209


Should you purchase and use teeth whiteners from the store?

Whether you are young or old, today we live in a world of selfies and cellular phones. We now live in a society that promotes looking good and being aesthetic, as a result, this may leave many feeling self-conscious about their appearance including their mouth and smile. This self-consciousness about your smile may lead you to want whiter teeth for a nicer smile and you may even be considering over the counter tooth whitening products. A healthy bright smile may be just what you need to increase confidence and feel better about yourself. However, are over the counter teeth whiteners the correct way to achieve this?


With the wide selection of teeth whitening products that are currently available over the counter, people often wonder if professional teeth whitening by a dentist is truly worth the cost. After all, if you can simply buy a toothpaste or mouthwash that whitens your teeth for only a little bit of money, then why would you go and have your teeth whitened professionally by a dentist where the cost is so much more?


There are many different varieties of teeth whiteners and different teeth whitening products that are available to you over the counter. From bleach pens, strips, and gels, to whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes. Be sure to check the labels and do your research before you buy any teeth whitening products. All of the teeth whiteners that are available to you should contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to safely have a positive effect on the brightness of your tooth enamel. However as mentioned above they may be different in their form of delivery, some of these products are strips you place over your teeth while others are simply whitening kinds of toothpaste.


Often kinds of toothpaste that are marked and advertised as “tooth whitening toothpaste” lack the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide mentioned above that are required to positively affect your tooth enamel. These kinds of toothpaste however often contain a high content of detergents and abrasives that are used to fight off tough stains from your teeth. These type of “whitening toothpaste” may be ideal for heavy smokers and or coffee and red wine drinkers who have stained teeth as a result of smoking too many cigarettes or drinking excess coffee or red wine. However, these types of toothpaste should be avoided by nonsmokers and nonheavy coffee and red wine drinkers, due to the long-term damage that may be caused from the toothpaste being too abrasive for their enamel.


Bleaching strips and paint on systems are available to be purchased over the counter and are growing in popularity quickly becoming the fastest growing section of the retail market. These products are more convenient than professional whitening and much less expensive. However what many fail to realize is that they must be used consistently throughout a predetermined length of time for them to work effectively and for you to notice results. Usually anywhere from 2 weeks to up to 4 weeks from the time you started to use the product.


If you are still unsure about over the counter teeth whitening products, consult your dentist about your options for safely whitening your teeth.

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