Healthy, pearly whites represent the trademark of a person who cares about his or her image and are often associated with success and charisma. It’s no wonder that the popularity of teeth whitening solutions has grown tremendously over the last decade. Available via over-the-counter (OTC) products and in-office procedures performed by your certified dentist, these treatments are designed to eliminate stains and buildups and return your teeth to their original shine.

Let’s find out whether the kits you can purchase at your local pharmacy are able to match the effectiveness of in-office dental procedures.

So, what at-home, DIY teeth whitening solutions are we talking about?

There are several types of OTC whitening products, all with certain advantages and drawbacks. You’ll most likely have the following options at your local general or drugstore:

• Rinses

Similar to standard mouthwash, rinses packed with whitening agents are swished and swirled around the mouth for a couple of minutes, tops, and provide a quick and easy whitening solution. The advantage is that utilizing this whitening solution is simple and takes very little of your time. The drawback is that the limited contact between the rinse and your teeth’s surface makes the whitening process slow and gradual, possibly with uneven results.

• Specially formulated toothpaste

The kinds of toothpaste formulated for whitening generally contain abrasive enzymes or agents that mill the stains off when you brush. The setback is that a lot of users develop sensitivity because the abrasive components also strip layers of enamel over time.

• Gel strips

Gel strips come in various strengths, but on average, it’s recommended to leave them on your teeth for a couple of hours daily. Results become evident in 10 or 20 days, depending on the concentration of the active substances, so they’re evidently not the way to go if you’re in a hurry to whiten your teeth for a big interview.

• Trays

Trays are similar in design to tooth-guards worn by athletes who engage in high-risk contact sports. Inside the trays, there is a space filled with whitening agents like the ones in gel strips. The whitening effect happens a lot faster compared to strips. Unfortunately, the trays aren’t designed in accordance with the wearer’s oral anatomy and particularities; they come in one-size-fits-all versions. You’ll have to wear them for several hours, during which they will move around in your mouth and rub against the gums, causing irritations.

In-office teeth whitening procedures:

Dentists often warn their patients regarding the risk of improperly administering whitening treatments. Without first assessing the condition of the enamel and potential fissures when determining the optimal dosage and frequency, the exact opposite effect is achieved: an unhealthy, greyish and uneven color.

We, at The Silverstrom Group, offer two outstanding solutions: the revolutionary Zoom!® teeth whitening system and the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System.

At our cosmetic dentistry practice, we are able to brighten teeth up to 10 shades in under an hour with the in-office Zoom!® teeth whitening system or up to 16 shades with the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System. Our dentists can also provide custom-made whitening trays as part of a take-home teeth-whitening kit. When you whiten with us, you’re not taking any chances with abrasive agents touching your gums or irritation because the procedure is performed by one of our trained professionals with years of experience.

To learn more about teeth whitening and see what you’d look like with brighter teeth, go to our whitening page.