38335384 - teen girl smile before and after teeth whiteningOver the counter (OTC) may not be all it’s cracked up to be. When you see OTC products, you probably think “it’s cheap and easy.” It seems like a viable option because it appears to be a time and money saver. But, is it really a good choice?

OTC whitening products aren’t always as effective as they promise to be. Toothpastes can help remove the stains that lie on the surface of your teeth, and whitening toothpastes will offer a chemical to help your teeth appear lighter. But, it most likely won’t be a drastic change from where you were. It may only whiten teeth about a shade or two lighter. Then you have the whitening mouthwash, which isn’t in your mouth very long. It’s hard to believe that it would be against your teeth long enough to give you a whiter, brighter smile, at least to the degree that you’re looking for.

The most effective OTC whitening products are probably the gels or the strips. However, these come with their own issues. You could be exposed to swallowing some gel and while a little isn’t harmful, a lot is. When it comes to the strips, these are made one-size-fits-all, but the problem is, people aren’t made one-size-fits-all. So, these strips will fit everyone differently. They may end up going on the gums, which can be irritating. There’s also a danger in leaving strips or gel on for longer than directed. This could lead to eroding enamel and irritating gums. Cheaper strips may also move off of your teeth, especially your bottom teeth, making them ineffective and causing you to spit them out before they’ve even been on long enough to make a difference (what a waste of time and money). To get more effective strips or gel OTC, you’ll end up spending more money for higher end products. Instead, you could see a professional for a more effective, safer option that can give you a whiter smile.

When you seek a professional for your whitening needs, you can bring your teeth to a whiter level. The product is custom made to fit your needs and fit your teeth. It’s not one-size-fits-all, it’s made for you as an individual. Next time you want whiter teeth, trust the professionals to give you the smile you’re looking for.

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