The Pros and Cons of Over The Counter Tooth Whitening Products

by Riverside Heights Dental June 9th, 2016 in Dental Services
The Pros and Cons of Over The Counter Tooth Whitening Products

Ever increasing numbers of tooth whitening products are available over the counter, including toothpastes, rinses, trays, strips and gels, but do they really work? How effective are they compared to teeth whitening supervised by a professional?

The Pros

  • Low cost. Over the counter teeth whitening products are the least costly way to improve the coloration of teeth.
  • Convenient. With teeth whitening products from a pharmacy, the purchaser can perform teeth whitening at a time and place that suits them.

The Cons

  • Lower strength products. Teeth-whitening products that are available to the public typically have about 10-22% carbamide peroxide content (which is equivalent to about 3% hydrogen peroxide). Professional level products, however, normally contain between 15-43%, making them potentially more effective.

Toothpastes typically achieve an improvement of one shade, compared to a dentist's light-activated whitening that can achieve a lightening in shade of three to eight shades.

  • One size does not fit all. At North Surrey Dental Clinic, we consult with our clients to provide a tailored service. When it comes to the use of trays for teeth whitening, for example, specialists make custom trays from molds of the clients’ teeth. These allow for better contact with teeth than over the counter trays and they minimize contact with the gums, which is safer and can prevent or reduce any irritation.
  • Slow. Self-service whitening can take several treatments and several weeks to show noticeable effects. In-office whitening at a Guildford dentist can have perceivable results after a single 30 to 60 minute treatment.
  • Less safe. A North Surrey dentist will consult with clients to ensure not only maximum effectiveness but maximum safety, taking into consideration the possibility of allergic reactions, and teeth and gum sensitivity among other factors.


While purchasing teeth-whitening products is quick and easy to do, achieving results is quicker, more assured, and safer under the supervision of a dentist. Who knows teeth better than a dentist? A visit to North Surrey Dental Clinic can ultimately save you time, money, and dental discomfort. We know how to get your teeth to to look their best so you can smile freely.