Q:

What are some characteristics of the best whitening products?

A:

Quick Answer

According to WebMD, high-quality whitening products adhere to the teeth tightly and for much longer. These characteristics allow the active ingredients in whitening products to work properly and minimize the possibility of the whiteners being swallowed. For these reasons, WebMD recommends professional teeth whitening in a dentist's office. Where cost is a concern, over-the-counter teeth whitening strips are recommended over store-bought trays.

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Full Answer

According to WebMD, teeth-whitening trays are not the best option because they do not adhere to the teeth properly and because the whitening solution tends to be weak. This could encourage repeated attempts at teeth whitening. If overdone, whitening turns teeth translucent, which gives them a blue or gray look. Generally, professional whitening by a dentist gives better results than store-bought solutions. Part of the reason is the greater strength of professional-grade whitening solutions. Teeth whiteners rely on different formulations of hydrogen peroxide to attain results.

According to WebMD, the concentration of this chemical in over-the-counter solutions ranges from 3 percent to 10 percent. In comparison, the concentration in professional-grade whitening kits can be as high as 40 percent. The other reason why dentists achieve better results than store-bought solutions is because they custom-mold trays to closely fit clients' teeth. However, while better, professional solutions are significantly more expensive, with the cost sometimes running into hundreds of dollars. Pregnant mothers and those with gum disease should avoid whitening teeth.

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