Lifestyle Blog

Be a Wise Consumer

Be a Wise Consumer


by Your Brytelin Lifestyle Team

The use of home whitening products is one way to enhance your smile. Home whitening products can be an effective and convenient way to whiten teeth and remove staining that can take place over time. Home whitening products are typically available in the form of trays or strips and can be purchased in a retail store or online. You can also consult with a dental professional about your goals to restore your smile and create a plan with them that may involve products available through a dental office or applying a combination of dental office products and over the counter (OTC) teeth whitening products. 

The good news is consumers have many options for teeth whitening.  These options range in effectiveness, usage, convenience, accessibility, and price.  Products from a dental office may cost more but they may also give you quicker results.  While over the counter (OTC) whitening products are accessible to everyone because they can be purchased online or in a retail store.  OTC whitening products also cost less and produce great similar results - it just may require you to do a few more treatments to get those results.   It's a tradeoff either way - but both options give consumers what they want.  However, the accessibility, lower price, and at home convenience of OTC whitening products has grown in popularity and, therefore, OTC whitening products have become more sought after by masses of consumers today than ever before. 


Purchasing whitening products referred to as over the counter (OTC) products are usually a more cost-effective way to whiten your teeth.  The benefits are that they cost less and can be purchased at corner drug store, a large retailer, or via an online store.  These products may require a few more treatments but consumers do experience whitening results with these types of products. The key to having success with an at home whitening kit and/or whitening products is to follow the instructions carefully. Overuse or improper use of these products can damage enamel or gums.  Though it is not necessary, it can position you best to consult with a dental professional before beginning any smile restoration/whitening plan. 


At home teeth whitening and/or professional teeth whitening can be effective ways to improve the appearance of your smile, but it's important to understand that the effectiveness of the treatment will depend on the cause of the discoloration and the type of whitening treatment you use. If your teeth are discolored due to external factors such as smoking, coffee, or red wine, then teeth whitening can be a very effective solution. There are a variety of whitening treatments available, including in-office treatments, at-home kits, and over-the-counter products, all of which can help remove surface stains and brighten your teeth.


While home teeth whitening products can be effective for removing surface stains, they may not be effective for all types of discoloration. This goes for professional whitening too.  If your teeth are discolored due to internal factors such as genetics, medication use, or dental trauma, then teeth whitening may not be as effective. In these cases, other cosmetic dentistry treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired results.


The best plan for restoring and whitening your smile will depend on the current condition of your teeth, your dental health history, and your personal goals for your smile. Here are some general steps you can choose to take:

  • Schedule a dental exam: If you choose this step, during an exam, your dentist will assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone, and identify any underlying dental issues that need to be addressed and/or considered for teeth whitening. 
  • Develop a treatment plan: You can do this with a dental professional by either applying professional treatments such as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, or dental implants, or you can ask your dental professional for guidance on applying OTC products that can support your whitening goals and your dental history. 
  • Develop a maintenance plan with OTC products: If your whitening plan involves professional dental work or you whiten with OTC products used as directed, your maintenance plan can include supportive over the counter (OTC) whitening products, such as whitening strips, peroxide gels, electric toothbrushes, whitening powders, whitening toothpastes and foams, water picks, and LED light appliances. OTC products are more accessible, and affordable, and they are a great option for preventative maintenance plans that help you keep your restored smile lasting longer. 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Whether you undergo cosmetic dental treatments or simply apply at home whitening treatments to get your smile whitened - it's important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to ensure the longevity of your new smile. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings.  
  • Consider lifestyle changes: Certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking or consuming foods and drinks that stain teeth, can contribute to dental problems and affect the appearance of your smile. Consider making lifestyle changes to support your dental health, such as quitting smoking or limiting your intake of sugary or acidic foods and drinks.

Overall, both professional dental restoration and OTC home whitening products can be good options for those looking to whiten their teeth. However, teeth whitening achieved by a dental professional or by using OTC products is not a permanent solution and will require maintenance, therefore you should:

  1. be committed to daily routines that support good oral health,
  2. try to visit your dental professional 2 times a year for regular cleanings,
  3. consider and pre-plan for maintenance that keeps your new smile white, and
  4. use any and all products responsibly and according to the instructions.

Though it is not necessary to consult with your dental professional prior to using an OTC whitening product, it does position you best when you share with them any product or appliance that you are using in an effort to improve and/or maintain a smile whitening routine.  Also, as noted above, teeth whitening in general is NOT a permanent solution to restoring your smile and therefore, it may be wise to expect that touch-up treatments periodically will be needed to maintain your whitened results. 

When you're committed to seeking professional information to be an informed consumer, you become a wiser consumer, able to make more qualified decisions that can give you an experience and the results you desire. 


💡Be sure to follow the exact directions for any teeth whitening kit, whitening product, and/or oral care product that you’re using because they can vary. 

💡 It is always a good idea to contact a dental professional to share your teeth whitening goals and good oral health care goals to determine the best plan for you considering your individual needs.  

 *Results may vary when using any type of teeth whitening and/or oral care product due to individual use, lifestyle, and dental health.