The Truth about Teeth Whitening Gels

Teeth whitening gels can do a lot to enhance the appearance of people who are wishing for a whiter smile. But many people don’t know much about these gels. What is the active ingredient, and how can one know that they are using the one that is most effective?

The procedure is often referred to as teeth bleaching, because the active ingredient in teeth whitening gels is usually a form of peroxide. The most common form is called carbamide peroxide.

Both over-the-counter and prescription teeth whitening gels use this type of peroxide, or something very similar. The main difference between an over-the-counter version and one given by prescription is the strength of the gel and the delivery system.

Teeth whitening gels purchased over the counter are going to have a lower concentration of carbamide peroxide than what would be available with a prescription. That doesn’t necessarily mean that users will not achieve similar results with the lower concentration formula, but that it will take a longer period of time and more treatments to achieve those results. On the flip side, people with sensitive teeth may be better able to tolerate the lower dosage of peroxide and be willing to wait a bit longer for maximum results.

The other big difference between over-the-counter and prescription teeth whitening gels will be the delivery system. In the store, consumers will typically be able to choose between a gel pen, strips or a tray. The tray, of course, will not be custom fit and may not work well for every user.

Prescription teeth whitening gel is going to either be applied in the office or users will be fitted with a custom made tray. Because the tray was formed to fit each user’s teeth perfectly, the gel will be in contact with each tooth in a way that will provide maximum results.

Of course, the prescription teeth whitening gel and delivery system is going to cost far more than the over-the-counter versions. Many people find the over-the-counter products work great for them. Those products are a good place to start, especially if cost is an issue.

Again, the only real differences between over-the-counter teeth whitening gel and prescription gel is the strength of the product and the delivery system. Wonderful results can be achieved with both.

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