Field Guide to Drugstore Whitening Products

August 18, 2017

Tea, coffee, soda, and red wine are all delicious beverages that many of us enjoy, but they have something else in common–they can cause staining to your teeth.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat these stains that don’t involve cutting out your morning coffee or evening wine. As a matter of fact, at times it seems there are too many ways to whiten your teeth. Choosing the right product can be overwhelming.

Central Park Modern Dentistry has decided to shed some light on the situation, presenting this guide to selecting the whitening treatment that works best for you.

What Causes Teeth to Yellow?

Your teeth are made up of several layers. The outermost layer, enamel, is a thin, hard sheet that protects your teeth. As you drink coffee or other food and drinks that stain, the residue begins to form a new layer. This layer is called a pellicle film.

As the pellicle film sits on your teeth, it slowly embeds into your enamel, from which it is difficult to remove. Even a professional cleaning will likely leave the marks behind.

After the stains have spent some time on your teeth, you will need to employ more serious measures in order to remove them.

OTC Whiteners


In many situations, at-home whitening treatments can be an effective way to treat staining. Most often, these products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide.

Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide work by bleaching your teeth and lifting out stains. They are available in many forms, including: strips, gels, pastes, and mouthwashes.

Strips and gels tend to be the better options. They spend more time in direct contact with your teeth, and the whitening agents need time in order to do their work.

Drawbacks to OTC Whitening

While OTC whitening treatments are a convenient and effective option for some patients, they do come with drawbacks.

Drugstore whitening treatments are presented as one-size-fits-all treatments, but the truth is that certain products work differently for different people. Your smile may need more or less of a specific ingredient in order to maximize results and reduce irritation.

If you have your teeth whitened professionally under the guidance of a dentist, you will have access to professional input. Your dentist will be able to adjust products for the best possible result with the lowest amount of complications.

In-Office Whitening Options

Perhaps instead of piecing together a DIY whitening treatment, you should consult a professional about whitening your smile.

Central Park Modern Dentistry offers two options for whitening your teeth. Our in-office treatment has immediate results!

Whitening System Treatment Time Cost
In-Office One 60 minute office visit $390
Take-Home Once a day for 45 minutes for 2-5 weeks $99
Bright Rewards

Besides chairside whitening, we also have our Bright Rewards program, a take-home options for patients. This treatment is a great value. For $99, you get a custom-fit whitening tray and two bottles of whitening gel. Then, at every dental cleaning, you will receive two tubes of touch-up gel for FREE.

Those who have had chairside whitening in our office will be enrolled in Bright Rewards for FREE.

We hope our tips put you on the fast track to whiter teeth in no time.

To learn more about our whitening options, visit our whitening page.