There are many over-the-counter options for teeth whitening. Some of these options provide better results than others. Whitening toothpastes contain a mild abrasive that can whiten teeth up to one shade. Whitening mouthwashes contain small amounts of peroxide, and these rinses are not believed to be very effective as the peroxide only touches the teeth for about one minute.
Whitening strips are thin pieces of plastic coated in peroxide. You attach the strips to the front of your teeth for about 30 minutes per day for two weeks. These strips are reportedly the best over-the-counter whitening method.
The treatment regimen for whitening gels depends on the type and strength of gel that is purchased. Gels can give results similar to whitening strips. Pre-made whitening trays are made to contain whitening gel, but because they are not custom-made for each patient’s mouth, the gel can ooze out and cause gum irritation.