Survey: Most Americans whiten teeth at home

Most Americans opt to whiten their teeth using home-based methods rather than professional whitening options, according to a research report from the market research firm Mintel.

In fact, only 10% of those looking for brighter smiles go to the dentist for in-office whitening, Mintel found.

Slightly more than 4 in 10 respondents (41%) have tried to whiten their teeth in the last 12 months using toothpaste, while 17% with at-home mouthwash, and 15% with over-the-counter whitening strips, according to the report.

"Some of the key growth drivers in the oral care market include an increased interest in whitening capabilities and products that deliver multiple benefits," said Gabriela Mendieta, home and personal care analyst at Mintel, in a press release. "Also, many consumers are becoming more aware of how oral care effects their general health, and marketers can use this opportunity to push products that not only help with teeth and gums but one's overall well-being."

Mintel also found that the majority of Americans (73%) are looking for toothpaste that prevents cavities, while another 70% look for toothpaste that boasts tartar control. A product that promises whiter teeth is the third most popular attribute with 66% of people, followed by 56% who are looking for a product to strengthen their enamel.

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