Discolored teeth can really harm your confidence, but they aren’t a life sentence. Here are your dental choices when you want teeth whitening.
Did you know that people around the world spend an estimated $3.2 billion on teeth whitening every year? From professional teeth whitening options to do-it-yourself approaches, the industry will continue to grow as people continue to desire whiter, brighter teeth.
Do you have staining due to drinks like soda and wine? Or have you just noticed your teeth darken with age? Either way, you have plenty of dental choices that vary in cost and length of treatment. You might even find that using a combination can give you a smile you’re happy with.
Read on to learn all about seven teeth whitening options you can try.
Professional Whitening at the Dentist’s Office
One of the fastest teeth whitening methods is to have the whitening done at your dentist’s office through professional teeth bleaching.
While it costs more than other options, you can get the best whitening results in as little as one visit. This dentist can give you a whiter smile in only one hour!
Your dentist will use a custom-molded teeth whitening tray that will hold the bleach during your procedure. They might also use heat or light to make the process go faster. However, this accelerated option may not be best for people with sensitive teeth.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Trays
Using at-home teeth whitening trays can help you save money while doing the procedure at your own time and place.
Your dentist can give you a custom-molded tray to use or offer a series of disposable whitening trays. You can also buy a teeth whitening tray kit online or at a local store. These may be made of a rubber material that isn’t molded to your specific teeth.
The tray may have the gel already filled in it, or you might add it yourself. In either case, you can expect to wear the tray each day for a few weeks and see some gradual changes.
Teeth Whitening Pens
If you have just a few teeth with stains on them, you might consider using a teeth whitening pen. These tubes hold some teeth whitening gel and have a small brush on the end so that you can apply the bleach precisely to the stained teeth.
Teeth whitening pens are best when you just need a touchup since you can take them on the go. When you put the whitening gel on your teeth, you won’t rinse it off or cover the solution with anything. You might see some results within around an hour.
Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
When you just want some subtle stain removal, you might consider replacing your usual toothpaste with a whitening formula.
This toothpaste can remove stains from tobacco, foods, and drinks from the surface of your teeth. But be warned it can’t fix deep stains or problems with your tooth’s natural color.
Whitening toothpaste works due to containing stain-removing chemicals like peroxide along with abrasives that polish off the stains. You can even make your own whitening toothpaste with some baking soda.
You’ll need to use whitening toothpaste twice daily and possibly wait several weeks to see some results. So this is not one of the best teeth whitening options if you need whitening fast.
Teeth Whitening Strips
If you prefer something less clunky than a tray but want faster results than teeth whitening toothpaste, consider teeth whitening strips.
These small strips of flexible plastic have bleach in them and wrap around the front and back of your teeth. You’ll usually wear the strips anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You’ll repeat this once or twice a day for two to four weeks.
Teeth whitening strips come in various formulas and strengths. For example, you can find some that have a higher bleach concentration and others that are weaker and for sensitive mouths. In any case, you’ll want to find teeth whitening strips that have American Dental Association acceptance.
Teeth Whitening Gum
You might have seen chewing gums at the grocery checkout stand that have “white” in their names or promise a whiter smile. These products also often talk about helping prevent cavities.
While these gums won’t give you major whitening results, they can help prevent staining. This is due to the cavity-fighting Xylitol sugar and the stain-removing baking soda contained in these gums. Some gums even have a mild form of peroxide in them.
For the best results, chew the whitening gum after meals to help produce more saliva. This will help wash away food stuck in your teeth and help your tooth enamel to remineralize.
If you prefer to use natural teeth whitening options, you can try oil pulling with coconut oil. This option helps more with preventing future staining than removing current stains. So, you might try it along with other methods like professional teeth whitening or teeth whitening strips.
This ancient technique involves swishing around one teaspoon of the coconut oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. You can then spit the oil out, but beware of doing it in a sink since you might end up with clogs. Afterward, you’ll just brush your teeth and floss as usual.
Using oil pulling will help kill bad bacteria, make your breath smell better, and reduce the number of cavities you get. It can even prevent common forms of gum disease similarly to using a regular drugstore mouthwash.
Try These Dental Choices to Whiten Your Teeth
Now that you understand these seven dental choices for teeth whitening, consider which fit your budget and needs.
If you need a white smile for a special event coming up soon, you’ll probably find that in-chair teeth whitening will get you the fastest and brightest results. Teeth whitening strips and at-home whitening trays come in second for treatment time and results and may fit your budget better. You can also use whitening toothpaste, gum, and pens to maintain your new white smile.
Be sure to check out our other health posts for more news and advice.