Teeth Looking a Little Yellow? Here are the most effective teeth whitening products you can use at home:
If your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be, or even as white as you would like them to be, there are numerous ways to whiten them. The tooth whitening market can be a bit overwhelming and confusing, however. In this article, we’ll try and sort through some of your options and help you determine which options could be best to help you bring back that shiny white smile.
While all toothpastes can help whiten your teeth for the most part, some work better than others:
- Most whitening toothpastes contain some form of abrasive compound which helps to scrape off contaminants and staining from the enamel. Many also contain polishing agents to help restore shine to the enamel as well.
- However, whitening toothpastes only help remove surface level stains, and are unable to reach deeper into the tooth to remove stains completely.
Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach, while over the counter and professional whitening products typically contain some form of peroxide, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
- Can help reach deeper into the tooth.
- Remove stains and restore whiteness below the surface.
- Are only able to whiten the teeth by about one shade.
By comparison, prescription strength whitening products available at your dentist’s office can whiten your teeth by anywhere from 3 to 8 shades of white.
Over-the-counter Whitening Strips & Gels
Whitening strips are extremely thin and virtually invisible strips that are typically coated with a peroxide-based stain removal gel. Usually you can expect initial results after a few days of use, with more complete results showing up after approximately four months of regular usage.
Whitening gels are also generally peroxide-based and are applied with an application brush directly to the surface of the teeth. The application directions will vary dependent upon the strength of the peroxide used in the particular tooth whitening product. As with the above tooth whitening strips, you can typically expect to see initial results after a few days, with more complete results becoming noticeable after about four months of regular applications of the tooth whitening gel product.
Tooth Whitening Mouth Rinses
However, unlike the general purpose mouth wash products, tooth whitening mouth rinses usually contain other ingredients for the purpose of tooth whitening, such as hydrogen peroxide. As with the other tooth whitening products discussed above, the hydrogen peroxide contained in these mouth rinses can help to whiten your teeth by removing deep seated stains within the tooth’s enamel.
One of the more recent developments in the advancing field of tooth whitening solution products is the tooth whitening mouth rinse. As with most mouth wash products, these rinses can help to freshen your breath and reduce plaque buildup, as well as reduce your chances of developing gingivitis.
How long can you expect to use a tooth whitening mouth rinse product for before you see results?
Most companies who develop these products suggest a daily usage cycle of approximately twelve weeks in order to see expected results. A typical application of a tooth whitening rinse involves swooshing a capful of the rinse product around in your mouth for about sixty seconds two times per day, generally right before brushing your teeth as usual.
Some dental experts suggest that tooth whitening mouth rinses may not be quite as effective as the other over the counter tooth whitening products listed above. This is due to the fact that the tooth whitening mouth rinse is only in direct contact with your teeth for as little as sixty seconds, whereas most of the other products described above remain in contact with the enamel for many times longer. For example, many tooth whitening strips suggest an application of 30 minutes or longer, or 60 times as long as a typical mouth rinse application.
Due to this much shorter application cycle, mouth rinses may have less of a pronounced effect than other competing options. You may consider using a tooth whitening mouth rinse in addition to one or more of the other solutions rather than instead of them. This could provide a better result than using the mouth rinse product by itself.
Tray-Based Tooth Whitening Systems
Another tooth whitening option you might want to consider is the tray-based tooth whitening system. These systems can be purchased either from your dentist or over-the-counter. They typically involve a mouth guard like tray with a tooth whitening solution, which contains a peroxide enamel bleaching agent. You generally wear this tray for a specified period of time ranging from a couple of hours per day to overnight. The directions may call for wearing this tray for the specified time daily for four weeks or longer, dependent upon how discolored your teeth are and how many shades of whitening you desire for them.
Professional Dental Office Tooth Whitening Treatments
Many dental offices offer professional in-office tooth whitening treatment solutions.
- These solutions can often provide the quickest and most effective results relative to the other products listed in this article.
- However, they can also be the most expensive.
- Even with the improved effectiveness of professional dental office whitening solutions, you may still need multiple treatments to achieve the results you desire, so keep that in account when considering going with this option.
Dental office treatments usually involve a bleaching, whitening product that is applied directly to the teeth. The whitening solution is often combined with a heat, light, or laser treatment as well. You can expect to see results in a single half-hour to one hour treatment. To achieve more dramatic results, repeated appointments are often needed. The biggest advantage of going with a dental office treatment is that you can usually see results after only a single treatment, so if you need results quickly, this is often the best way to go, despite the higher price tag.
Hopefully, after reading through these options, you now have an improved understanding of your various treatment options when it comes to tooth whitening solutions and are able to select the best product or treatment for your specific tooth whitening needs. Whether you choose to go with toothpaste, gels, strips, rinses or dental office treatment, having whiter teeth can provide an excellent boost to personal confidence and improve the way you feel about your overall appearance and dental health.