First impressions are important. Flashing a smile with shiny white teeth can boost your mood and your confidence. However, not all of us are happy with our smiles.
According to a recent study, three in five people hate how their own smile looks. For many people, it simply comes down to how their pearly whites (or not-so-pearly-whites) look when they smile.
That's why teeth whitening is so popular when it comes to oral hygiene procedures and products these days. So what are the best ways to whiten your teeth?
It's important to keep in mind that even if do whiten your teeth, it's not so easy to maintain that “fresh out of the dentist's office” brilliant white teeth look.
What we consume daily, like coffee or wine, can cause staining. Vaping is another way our teeth can become discolored.
Of course maintaining proper oral hygiene is a great first step towards having cleaner and healthier teeth. But what's next?
That got us at Study Finds wondering, with all the products and treatments on the market today, what are some of the best — or at least easiest — ways to whiten your teeth?
We compiled a list of the four best ways to whiten your teeth, from ten expert websites, for a brighter smile.
Our list is comprised of the most popular suggestions across their posts. As always, we'd like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!
The List: Best Ways To Whiten Your Teeth, Per Dental Pros
1. In-Office Teeth Whitening
This option can be pricey and requires making an appointment or two with your dentist. However, it can give you longer lasting results.
“The in-office teeth whitening method uses a bleaching solution which changes (bleaches) the color of your tooth. This bleach solution is very powerful and can produce the desired result (can be seen after one visit) – within just 30 to 60 minutes,” according to Edge Dental Houston.
You may want to consider this option if you have sensitive gums.
“Measures are taken to protect your gums from the (bleaching) agents. These (measures) consist of a protective gel or a rubber shield placed over your gums,” notes Sutton Place Dental Associates.
2. Take-Home Teeth Whitening Trays
This method is slightly cheaper, and still requires you to see a dentist. According to Byrdie, these are “custom-made trays that are hand-crafted by dental lab technicians based on a mold of your mouth.”
“Similar to other methods used to brighten a person's smile, take-home trays use a bleaching agent, such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, to remove discoloration caused by improper cleaning, certain foods and tobacco use,” adds Belair Dental Associates.
Using teeth whitening trays are one of the best ways to always maintain a true pearly-white smile. (Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash)
Your dentist will give you instructions on how to use the take-home trays, along with a bleaching solution.
“Custom, take-home-trays are more affordable than in-office whitening, but still more expensive than over-the-counter trays and other at-home whitening products,” points out Forbes.
This method also tends not to last as long as in-office teeth whitening.
3. Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
You can find these cost-friendly options at most drugstores and supermarkets, but how effective are they?
“Over-the-counter teeth whitening products use the same chemicals as professional teeth whitening products at the dentist.
The difference is the store-bought kits have these chemicals in much lower concentrations, so they are less powerful,” according to Dentistry by Dery
Some of the OTC products out there include toothpastes and teeth whitening strips, but the results can be hit or miss.
“New teeth whitening products are always popping up including whitening chewing gum, dental floss, and mouthwashes.
While these products are relatively new, not much research has been done to prove or disprove the effectiveness of these whitening products,” adds Verywell Health.
4. Home Remedies For Teeth Whitening
If you are interested in trying to whiten your teeth using less chemicals, then these natural remedies may be what you are looking for. However, results may vary from person to person.
Try oil pulling. “The practice involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow,” notes Healthline. Coconut oil is commonly used for this method.
Baking soda is another common home remedy. “Take a cup or small bowl, add a few drops of water with half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate, and stir to make a paste.
Use your finger or toothbrush, apply the paste on your teeth, and leave it like that for 2-3 minutes. Now thoroughly rinse with water,” according to Pearl Dentistry Houston.
Use activated charcoal powder. “Research has shown that it has natural properties that allow it to absorb toxins, and it's been claimed to absorb surface stains on teeth to naturally whiten smiles and improve oral health, though the research on this is still inconclusive,” adds Insider.