7 At-Home Teeth Whitening Methods That Work
What Are The Most Effective At-Home Teeth Whitening Methods?
Do you find yourself shying away from selfies or hiding your teeth with a closed-lip smile due to your less than white teeth?
You’re not alone, having confidence in your smile does a lot for your self-esteem.
“Confidence, health, and quality of life are just for the person smiling, the power communicated to the person – or people – receiving the smile is immeasurable.”
We all want a healthy-looking smile, but we also don’t want to go to some extreme length to do so.
And while getting your teeth whitened at the dentist is the most effective method, at-home teeth whitening can be effective.
All the trendy teeth whitening tricks aside, there are a few tried & true ways to whiten your teeth at home.
DIY at-home teeth whitening is not all fiction, despite the unfounded claims of many of the most popular methods – we’re looking at your activated charcoal.
We’ll examine some of the most effective at-home teeth whitening methods, but first, let’s identify why teeth turn yellow in the first place…
Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?
There are a number of reasons why your teeth can go from dazzling white to dull & yellow.
If you understand why your teeth turn yellow in the first place then you can take steps to limit the impact & increase the effectiveness of your at-home teeth whitening methods.
Here are some of the most common reasons teeth turn yellow:
- Not brushing & flossing
- Drinking tea,coffee & red wine
- Smoking & smokeless tobacco
- Certain genetic factors
- Poor dietary habits
- Xerostomia(Dry Mouth Syndrome)
- Getting older
- Fluorosis(Excessive fluoride intake)
Now that we’ve identified some of the common risk factors associated with yellowing teeth, let’s take a look at how to fix the smile-reducing situation.
There are plenty of products to choose from when it comes to at-home teeth whitening, let’s examine some of the safest & most effective.
7 Safe & Effective At-Home Teeth Whitening Methods
1. A Diligent Daily Dental Hygiene Regimen
While tooth discoloration does occur naturally with age, that yellowish hue is largely due to the build-up of plaque on your teeth.
Maintaining a daily dental hygiene regiment of brushing – for #2min2x a day – along with daily flossing is one of the best at-home teeth whitening methods there is, despite what the FDA says.
It doesn’t matter if your weapon of choice is a manual or electric toothbrush, just do it.
And it won’t cost you anything extra!
Regular brushing & flossing will help you stop the cavity creeps in their tracks by reducing bacteria in your mouth and preventing the build-up of plaque.
Toothpaste gently rubs out stains on your teeth, and flossing removes bacteria that lead to plaque.
2. Regular Dental Cleanings
Despite your best efforts to frequently floss and brush your teeth for two minutes at a clip twice a day, the bottom line is that you still need professional dental cleanings at least every six months.
So before you go buy the latest greatest charcoal teeth whitening toothpaste on Amazon or a pack of Whitestrips at the supermarket, keep your regularly scheduled dental appointment to make sure you’re starting your at-home teeth whitening efforts with a clean slate…and a healthy mouth.
Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular cleanings at the dentist’s office, will prevent the build-up of yellowing plaque on your teeth.
It’s basically a triple threat to the cavity creeps.
3. Try Baking Soda + Peroxide
Due to its natural whitening properties, baking soda is a common ingredient in toothpaste. It’s also mildly abrasive, which helps to scrub away surface stains on your teeth without eroding tooth enamel.
In addition, baking soda creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing.
The hydrogen peroxide will lighten stains as the baking soda scrubs them away.
Be sure to either dilute the hydrogen peroxide or use the lowest concentration – typically 3% is sold over the counter. You can dilute more by adding equal parts water.
Not only does this at-home teeth whitening method effective, but it’s also pretty darn cost-effective too.
Simply add one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to two tablespoons of baking soda and mix. Brush your teeth with this stain-fighting slurry for two minutes.
Several studies show that toothpaste with baking soda has a significant whitening effect.
Limit the use of this homemade paste to a few times per week, as overuse can erode your tooth enamel.
4. Can You Say Cruciferous?
Everyone knows that in order to eat, food goes in our mouths, but does everyone know that the foods you eat have a direct impact on your oral health?
Did you know there are actually foods out there that can help you naturally whiten your teeth while you eat?
A balanced healthy diet should include a daily dose of fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous ones.
There is, of course, no substitute for daily brushing, flossing & visiting your dentist regularly, but eating veggies & fruits like apples, broccoli, celery, carrots & strawberries can actually help whiten your teeth.
Cruciferous fruits and vegetables actually help scrub your teeth while you eat them, making them a great natural at-home teeth whitening method.
Here are a bunch of other foods that can actually help whiten your teeth too:
- Raw onions
5. Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is another popular at-home teeth whitening method.
These types of toothpaste contain ingredients which help polish and mildly abrade your teeth to help reduce discoloration, and gentle chemical bleaching agents to help whiten your teeth.
Teeth whitening toothpaste can be effective, but you won’t see results overnight.
It will take some time for you to notice results from regular brushing with whitening toothpaste, but if it helps you brush more frequently, for the prescribed two minutes at a pop, then that’s also an added benefit.
For something more immediate, many people turn to whitening strips as their preferred at-home teeth whitening method of choice.
6. Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are often considered more effective than whitening toothpaste because the peroxide & bleaching agents remain in direct contact with your teeth for the recommended time that you wear them.
Whitening strips come in a set, one for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth.
They’re relatively inexpensive, easy to apply, not too uncomfortable, and you’ll usually notice results in a week or two – depending on the particular product you use.
One thing you want to be mindful of is the instructions on the package, do not leave the strips on longer than the recommended duration, doing so can actually damage your tooth enamel.
Whitening strips have also been responsible for increasing sensitivity with some people, again due to the chemicals and bleaching agents.
7. Try Whitening Gel
Teeth whitening gels work a lot like strips and are another popular at-home teeth whitening method.
As whitening strips are placed onto your teeth, whitening gels are either brushed onto teeth or placed into a tray, which is basically a mouthpiece.
You would then either leave the gel on your teeth or wear the trays for the recommended amount of time, depending on the specific product.
After that time, you then either brush your teeth to wash off the gel or simply remove the tray and rinse your mouth.
One of the biggest differences between whitening strips and whitening gels is the coverage.
Whereas strips often do not cover along the gumline, gels & trays allow more of the whitening ingredients to stay in contact with the entire tooth surface.
Gels and trays often tend to stay in place better than whitening strips, affording some people a more effective at-home teeth whitening solution.
What’s The #1 At-Home Teeth Whitening Method?
There isn’t one.
Simply put, everyone’s teeth are different and without knowing what exactly is the underlying cause of your yellowing teeth it’s impossible to define which method is best for you.
What we do know is that if you’re really looking for a dazzling, healthy looking, whiter smile, your dentist provides the most effective teeth whitening solution.
Whether it’s ZOOM! teeth whitening that’s performed in the dentist’s office, or a superior at-home teeth whitening product that you can’t buy over the counter, your dentist knows best.
In-office teeth whitening has been said to be 8x more effective than any at-home whitening solution.
At your dentist, you’ll go into the office with dull yellowish teeth and leave with a whiter, brighter smile, results are immediate.
Having said that, professional teeth whitening will cost you more than an over the counter at-home teeth whitening solution.
But, isn’t your smile worth it?
Wayne NJ ZOOM! Teeth Whitening by Frank V. Maldonado, D.D.S.
We proudly provide ZOOM! teeth whitening, in addition to all phases of Cosmetic Dentistry services for Wayne and the surrounding North Jersey communities of Franklin Lakes, Montville, Kinnelon, Oakland, Pompton Lakes, Pompton Plains, Towaco, Butler, Paterson, Lincoln Park, Pequannock, Little Falls and Fairfield.
A bright, beautiful smile can make a big difference. The ZOOM! Whitening System makes it easier and faster than ever before.
The entire procedure takes just over one hour. The procedure begins with a preparation period followed by one hour of bleaching. A five-minute fluoride treatment completes the procedure (we recommend a cleaning prior to the actual Zoom! Whitening session).
We are also offering significant savings on take-home teeth whitening:
A new beautiful smile is just a phone call away…schedule your appointment today at (973) 694-8625.
Compassionate Care. Modern Technology. Exceptional Results.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Dental Patient News and has been republished here with permission. It has since been updated for accuracy & comprehensiveness.