There are many teeth whitening methods on the market to choose from to brighten your smile. They include whitening toothpastes, natural teeth whiteners, over-the-counter whitening strips, whitening trays and gels, and teeth whitening. Read on to find out the benefits and drawbacks of each method.
1. Whitening toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stains from coffee, tea, and other lifestyle habits, but whitening toothpastes have additional chemicals to help make teeth appear whiter. Whitening toothpastes are meant to be used on a daily basis and it may take weeks to see desired results. It is important to keep in mind that although this method is somewhat effective, whitening toothpastes largely rely on abrasives to polish the teeth that may wear away the enamel.
2. Natural teeth whiteners
Natural teeth whiteners include baking soda, charcoal, apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and even strawberries. Natural teeth whiteners are easy to obtain and inexpensive. However, the success of some of these methods like apple cider vinegar, strawberries, and charcoal relies on acid and abrasives, which remove surface enamel and can speed up the aging of your teeth. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are safe to use on occasion to add an extra sparkle to the teeth, however, overuse can lead to irritation and sensitivity. In summary, natural teeth whiteners are recommended only for occasional use as they can do more harm than good, thus, they will not drastically whiten your teeth.
3. Over-the-counter whitening strips
Whitening strips are available at most drug stores, are cost effective, and are one of the most popular methods for whitening teeth. Depending on the strength of the peroxide in the strips, it may take seven days or longer to see results. The results are also short-lived, lasting anywhere from six months to a year. Thus, this method may be good for a special occasion, but is not a long-term solution.
4. Whitening trays and gels
Whitening trays and gels can either be purchased over-the-counter or from your dentist. This method goes beyond removing surface stains and focuses on lightening the overall color, thus, it is more effective for teeth whitening than the methods mentioned above. Depending on the strength of the peroxide in the gel, it could take anywhere from three days to weeks before any results are noticed. Over-the-counter trays are one-size-fits-all and could allow the gel to come in contact with your gums, causing irritation and sensitivity to develop. Trays and gels purchased from your dentist are safer and will yield faster results as trays from the dentist are custom made to fit your teeth and the gels have stronger bleaching agents.
5. Professional teeth whitening
Home teeth whitening is the fastest and most affordable teeth whitening option. The procedure takes only up to 10 minutes and can whiten your teeth two to eight shades lighter. Home teeth whitening is the most affordable option, but the results are well worth it compared to those professional teeth whitening in the dental office.