Many people are searching for ways to whiten their teeth. Today, there are a whole plethora of different techniques to whiten teeth. Some of them are available from dentists, while others are products that can be bought over the counter. Some of these work effectively, while others have a more uncertain background. If you want to achieve a bright and white smile, teeth whitening may be great for you. But the question is, which teeth whitening option is the best?
With all the teeth whitening products being offered, it is quite overwhelming to know which one will work best for you. That’s why, in this article, we are going to explore the different teeth whitening options and understand how they work. This way, you’ll be able to choose which of them is the best for your teeth.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Before we give you the different options when it comes to teeth whitening, let us understand first what exactly it is. Teeth whitening is the process of lightening the teeth by removing stains and discolorations. Among the many methods offered by dentists, bleaching is the most popular. It uses either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to break down the molecules that cause staining on the teeth. Teeth whitening is generally safe, but it is very important to consult with your dentist first before you undergo teeth whitening procedures or use products to whiten your teeth.
Reasons to Consider Teeth Whitening Treatments
A lot of people are aiming to undergo teeth whitening treatments because having a bright, white smile can make a big difference in terms of appearance. It is something that can help people boost confidence and self-esteem. But aside from these, there are other benefits that you can get from teeth whitening. Below are some reasons to consider teeth whitening:
Whiter Teeth Makes People Look Younger
According to studies, having yellow or stained teeth can make a person look older than they actually are. With this, teeth whitening may help reverse this effect, giving you a more youthful appearance, especially when you smile.
Whiter Teeth Makes a Better First Impression
In both professional and personal settings, first impressions are important. A brighter smile is something that can help you make a positive impression on those around you, particularly at work.
Teeth Whitening Can Also Be Good for Your Oral Health
Plaque and tartar buildup can cause staining and yellowing on teeth. But when you keep your teeth clean and bright, you may also prevent issues and promote dental health. Aside from that, teeth whitening can help remove stains and discolorations caused by tea, coffee, red wine, or cigarettes.
Different Professional Teeth Whitening Options
Dentists offer teeth-whitening methods that are effective in making teeth bright and white. They use stronger products and special lights to whiten your teeth. Most in-office whitening procedures usually make teeth up to eight shades lighter, and the results may last up to a year and a half. However, most of these procedures may also cost a lot. But professional teeth whitening can be customized to your specific needs, helping you achieve the level of whiteness you want. Below are some examples of professional teeth whitening treatments:
Zoom! Laser Teeth Whitening
One of the popular and preferred tooth-whitening treatments is Philips’ Zoom! laser teeth whitening. For this procedure, you need to come to the dental clinic for an hour-long session. After the procedure, you will take home formulated teeth-whitening trays for lasting results. If you are aiming to achieve a brilliant white set of teeth, you can also opt for multiple teeth-whitening sessions.
This process utilizes a gentle dental-grade abrasive, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to break down the chemical bonds of the stains on the tooth’s surface. After that, laser light is used to activate the chemicals to begin the lightening process of the tooth.
In-office teeth whitening is one of the treatments that offer excellent results. It is done in the dental office and can be done fast, mostly in a little over an hour. However, note that it is an expensive procedure. But the time that you can save by having immediate results makes it an appealing option for a lot of people.
If the patient’s teeth are too heavily stained for a whitening agent to remove the discoloration, porcelain veneers are a great alternative. Instead of using chemical agents to whiten the teeth, a small amount of enamel is removed from the front teeth to make room for a tooth-shaped porcelain shell. While professional whitening treatments are not permanent and need to be done yearly, porcelain veneers, on the other hand, do not stain and can last for up to 15 years or longer with proper care.
Porcelain Crowns and Bridges
If you think veneers are great alternatives to teeth whitening procedures, but your teeth are too thin to support them, you can instead opt for porcelain crowns and bridges. Instead of covering only the front part of the tooth, porcelain crowns fit over the natural tooth structure like a cap. However, if multiple crowns are required in a row, a porcelain bridge may be used instead.
Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
If you do not have the budget for professional teeth whitening treatments, or if you do not have enough time to visit your dentist for these procedures, you can instead try to use teeth whitening products that can be bought over the counter. These products come in different forms, and some can be worn at home. To help you choose, below are the different over-the-counter teeth whitening products, along with a few recommendations.
Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Conventional over-the-counter teeth whitening toothpaste can be used to lighten your teeth slightly. These toothpastes are usually more abrasive compared to regular ones, thereby being able to remove more stains on the surface. However, teeth whitening toothpastes do not contain enough peroxide to be able to whiten teeth as much as regular whitening treatments at the dentist.
There are teeth-whitening toothpastes that use gentle polishing agents to remove stains on the surfaces of the teeth. Others contain additional well-known substances used for whitening, such as O2 and carbamide. Some contain hydrogen peroxide, which removes intrinsic and extrinsic stains. If you choose to use teeth whitening toothpaste, ensure that it has at least 1350-1500 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, as these are more effective.
Below are some examples of teeth-whitening toothpaste to help you choose:
- Colgate Optic White Stain Fighter Whitening Toothpaste
- Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
- Purple Toothpaste for Teeth Whitening
- Sensodyne Repair and Protect Whitening Toothpaste
Teeth Whitening Pens
A product called a teeth-whitening pen uses a gel or serum with a hydrogen peroxide base to lighten the color of teeth. This product is easy and simple to use, and it helps get rid of stains in hard-to-reach places, too. You just need to paint the whitening film or gel onto each tooth and let it work over the specified amount of time on the packaging. Additionally, teeth-whitening pens have the benefit of immediately getting to every crevice of your mouth.
Below are a few examples of teeth-whitening pens to help you pick:
- PanBoo Teeth Whitening Pen
- AsaVea Smile Teeth Whitening Pen
- SmileKit Teeth Whitening Pen
- Smilesactives Teeth Whitening Pen
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are safe and affordable products that may help illuminate your smile. These are thin hydrogen peroxide strips that can bleach your teeth gently. Note that different whitening strips come with varying instructions for usage that you need to follow. But their usual application time is around 30 minutes. In order to get visible results, you need to apply whitening strips several times on your teeth over a few days to weeks. Also, you need to be careful to keep the strips solely on your teeth and not have too much of them on the delicate gum area.
Below are some examples of teeth whitening strips to help you choose:
- Waving Palms Teeth Whitening Strips
- Zimba Vegan Teeth Whitening Strips
- Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips
- Venus Visage Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth Whitening Trays
Whitening trays may be used in combination with gels that contain peroxide. The trays, which are composed of a flexible plastic that fits around your teeth and may hold the gel in place and/or provide light to assist accelerate the whitening process, function in the same manner as teeth-whitening strips do. These can either be bought at stores or have your professional dentist create a customized one for you in their office and provide a professionally dispensed gel. Note that most OTC whitening trays use gels that contain lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, while dentists use stronger concentration that delivers better whitening results.
Below are a few examples of teeth whitening trays to help you pick:
- Opalescence Go Prefilled Teeth Whitening Trays
- Whiter Smile Labs Teeth Whitening Trays
- NovaWhite Teeth Whitening Trays
Teeth Whitening Kits
There are also teeth whitening kits available that you can use at home. The best ones are those available from your dentist as they contain higher concentration peroxide gel, which is only available on prescription from a dentist. But there are also teeth whitening kits available in stores and online that you can use safely. They may not be as strong as those from dentists, but they can still work when used regularly and properly.
Below are some examples of teeth whitening kits to help you choose:
- Whitebite Pro Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light
- iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light
- MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light
- Crest 3D Whitestrips with Light Teeth Whitening Strip Kit
- PurelyWHITE DELUXE Teeth Whitening Kit
There are indeed a lot of options when it comes to whitening your teeth. If you are still unsure of which product or treatment will give you lasting, whiter-looking teeth, it is best to consult with your dentist to get their opinion before buying anything at the store or online. Also, when buying products, make sure that it has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance to ensure that you are using a safe product for your teeth. We hope this post helped you learn more about the different teeth whitening options.