So you want to whiten your teeth but you have no clue where to start? Here are the basics of teeth whitening including some of the most popular methods you can use to get that smile brighter and those teeth a dazzling shade of white.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
When you look at your teeth, what do you see? Are they bright and white, or are they dull, yellow, or stained? White teeth are considered beautiful, and a lot of people go to great lengths to make their teeth appear whiter. When you whiten your teeth you are breaking up stains so your teeth look less discoloured.
Why Should I Whiten My Teeth?
Whitening your teeth has many benefits! Using whitening products will remove unsightly stains and brighten your teeth. Studies into the subject prove that people who have brighter smiles are more confident as P&G explains, “According to the three-part study, which included simulated job interviews, simulated first dates and a quantitative online survey; more than half of the study participants were more likely to be hired (58%) and received larger salary offers (53%) after their teeth had been whitened.” More dates, job offers, and money? How could you turn that down?
What Teeth Whitening Products Are Available?
There are tons of whitening products on the market, each with different pros and cons. Some of the most popular methods are:
- Whitening toothpaste – You already use toothpaste, why not whiten while you brush? If you have a brand of toothpaste that you already love, chances are high that there is going to be a whitening version for you to try.
- Whitening mouthwash – Fresh breath is just one of the benefits that mouthwash can provide. Certain types will even whiten your teeth as they freshen. Look for mouth washes and rinses that say “whitening” on the label to get this added benefit.
- Whitening strips – Whitening strips are typically more powerful than the toothpaste or mouthwash options so they cost a bit more. If you pick up a box of strips, you’ll likely get multiple packets with two strips (one upper and one lower strip) that has gel on one side. You simply place the strip on your teeth for the directed amount of time and poof! you’ll start seeing whiter teeth.
- DIY whitening – If you aren’t into the chemical based options, you can typically whip up a whitening paste yourself. Some use activated charcoal bases while others use baking soda. Lots of natural wellness blogs have great recipes for whitening pastes you can make at home.
- Whitening gels – Gels can either be painted straight on your teeth, or put into a tray that fits snugly over your teeth to whiten them. Either way, the gel has powerful components that’ll whiten your teeth as soon as you put it on them.
- Professional whitening – This method requires your dentist’s help. They’ll supervise your whitening session, and lots of people see great results in just one session. This does mean it’s a pretty expensive option, since results are fast and often dramatically different.
How Do I Choose?
Well, there are a few factors you need to consider when choosing your teeth whitening method. First, how stained are your teeth? Do you need a LOT of whitening power, or just to brighten things up a bit? The strength of whitening you need will help you to figure out what type of whitening you should choose.
You should also consider what your price-point is when shopping around for teeth whitening products. They can range from a few dollars for toothpastes all the way to six hundred or more for whitening at the dentist. Knowing how much you want to spend can help you zero-in on the best product for you.
The stronger the whitening power, the more you’ll likely pay for teeth whitening. Also, keep in mind that the most expensive option is typically going to be a professional whitening treatment done by a dentist. This method is one of the fastest and most powerful options and you get the benefit of professional supervision, but as a result it’ll make things quite a bit costlier.
What Else Should I Know?
For one thing, once you decide on the method you want to use, you should really talk with your dentist about your choice. They’ll have some great perspective on your choice, and may be able to offer some advice on ways to maximize the whitening power. You should also know that some whitening methods won’t work for everyone. Results depend on the individual, so you might not see the exact same results as your friends see.