You probably use toothpaste every day, but are you using the right toothpaste? More and more whitening toothpastes appear on the market every day, each one with more whitening power than the last. Still, most whitening toothpastes don’t use bleach, so they won’t make your teeth any whiter than their natural shade. They are pretty good at removing stains and discoloration from your teeth, though, returning them to the color they should be.
You can find tray-based whitening products over-the-counter, or you can get one from your dentist. These work by filling a tray with whitening product — usually a bleach and peroxide solution — and wearing it for a few hours every day or overnight. These trays can be awkward, uncomfortable and messy, but they do yield results. How long you wear them for depends on how discolored your teeth are to begin with, as well as how white you want them to be, but you’ll definitely notice results in less than a week.
Whitening strips are a very popular form of teeth whitening. These thin, sometimes clear strips are worn on the teeth, usually for a few hours every day, and are almost undetectable. They’re extremely user-friendly, and you can go about your day while you wear them. Most brands recommend you use them for at least 14 days, but you’ll see results in just a day or two.
Gels are pretty easy to use, but they can be messy and usually don’t taste too great. They’re simply clear gels that you paint on using a small brush twice a day. You’ll see results pretty quickly — usually in just a day or two.
In-office bleaching is by far the most expensive form of teeth whitening, but it’ll also give you better results by a long shot. The bleaching can either be done by paints and UV lights or with lasers, and you’ll see major results after just one 30 or 60 minute session. Each session usually costs anywhere from $200 to $1,000, and you’ll probably need more than one session to see drastic results.
Looking for a more natural remedy? Try making a toothpaste from baking soda and water. Use it just twice a week and see results after a few uses.