Your smile is one of the first impressions you leave. As a natural focal point, your smile a sign of confidence, warmth, and health status. Those with whiter teeth are naturally assumed to be more attractive and successful. But if you love coffee, wine, or soda — if you love life, really — you may have noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be. If you pay attention to celebrities or influencers — with blinding white teeth and perfect smiles — you might wonder if your teeth have ever been truly white. But, whether your teeth are yellow-ish thanks to genetics or lifestyle, there have never been more ways to make them whiter. Luckily, there is an abundance of options available, but what’s the best teeth whitening method? Let’s find out what the best teeth whitening at home methods are and what to expect.
Why aren’t my teeth whiter?
The color of your teeth comes down to two things: the thickness of your tooth enamel, and whether the enamel is stained. Thin enamel is translucent, exposing the yellow inner part of the tooth, while a thicker layer of enamel makes teeth whiter and brighter. But either kind of enamel can become stained from bacteria and plaque, nicotine use, several prescription drugs, and darker food and drink.
| Any food or drink that can stain clothes can also stain your teeth. |
What are my options for getting whiter teeth?
For the fastest and most dramatic results, you can schedule in-office bleaching with your dentist. They’ll apply a highly concentrated bleaching product directly to your teeth and speed up the whitening process with a special light or laser. However, these procedures can often be painful and you’ll be out anywhere from $600 to $1500. You will also likely experience extreme sensitivity for the next few days. Therefore, you may opt for a more convenient, at home remedy.
1. “Natural” home methods
At home remedies are admittedly the most convenient, especially since some only require one or two ingredients found in your cupboard or fridge.
The first popular method is oil pulling, a traditional Indian folk remedy meant to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body. The practice involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow. Unfortunately, no scientific studies have proven that oil pulling whitens your teeth. However, it’s a safe practice and worth a try. Many people claim their teeth are whiter and brighter after regular oil pulling.
Another easy method is utilizing fruits and vegetables. There has been recent interest in using fruit to whiten your teeth due to naturally occurring acids and enzymes. Crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away as you chew, and there have been claims that the acids in some fruits can whiten your teeth. However, this remedy has not been completely backed up by science and may have the potential to damage your enamel.
Other natural methods include:
- Baking soda
- Apple cider vinegar
These are probably not the best teeth whitening at home methods, but you can still give them a try!
2. Whitening toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste has recently become a popular method as it integrates whitening into your daily routine. Convenient, and only takes 2 minutes, swapping your normal toothpaste for one with whitening capabilities is an easy switch that can brighten up your teeth. This is one of the most popular, and many consider it the best teeth whitening at home method. However, these results are very gradual, so if you are looking for more immediate results it’s better to combine this with another process, such as whitening kits.
3. At Home Teeth Whitening Kits
A convenient yet highly effective home method would be an at home teeth whitening kit, which you can easily incorporate into your routine. Teeth whitening kits can be used after brushing your teeth for just 10 minutes at a time and are proven to cause less sensitivity than in-chair whitening. Some popular kits include AuraGlow, Novashine, and Snow. Some kits use sensitivity causing ingredients with unregulated percentages, so it is important to look for one that uses trusted ingredients such as PAP (Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid). This is proven to not only whiten teeth as effectively as traditional whitening ingredients but has been shown to be non-damaging to the enamel and does not cause tooth sensitivity. My personal favorite is the W Brands teeth whitening kit. It is much more affordable than many other kits in the market and uses PAP as well as other key ingredients such as Potassium Nitrate and Hydroxyapatite to remineralize teeth and help with immediate sensitivity. It’s aesthetic, and effective results, make it one of the best teeth whitening at home kits available.
How can I keep my whitened teeth looking bright?
As much as whitening your teeth is appealing and can enhance your appearance, regular visits to the dentist alongside brushing and flossing are still encouraged to ensure excellent oral hygiene. Other ways to maintain a bright smile include using straws (a reusable one is best!) for your iced coffees, teas, and other staining beverages and brushing your teeth immediately after consuming foods that may stain your teeth. Lastly, you can exchange your brown-and-orange-toned lipsticks for ones with pink or purple undertones. Those colors bring out the white in your teeth for that perfect smile.