So you’re looking to get that pearly white smile for picture perfection. Good for you, go for it! But do you get tangled over how exactly to go about it?
That’s okay. Teeth whitening has grown into a huge industry and you might need some quality guidance in choosing your solution. That’s why we asked our friends from Snow Teeth Whitening for their input as experts in the field.
They covered everything you need to know, from product characteristics to smart shopping choices!
What Are Some Of The Factors You Need To Consider?
Fortunately, you don’t need to suddenly gain a dental medicine degree to understand your choices. When you go shopping, just remember to keep a few essential factors in mind as you pick and choose what to bring to checkout.
Has this product been clinically proven? Frankly, if it fails this point, any other benefit flies right out the window.
Without proper backing from the academic dental medicine community, any claims from the manufacturer could be just empty scam-y promises for all you know. Most packages will say “dentists recommend this” in whatever words. Feel free to disregard that bit of marketing, and look to the tiny print in the back.
Typically, you want to look near the list of ingredients, somewhere around the storage and expiration date info. Who did the clinical testing for this product, whose name and address are collateral to guarantee results? “Collateral” might sound a bit brutal, but you want to make sure this was approved for the market by a legitimate clinic and laboratory who are transparent about their work.
You can already guess we’re telling you to honestly research your options before you purchase. For example, the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance is always a green flag, and you can learn more about it at this link.
What are the active ingredients of this product? Different whiteners rely on different ingredients to achieve that effect. Two of the most common options are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.
The primary difference here is their decomposition process and what they end up disintegrating into. If you are sensitive to ammonia-based compounds, for example, you might want to avoid products that feature carbamides.
Always check the ingredients list, even if all the chemical names are tedious. Active ingredients are always singled out in some way: either listed as such, printed in bold, etc. Ask your dentist what would be the best option for your teeth, and what you should avoid, and then keep an eye out for those ingredients.
Will this product irritate your gums? This is an important thing to consider. No point in torturing yourself with a product that will leave your gums all red, swollen, and painful, right? Some gel combinations can be irritating, but unfortunately this is mostly guesswork. You can look up what people say online, ask your dentist and friends, consider your own previous experiences, and then draw your own conclusions.
Will it be easy to use? Convenience and ease of use are also something you want to gravitate towards. Nobody wants too big of a hassle, so naturally you will want to avoid a product that requires you to sit and waste time while waiting for it to work.
While considering your options, you will of course acquire information about treatment length, i.e. how many minutes in a day you need to dedicate to the teeth whitener. Before you buy anything, consider your current daily routine and figure out a way to seamlessly integrate your new dental practice into it.
Also, you might want to think about portability. Sometimes you might need to do your whitening treatment on the go, like on a business trip, on vacation, etc. There are plenty of products out there that will fit nicely in your pocket, so give them a chance too.
How quickly can you expect to see results? This will vary, because each manufacturer has their own solution to the chemistry of teeth whitening.
Expect anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to pass before you start to see a noticeable change with your naked eye. Keep in mind, quick fixes aren’t actually a thing. Genuine lingering effect requires steady exposure over time, you need to repeat your treatment a while before it works.
One good source of information here are past users. Look up what real people say about a whitening product and gauge a trend from that.
You can expect some variation in the times they mention, because everybody’s teeth and needs are different, but it will give you a pretty clear picture to start from. This Snow Teeth Whitening review is one example, and it’s handy because you can see exactly which product of the brand each customer is talking about.
What will it cost you overall? To an average consumer, the price range plays a great role in choosing any product, and this is no different.
You don’t want to break your bank. Sadly though, when it comes to products related to health, the case really tends to be “you get what you pay for”. Think about it – if a manufacturer can afford to sell their thing at low rates that means the cost of making it is also low.
But if the cost of making it is low, what does that say about the ingredients and processes? Nothing of quality can be produced without some genuine investment. So, when choosing your teeth whitening solution, think in the long-term. You want your results to last you a good while, but you need to be prepared to freshen them up every now and then.
Don’t cave to a cheap product that’ll cost you multiple times as much over the months or years. Better open up a little at the start and make a good quality long-term investment. Postpone your treatment and save up first if necessary. Your teeth will thank you!
What Teeth Whitening Solutions Can Be Used At Home?
Broadly speaking, home-applied teeth whitening products can be classified into three categories: toothpastes, pens, and home remedies. From there it’s just a matter of choosing specifications.
Whitening toothpastes are for patient people. They will yield gradual results over a long period of time. These toothpastes are great for removing staining and discoloration caused by foods and beverages such as wine, curry, dark berries, coffee etc.
However, they will not give you that dazzling Hollywood brightness, just tidy and clean enamel. If you want a spotlight smile, consider a different approach.
Whitening pens are for those people who want results immediately or almost immediately. These are basically portable applicators of whitening gel: you get the gel in a little tube and there’s a little brush on one end of it for applying the gel to your teeth.
Some of them are even integrated into toothbrushes! This makes them an excellent solution for frequent travelers.
Finally, home remedies are exactly that: “folk medicine” style treatments that can help you combat dental discoloration or mild infections.
These mostly entail baking soda, agents like vinegar or hydrogen-peroxide, and some tips and tricks regarding nutrition and basic antibacterial action. If you want to go that way, you can find some good starting ideas in this article: https://www.verywellhealth.com/whitening-home-remedies-do-they-work-1059410
What Do You Need To Know About Home Teeth Whitening Treatments?
If you choose a professional product packaged for home use, like a pen or a toothpaste, there really isn’t that much to think about.
The product packaging and/ or accompanying materials will have neatly printed instructions for everything, from amount to application time. Your dentist will possibly give you some more advice tailored to your specific needs and dental health situation. You take note of that, go home, apply the instructions, and admire the results. Done!
What do you need to know about home remedies though? Our expert advisors have a few tips for that too.
First, be vary of home-treating altered teeth. In other words, be prepared for the possibility that your veneers, caps, fillings, crowns, laminates etc. won’t be affected. There will likely be shade difference.
Next, consider just how committed you’re willing to be. Home remedies are typically the slowest and least noticeable of all processes. They require tons of patience and are usually less potent than industrial chemical solutions. They may not be of great help for some serious staining problems.
How Do You Choose The Best Option For Your Teeth?
In order to determine the best teeth whitening strategy for your own specific case, you need to get a sense of your current dental condition and how it aligns with your aesthetic goals.
Keep in mind that sometimes it might be impossible for you to apply a specific whitening treatment until you improve the condition of your teeth. You should always ask your dentist for their input, but you can get a good idea of it yourself too. Consider the following:
How stained are your teeth? Depending on how far gone your current coloration is, you might need products with some additional functionalities, so to speak.
If your teeth are actually still white, just a little off-shade or need some TLC to shine, a basic strip might do the job. Most of the time a whitening strip will produce excellent results in a couple of weeks, supposing you apply it twice a day for around half an hour. This is a good solution for off-white or just mildly stained teeth.
If you have mild to medium-severe staining, but also some tartar buildup on your teeth, you will want to go with a two-in-one variant. The opinion of your dentist will be of precious help here. Ask them to recommend you a product that will primarily remove the tartar from your teeth, while providing a secondary whitening effect.
With these, it might take a bit longer to see the color change, because it takes a back seat to removing the tartar. In other words, the whitening agents are milder than usual, but with a little bit of patience you can kill two birds with one stone.
Finally, you might have some serious heavy staining going on. This will mostly be due to long-term and/ or intense exposure to foods and drinks such as coffee, sodas, wine, dark berries, as well as other staining agents like tobacco.
If you have heavy stains to remove, you will need pro-grade products to help you. These are strong and can provide dramatic results, giving you pearly whites that’ll last about a year. You may want to consider getting this done in-office by an actual dental professional, rather than wing it at home, just in case.
How sensitive are your teeth? Teeth can have adverse reactions to whitening agents just like they can be sensitive to temperature or pressure.
This typically happens when there’s an underlying problem, such as cracked teeth, cavities, or gum disease. If your dentist spots signs of any of these, they will likely hold you off on whitening regimens until the more pressing issues are resolved. Once your cavities are filled or your gums treated, you can go back to aesthetics.
In the case of sensitive teeth (even if you don’t have any underlying condition), taking it slow is the best option. Opt for products that feature a gradual but steady whitening effect.
These tend to be applied for much shorter – just a few minutes a day – and you will get results in approximately a month. You will need to be quite patient and perseverant, but in exchange you get to enjoy your progress without provoking your sensitive teeth to pain.
The bottom line is, whatever you choose is okay as long as you are well-informed when doing so. Always feel free to ask your dentist for custom advice, and don’t shy away from research.
All those ingredient names and brand specifications are there for good reason. Good luck with it all and enjoy your bright new smile!