Teeth whitening has become increasingly popular over the years. We all want a healthy, white smile. The kind of white smile you see on celebrities and in toothpaste ads and commercials. A white smile conveys a look of youth and health (ever seen a baby with corn yellow teeth? Nope.) We live in a society that prizes youth, white teeth are one such example of that. Achieving this desired look is not always easy. Every product available claims to whiten teeth, if that were truly the case we’d all have pearly whites that could stop traffic. Some products are costly and can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Some people over do it on the teeth bleaching. Exhibit A. A good rule of thumb when it comes to teeth whitening is to never go whiter than the whites of your eyes, otherwise they look unnatural. If teeth are heavily bleached they can look bluish in color, and this can create a whole host of dental problems down the line, none of them pleasant or inexpensive.
To see if you would be a good candidate for at home bleaching, simply hold a white sheet of paper up to your smile. If your teeth are yellow in comparison, at home treatments will work. If your teeth look gray, the staining is from within and you will need veneers or bonding from your dentist to cover them. If you have white spots on your teeth, known as enamel hypoplasia, discuss your best options with your dentist.
If you want to avoid staining your chompers use a straw when drinking coffee, tea, red wine, or soda (who cares if you look weird?) that’s the best, simple trick. Anything that’s not clear, gets a straw! You know it’s important to drink a lot of water to stay properly hydrated, you also want to use water as a chaser after indulging in your coffee or Pepsi, to help prevent stains from forming. It takes 30 seconds for the pigment to penetrate, so swish your mouth with water right away. Putting milk in your coffee also helps. Eating vegetables rich in cellulose like kale, celery, and carrots will also help scrub your teeth and prevent staining. When it comes to mouth wash, you want to avoid dark formulas. Once the alcohol evaporates, the pigment will stain.
When it comes to lipstick and lipgloss, blue-based red and berry shades will make your teeth look whiter. There are even lipsticks and lipglosses marketed specifically to make your teeth appear whiter, try this one. Avoid orange or golden shades, they will make your teeth look yellowy. Here are some of my favorite teeth whitening products:
- GO SMiLE Smile Perfecting Ampoules. Amazing results, no other teeth bleaching system on the retail market whitens veneers and bonding. These portable ampoules are great to have on hand for touch ups too (especially for dark liquids when you opted not to use a straw).
- Crest Whitestrips Daily Multicare Formula. Whiten in 5 minutes, can’t beat it. These are gentle yet effective. Perfect for people just starting out with teeth whitening. If your teeth are really sensitive, try the Tartar Protection formula.
- Crest Glide Floss Whitening Plus Scope. You know the drill so spare me the eye roll. You know you should be flossing, let me appeal to your vanity and tell you that 70% of stains occur between teeth. Do it on the daily and get your dentist off your back while reaping all the benefits.
- Rembrandt Plus Premium Whitening Toothpaste with Peroxide. The only whitening toothpaste I have found that actually delivers results. This whitens your teeth and preserves the effects of at home bleaching or at the dentist’s office. The whitening ingredients may cause some little white spots on your gums from the citroxain, but they are harmless, painless and will dissipate quickly. This product works.
- Listerine Whitening Pre-Brush Rinse. A mouthwash you use before you brush. It’s the lazy way to whiten, it really blasts through plaque and stains so you can brush them away. Genius product.
The best time to whiten your teeth at home is after a professional cleaning at the dentist. You want the whitening peroxide to be in direct contact with your enamel, not plaque. Keep up your whitening efforts with teeth whitening toothpastes, these really are more effective at whitening than regular formulas. I’m currently really loving this one.
How do you keep your teeth white and healthy?