The holidays are just around the corner, and white teeth are at the top of your mind. If you’re like most people, though, you’re a little concerned about the various risks and drawbacks of teeth whitening options.
Don’t fear, though! There are several safe and tooth-healthy ways to whiten your smile and get camera-ready for the holiday season.
Here are a few of our favorite teeth-whitening practices.
1. In-Chair Whitening
In-chair whitening is by far the safest and most effective tooth whitening method. In-office whitening takes just over an hour and can produce dramatically whiter teeth. Plus, it doesn’t come with any of the waiting or enamel risks associated with various at-home whitening procedures.
A one-time in-chair whitening appointment will last about 6-12 months and has a low risk of creating sensitivity or dental issues. If you do notice any sensitivity, using a sensitive toothpaste like Sensodyne can help restore teeth to their former glory.
Once you’ve had one appointment, you may choose to come back for touch-ups as needed.
2. Tray Whitening
Tray whitening can be done at your local dental office or at home, depending on your preferences. The whitening during this procedure is accomplished by wearing a tray at night for a certain amount of time, which depends on your teeth whitening goals.
While this method does require a trip to the dentist so they can take impressions of your mouth, whitening your teeth at home via trays is very simple.
Typically, the gel is worn for anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours daily, and the course of treatment runs one-three weeks.
While this procedure takes longer than in-chair whitening, it does offer a more gradual, controlled change in color.
3. Whitening Strips
Whitening strips are the ultimate at-home tooth-whitening option.
Available at virtually any pharmacy or grocery strip, whitening strips are flexible, thin pieces of plastic coated in peroxide. When adhered to teeth, they whiten and remove stains gradually, producing results that last about four months.
Inexpensive, easy to use, and ideal for anyone searching for a DIY treatment, whitening strips are designed to be worn about 30 minutes a day for two weeks, although the course of different treatments varies.
There are dozens of whitening kinds of toothpaste currently on the market, many of which can help strengthen and improve the tone of teeth.
Depending on the type of toothpaste you buy, you’ll find that each works differently. While some work by remineralizing the teeth and sealing micro-cracks in enamel, others work by reducing the potential for imperfections in the dental surface, which can harbor stains.
No matter which option you choose, whitening kinds of toothpaste are safe, effective, gradual, and ideal as an at-home whitening method that doesn’t require professional supervision.
5. Coconut Oil
A natural remedy that has regained some popularity in recent years, coconut oil pulling is an ancient oral detoxification method with plenty of natural benefits.
Coconut oil pulling, which is essentially the process of swishing oil around the mouth for several minutes and then spitting it out, keeps the dental surface slick and reduces the likelihood that stains will stick to it.
As you swish oil through your mouth, it traps bacteria and plaque. This, in turn, keeps your gums and mouth healthier and helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Which Whitening Option is Right for You?
Now that you know about the top five tooth whitening options, which one is right for you? The answer to that question depends on a few things. Namely, your budget, timeline, and goals.
Here are a few things to consider:
- How much you want to spend. Teeth whitening options vary from inexpensive (white strips) to more expensive (tray whitening and in-chair treatments). Remember that you get what you pay for, though, and a more expensive treatment will likely provide better and longer-lasting results.
- Your timeline. If you only have a week until that holiday party, you’ll be better off opting for a quick-turnaround whitening option, like an in-chair or tray treatment. While methods like oil pulling, toothpaste, and white strips can be effective, they generally take quite a bit longer to work and won’t give you the results you need in the timeline you desire.
- Your goals. Are your teeth very stained or just in need of a little touch-up? This will also impact your choice of whitening solution. Very stained teeth can typically benefit from a variety of approaches, such as an in-chair treatment combined with whitening toothpaste. If you only need a small touch-up, you might be able to get away with just using white strips or oil pulling.
By considering your budget, timeline, and goals, and discussing your teeth whitening needs with your dental care professional, you can come up with an actionable and approachable teeth whitening plan that works for you. Start now to make sure your smile is ready for all those big holiday parties!
If you have questions about teeth whitening or need assistance call the office!