How to Choose the Best Teeth Whitening Method
A pristine white smile is rarely something anyone is born with. In fact, we all have a different natural hue to our teeth, which can range from yellows to grays. That said, staining over time can really dull and discolour your teeth, leading to an unsightly yellow colour that can make smiling a little embarrassing. The good news is that you can get a natural-looking white smile. Ridding yourself of common stains and yellowing is possible using a number of readily available methods. Here’s how to choose the best teeth whitening method for you as well as quick tips on fighting stains.
Stop the Stains
This is the easiest and wisest way to naturally maintain whiter teeth. Avoiding foods and drinks that are known to stain and quitting smoking are most important. Foods to avoid include:
- Barbecue sauce
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Sugary treats
- Balsamic vinegar
These foods and drinks will stain over time and the more you consume them, the faster and deeper your stains can become. That said, it’s impossible to avoid all staining foods and drinks. Rinsing your mouth thoroughly afterward with water will help to prevent staining by removing residue that can accelerate the staining process. Also, don’t brush immediately after because you will only help the enamel-eroding components get into your teeth.
Next on the list is professional prevention. Your dentist can provide regular professional cleanings that keep your teeth whiter. Professional polishing also provides a clean slate for whitening products to work their magic. Of course, this will also help keep teeth and gums healthy – a must if you plan to proceed with any whitening treatments.
We recommend a dental hygiene cleaning prior to treatment as plaque buildup can prevent whitening from working effectively. Plaque can block the active ingredients leading to unsightly blotchy spots.
Keep things healthy with a strict at-home dental hygiene regime that includes twice-daily brushing and flossing. While whitening will remove stains, it does nothing in the area of dental health and hygiene. Keeping things under control with your brushing and flossing sets the tone for a more successful and comfortable whitening treatment.
You can also enjoy a healthier diet by eating foods that will assist in your teeth cleaning. Snacks such as apples, celery, strawberries, and carrots are excellent in helping to reduce staining.
There are many types of whitening toothpaste available at your local drug store that can help maintain a whiter smile. However, you will not see as impressive results as you will with products designed specifically for whitening such as whitening strips or professional in-office whitening treatment.
Always look for toothpaste containing peroxide, as this is the active ingredient that will help remove stains. Also, if you suffer from sensitive teeth, speak to us before choosing a toothpaste, as many whitening products will make sensitivity worse.
This really isn’t going to do much to help with whitening. In fact, if you choose a mouthwash with dyes, it could actually add to stains! When choosing a mouthwash, avoid those that contain dyes as well as alcohol. Alcohol can make your mouth dry which can contribute to stains.
Whitening Pens and Gels
Although these products contain peroxide for bleaching, they are hard to apply, and the peroxide may not effectively come into contact with your teeth evenly, leading to streaking and blotching. This is very embarrassing and can sometimes look worse than yellowing! In most cases, any whitening product that is not applied for at least 15 to 20 minutes is not going to have time to do its job.
Over-the-counter whitening strips have become quite effective at getting noticeably whiter teeth. They are easy to use and can get results often in just one week of use. They are applied using gel strips that evenly apply the peroxide gel. However, there are a few issues to consider:
- They only cover the front teeth, so when you smile big, yellowed molars become noticeable
- They can cause tooth sensitivity or worsen sensitivity if you already have sensitive teeth
- They can cause issues if you have any front-facing restorations such as crowns as stains will not be removed from dental resins, etc.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
When it comes to DIY at-home teeth whitening, you won’t find a better product than professional take-home whitening kits. These are far more effective than strips for a number of reasons:
- We make impressions of your teeth to create custom take-home trays to apply the whitening gel
- Our whitening gel is professional strength making it much stronger than over the counter products you find at the drugstore
- The take-home trays make it easy to apply the gel as they fit snugly over your teeth, allowing the whitening gel to dissolve and oxygen to enter your tooth enamel and dentin to effectively lighten stains
- You will see whiter teeth usually within a week
The carbamide peroxide used in our take-home whitening kits is prescribed based on your particular needs which allows us to control the active ingredient for the best possible results.
Zoom® One Hour Teeth Whitening
Zoom!® In-Office Whitening is the gold standard of all teeth whitening products and treatments. It is safe, effective, and fast, taking just one hour. You will often see a change in the brightness of your smile by as much as eight shades after one treatment — that’s a very white smile!
The Zoom! light-activated whitening gel’s active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide, which works in the same way as our take-home kits. However, the addition of the Zoom! light in the application process helps the peroxide penetrate the surface of the tooth increasing effectiveness by 33% or more. The one downside is that you might experience a lot of sensitivity if this is something that has given you issues in the past. In this case, the take-home option might be best.