Many people write in to AskDeb.com wanting to know, “How do you get whiter teeth?” This is a common concern, as most people want to have a clean, white smile for friends and family (and members of the opposite sex).
Fortunately, there are many options available for whitening your teeth. Some give faster results than others, while certain types of treatments may not work for everyone.
If you’re really serious about getting whiter teeth, you might want to consult with your dentist before beginning a teeth-whitening regimen. This is a good idea, because certain shades respond better to lightening treatment (yellow teeth are best).
In this article, we will examine a number of ways in which you may whiten your teeth. The price of these treatments varies greatly, as will their level of success. Just be patient, and don’t expect a bright smile overnight.
Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
The following over-the-counter products are the most popular:
- Paint-on Gels – This whitening gel allows the user to paint it directly onto the teeth. While most teeth can be covered with the solution, it does tend to be a bit messy.
- Dental Tray and Gel Kit – Used daily, this method will often brighten your teeth one or two shades within a few weeks.
- Whitening Strips – These strips cover the front six teeth. To be effective, your teeth need to be straight.
Homemade Whitening Paste
Instead of shelling out money for over-the-counter products, you can also try making an inexpensive whitening paste using basic household items. To make this paste, you’ll need the following items:
- 3 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- You can also add a drop of mint flavor or bit of toothpaste to disguise the flavor.
- Small bowl or cup
Once you have your ingredients, mix the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda together in a small bowl or cup. If you’re using any toothpaste or mint, you can also add it into the bowl. When it’s mixed together, it should have roughly the same consistency as toothpaste.
Next, brush your teeth with the paste, and leave it on for at least two minutes. Try to avoid swallowing any of the paste (especially if you haven’t flavored it).
When you’ve finished, brush your teeth again with regular toothpaste. This will remove the taste from your mouth and get rid of any hydrogen peroxide.
This home treatment can be used on a weekly or monthly basis. The results will be noticeable in a short period of time, but be sure not to use the mixture more than once per week.
If you use a dentist-made tray (which is kind of like a football mouthpiece), you’ll need to fill it with a gel solution and either wear it overnight or twice daily for an hour. These trays usually cost in the range of $300 to $500 and include carbamide peroxide. This gel solution is gentler on your teeth than hydrogen peroxide, and teeth can lighten up to several shades. You can also request products with fluoride to help reduce the sensitivity of your teeth.
If you’re still wondering, “How do you get whiter teeth,” you might consider bonding as an option. Bonding is basically a resin which is placed over each tooth. This resin makes the teeth look permanently white (although they can be slightly re-stained with tobacco, wine, and coffee). The average cost of bonding is $150 to $300 per tooth.
For $500 to $1,000, you can undergo a 60 to 90-minute session with a light-activated bleaching formula. This formula contains around 35 percent hydrogen peroxide and can whiten teeth by up to 10 shades. One hour of this treatment equals several weeks of over-the-counter treatments.
These toothpastes use a polishing agent to remove surface stains from your teeth. This is far less effective than the treatments listed above, and it can often take months before the user sees any results.
Note: Keep in mind that most whitening treatments (with the exception of bonding) aren’t permanent. You may need to get a touch-up treatment every six to 24 months. This will ensure that your smile stays at its best, and don’t be surprised if people start asking, “How do you get whiter teeth?”