When it comes to getting a whiter smile, your best bet is always professional teeth whitening treatments. As dentists, we have stronger products that help you achieve dramatic results in the shortest amount of time. Of course, if you only have minor stains, you might not need to invest in professional in-office teeth whitening, in which case, there are some at-home treatment options to try.
At-Home Teeth Whitening With Custom Trays
There are countless over-the-counter whitening solutions available these days, but we recommend purchasing an at-home teeth whitening kit from our office. These systems are superior to the ones you buy at the store because the whitening gel is stronger and the trays are made custom for you, which means the gel is less likely to irritate your gums and the trays are more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
We’ll provide you with instructions on how to use your at-home teeth whitening kit—for minor stains, you may only need to wear your trays for a week or two, while more significant stains might require overnight wear for several weeks. Because you’re working with our dentist, we’ll be able to help you achieve the perfect shade of white and minimize any tooth sensitivity.
ADA-Approved Whitening Products
If you choose to purchase teeth whitening products at your local pharmacy or online, it’s important to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means that the product meets the American Dental Association’s criteria for safety and efficacy.
Unfortunately, there has been a proliferation of questionable whitening products sold online and promoted by influencers; these products are often ineffective and sometimes they even cause damage to tooth enamel with abrasive ingredients like charcoal, acids, and clay. Steer clear of anything that doesn’t have the ADA seal.
Diligent Brushing, Flossing, and Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene habits can go a long way—you might be surprised how much of your tooth discoloration is caused by plaque buildup. Here are some oral care tips to keep your smile bright:
- If you can’t brush your teeth after red wine, coffee, or tea, at least rinse well with water.
- If you use tobacco products, quit.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day.
- Consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush. They do the best job of loosening plaque.
- Floss your teeth once a day.
- Go to the dentist every six months for dental cleanings.
A Word About Natural Remedies for Whiter Teeth
Perhaps you came to this article expecting suggestions for oil pulling, apple cider vinegar rinses, and baking soda scrubs. The ADA’s position on DIY teeth whitening treatments is that they do more harm than good, and we agree. Often these treatments remove surface stains, which makes you think that they’re working; what you don’t see is that they’re also eroding your enamel in the process and in the long-term, this will cause yellower teeth.
Stick with professional teeth whitening, ADA-approved products, and good oral hygiene for the best results.