There’s nothing more charming than a beautiful smile, but to get it, you need white, perfect teeth. Now, most of us don’t have the luck to be born with a beautiful set of dentures, but this can be easily fixed using braces.
However, when it comes to keeping your dentures white, the solution is not as permanent as fixing a crooked smile. You have to be actively caring for those pearly whites and, in most cases, having a strict brushing schedule is not enough.
Luckily, the market is filled with all sorts of whiteners and systems that promise to be easy to use and deliver impressive results. Of course, given the abundance of products, there’s a good chance to feel a bit confused about choosing the right product. Not to mention, the wrong one may wreak havoc on your teeth.
So, to make sure you’re not going to just throw your money away, we did a bit of digging and found the best whiteners to use for whitening your teeth. Below you can read out opinion about each and why we consider them to be the most recommended and high quality.
List of Top 3 Most Effective & Fast Acting Teeth Whiteners
Alta White – Amazing Results
- Easy to apply
- It also polishes your smile
- Promises professional results at home
Our Rating: 9.8/10
According to the producer, this is the whitening set used by celebrities when they want to take care of this at home. The product also promises pearly whites within 6 days from the first application without any expensive trips to the dentist.
Furthermore, the application method is extremely simple and doesn’t require assistance from someone else. All you have to do is apply the liquid and powder solution on the surface of your teeth using the application swab provided in the package. Naturally, you should brush and floss before applying the product, in order to get the best possible results.
Once you finished applying the whitener, follow the instructions about brushing and rinsing the product off with water.
The cool thing about the Alta White product is that it doesn’t cause any sensitivity (like professional treatments do) and it has almost immediate results. Furthermore, the ingredients are perfect for whitening and strengthening your pearly whites and their enamel and you won’t find any bleaching elements.
Idol White – Best Pen Type
- Easy to use
- Professional results at home
- Safe to use without harming the enamel
Our Rating: 9.6/10
A professional whitening treatment works deep in your teeth structure which temporarily weakens the enamel and can lead to later problems. This is why the dentist warns you about eating sweets or drinking coffee right after whitening, but with a product like Idol White you don’t have to worry about this.
The special gel contained inside the pen product is safe to use at home and only attacks stains on your teeth, not the enamel! Even more, it’s extremely easy to use and you don’t have to spend tons of money or waste time visiting a dentist.
The product can be applied in a few minutes, by simply twisting it out of the pen and using the special application tool. The instructions are fairly simple and quite easy to follow regardless of the fact that you are at home or in the washroom of your favorite restaurant.
Bella Laboratories – Great Whitening System
- Takes care of your teeth
- Results in only six days
- Very easy to apply in the comfort of your home
Our Rating: 9.4/10
The Bella Labs whitening product is just as easy to apply as the ones mentioned above (it’s a gel that you apply on your teeth) and has the advantage of being safe for the enamel. It should be applied after a thorough brushing and flossing, and you should follow the instructions on the package, but we selected it because it doesn’t contain any harmful bleaching agents.
Furthermore, it’s effective against plaque buildup and keeps your breath fresh for longer periods of time.
The whitening effect is not instant, but it comes gradually, in about six days. We loved the fact that the results are durable, and it can be re-applied whenever you consider it necessary. Of course, you still have to continue with your standard brushing routine to maintain your oral hygiene, but the it’s quite effective against yellow spots that don’t come off with regular toothpaste.
Whitening Treatments for Teeth (What You Should Know)
Teeth discoloration happens even to the most religious of brushers because of the foods we eat, our habits (coffee drinking, smoking, tea, and so on) or just because of sensitivities to certain ingredients. So, you may have slightly yellow teeth even when you are constantly flossing, brushing and using all the right products.
In this case, it’s best to go for a teeth whitening product that will give you those pearly whites you’ve been dreaming about. But, there are so many whiteners out there that it can get difficult to choose, so below you can check some of the features to follow when you’re looking for the best of the best.
Effectiveness of a Product
The effectiveness is measured in the results the products it brings, the speed of action, and durability. For instance, a good product should act gradually, creating a whiter effect each day, until it reaches the maximum. Then, it should stay on, without losing its effect around colored foods or drinks.
So, when you pick up a home product for whitening teeth, make sure to first read the overviews. Also, it’s important to buy from a trusted brand because these are developed by specialists in dentistry so you don’t run the risk of using substances that will damage your enamel instead of just whitening it.
It’s also important to understand that most whitening products that can be used at home are effective against extrinsic stains (yellow or brown stains on the enamel of a natural tooth) and won’t work on discolorations produced by a dead tooth. Also, if you have implants of artificial faces, you should consider talking to a dentist before using any whitening products.
Overall, you should use a whitener that is supported by views from real users and make sure it fits your needs. Furthermore, avoid products that contain bleaching agents – these may be effective, but in the long term, they affect the health of your enamel.
Should You Go Cheap?
Given the fact that you are using a product that gets in contact with your saliva and tongue, we would never recommend being cheap about it! The ingredients and method of application are extremely important for your health so make sure to only choose reputable brands, even if the product is a bit more expensive.
Furthermore, regardless of the way you look at it, at home teeth whitening are a lot cheaper than professional treatments, and you can obtain similar results. It may be that they are not as durable, but the application method is simpler.
The idea behind whitening systems and gels that can be applied at home was to provide users with a less expensive method that’s also safe and easy to use. So, considering the fact that you are already enjoying a discount, you should not look for the cheapest whitener on the market!
Choose a Trusted Teeth Whitening Product Brand
The reputation of the brand is just as important as the product itself! However, you should never buy a whitener just because you know the brand!
The idea is to make sure you check the reputation of the whitener after checking the brand. This is important because even big brands are known to release a bad product from time to time, and you don’t want to be stuck in this situation.
Now, in order to learn about the brand and whitener’s reputation, it’s enough to search for information online. Read opinions from actual users and make sure the results are according to the producer’s promises. Also, make sure you will get a product that fits your needs when it comes to teeth whitening.
If you can’t find opinions from users but the brand is big on marketing, this can be considered a red flag (unless the brand is new on the market). In this case, try asking your friends and acquaintances about it or simply pay a visit to your dentist and ask them for a recommendation.
In this case, the results are of paramount importance – after all this is why you’re buying the whitener, right?
Many producers will give you the ‘before and after’ picture, but we recommend asking for such pictures from real users. This is the only way to make sure the product is actually delivering and that you’ll get a naturally-looking white smile.
If the whitener is rather new, but comes from a reputable brand, you can try it on and do the before and after shot on yourself. In our opinion, this is the best way to measure results when it comes to home teeth whitening products.
If the product or paste managed to eliminate or cover yellow and brown discolorations on your natural dentures without making them more sensitive to cold or hot, then this is the optimal result. Of course, it’s important to highlight the fact that these sorts of products only work on natural, healthy teeth. For any other kind of situations, you should visit your dentist and ask for professional advice.
Do Natural Home Remedies Work?
At a simple online search you’ll notice there are some recommended natural methods for teeth whitening such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon rinds or cider vinegar. But are these really effective or are just hoaxes?
Well, we did the test and, while some do work, the method of application is difficult and in many cases the taste is downright horrible. But we could live with this if the success rate or durability were significant.
Sadly, natural home remedies are not always successful (in comparison to teeth whitening) and they don’t last too long. Furthermore, you should apply them every time you brush and the effect may be more than slightly less yellow dentures. Considering the fact that you have to rub the surface of your dentures with rough particles (in the case of baking soda or hydrogen peroxide), you may end up damaging the enamel.
The end result is definitely not worth it when you make the comparison with the success rate and durability of home teeth whiteners designed to also protect the structure of your enamel.
As we mentioned above, because you would have to use these natural agents every time you brush, the side effects can be devastating for your enamel.
For instance, hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that can be harmful to people with sensitive teeth and gums. Even more, if you choose to go with the cider vinegar, this one contains acids that may wash your enamel away, together with the plaque and germs. The same goes for other natural methods, which is why you should be extremely careful when implementing them.
Another good example where acid levels are high is with the lemon or orange peel. Many people swear by the effects on teeth whitening, but you’ll have to use a lot of peel to get the same effect as with a professional teeth whitener, and even the healthiest of ingredients in large quantities can be harmful.
The specialized teeth whitener product you find on the market don’t require to be applied too often and they don’t contain bleaching agents that change the structure of your teeth. Some are even designed with ingredients that will strengthen the enamel while polishing away the plaque and giving you a fresher breath.
Overall, natural remedies should only be used if you don’t have access to a professional teeth whitening set or system, and even then, they should be used with caution. Also, make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth after every use and don’t make abuse of something that seems healthy in small quantities.
Types of Whitening
As we already mentioned before, the market is filled with a plethora of home teeth whitening, but this is due to the diversity of methods you can use. There are strips that can be applied directly on the surface of the teeth, gels you can rub or simply paint on, pens that make the application of gels a lot easier, you can use toothpaste, or you can simply get some rinse solutions.
When it comes to choosing the best teeth whitening for your needs, there’s no shortage of products and this is what makes this niche so rich and interesting!
This is considered by both specialists and regular home users, one of the most effective methods for teeth whitening at home.
The strips are impregnated with a thin layer of whitening substance and all you have to do is apply them on the surface of your teeth for about 60 minutes. You can do this in the morning, or in the evening before going to bed, and the effect is immediate. Furthermore, most packages are delivered with one or two weeks supplies of strips so you can make the results more durable.
Now, if strips are not exactly your cup of tea (so to speak), there is an alternative to this: trays. These are tiny trays molded after the standard human mouth, but flexible enough to fit your unique set of dentures. You’ll get two trays in the package, one for each row, and all you have to do is add a thin layer of substance in each of them. Next, put them in your mouth, to cover the teeth and wait for the recommended amount of time.
The substance will work its wonders in about several hours, which is incredibly fast! This method of application is most recommended for people who don’t like using applicators or rubbing the substance directly using a toothbrush. You’ll also be protected from tasting too much of the substance and the results are a lot faster than with other methods.
It’s usually delivered in a tube and has a special applicator head that can be used to paint your teeth with it. The application method is simple and doesn’t require too much work as all you have to do is dip the applicator in substance and apply it on each tooth.
Once you’re done, you should wait for the recommended amount of time and then rinse. Now, unlike when you’re using strips or trays, the results are not immediate as the substance will work its wonders in several days (usually six).
With this method the application is simpler but you will taste a lot more substances than with the other ones. However, this is not a problem since the ingredients are not harmful to your health. Most of these don’t use bleaching agents, because these tend to harm the enamel, weakening the structure and protection systems of your dentures.
The cool thing is that you can use this method regardless of your location as you don’t have to wait too long with the substance on your teeth.
Pens are also a good way to go when you need quicker results or you’re on the go as they are compact and highly portable. The pens are actually thin tubes filled with a bleaching substance and you can carry them in your purse or backpack, but they’ll also fit a regular-sized pocket so you can actually have them on you at all times.
To apply it, the pen has a brush at one of the ends, and you need to twist or squeeze the tube to get the gel out and on the brush. Once you get it out, you simply use the brush to paint it on your teeth. Some pens even come equipped with polishing bristles for removing stains from the surface of the tooth. You just rub it on the stain until it goes away.
The only risk you run with this type of application method is getting an uneven bleaching. If it doesn’t reach the entire surface of your tooth, there will be areas of a different color, which is why it’s best to go twice over the same tooth.
Overall, pens are great for last minute touch-ups before a photo shoot or a social event where you want to look perfect and exude confidence, so don’t let your oral hygiene tool system behind.
We’re sure you know by now that special bleaching substances are not the only way to get your pearls whiter. After all, most toothpaste producers in today’s market have at least one product designed to bring you a whiter, better smile. And given you’ll be using toothpaste anyways, there’s no harm in trying one with a bleaching effect, right?
Well, toothpaste does work, but only gradually; it doesn’t have the same fast effect gel has. But, if you want long-lasting results, the toothpaste may be the best way to go except for a professional treatment. This method is easy and convenient to use and, with the right product, the results are almost guaranteed.
This type of toothpaste is usually improved with whitening agents, but you’ll also find products with special crystals in the mix. These are great for lifting stains from the enamel without damaging it. Toothpaste also works great with stains produced by coffee, smoking or wine so if you like consuming these types of foods and drinks you may want to make the switch.
However, it’s important to understand that you won’t get the same effect you get with substances. So, if you want bright white results, it’s ideal to use a second method such as strips or pens.
In this category we can include mouthwash mixed with some teeth whitener agent (also known as whitening mouthwash).
These are standard mouthwash products enhanced with bleaching agents such a hydrogen peroxide and others, but in a lower concentration. Also, you shouldn’t give into the idea that products with alcohol make for a better whitening mouthwash – there are plenty of alcohol-free products that don’t leave you with a dry mouth.
The best rinses we can recommend are the ones based on oil pulling, but these require extensive rinsing procedures that may be too time-consuming for most of us. These are safer for your enamel, but we must also mention the results show up after a longer use.
The best way to go with teeth whitening rinses is to avoid the ones based on alcohol or the ones with high alcohol content for as much as possible. They may work faster, but prolonged use leads to enamel deterioration, which is something you definitely don’t want.
Should You Upgrade Your Toothbrush?
In most cases, a toothbrush upgrade makes reference to ditching the manual one and getting an electric device. But is this really the case for everyone?
Well, if you’re looking to get better results and protection from your brushing and flossing, then yes, you should make the upgrade. An electric toothbrush comes with plenty of benefits and it is superior in technique, speed, and power to the manual one. Not to mention that you can get one that allows accurate tracking of your brushing habits!
Of course, you can do just as well with a manual toothbrush, but the effort you have to invest is significantly bigger to get good results. On the other hand, with an electric brush, all you have to do wait for it to do the job.
Electric vs. Manual
Now that we have your attention, let’s run a quick comparison between the two devices and see which one has more to offer:
- The Portability Aspect – If you travel a lot, this aspect is important, and here is where the manual toothbrush wins the race. Manual devices are silent, easy to pack and don’t require a power source to function. On the other hand, an electric device is bulkier, needs batteries, and many are quite noisy. Still, there are special travel cases and you can easily get some extra batteries for the trip.
- The Brushing Technique – With a manual device, the technique is highly dependent on your arm’s movement, which can be lacking if you’re tired or bored. On the other hand, with an electric device, the head implements two types of movements (oscillations and rotations) while you’re just holding the brush in your mouth.
- The Timer – Electric devices are equipped with a timer that lets you know when it’s time to switch to a different area and when you’re done. This way, you make sure you brush for the optimum amount of time, every time while with a manual one you can easily forget about the time limit.
- Gum protection – Most manual brushes don’t really care about the gums and the bristles can be too hard on this area of your mouth. With an electric device you can get a special setting for the massage of the gums, but you also get to clean the plaque that usually forms at the base of the teeth. This way, your gums will be healthier for a longer period of time and you won’t have to visit the dentist as often.
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
The main cause for a yellowish color is represented by highly pigmented foods such as curry, tomato sauce, beetroot, cherries, soy sauce, or berries. These foods bring color to your plate and are recommended in a healthy diet, but if you truly want to maintain your pearly whites, you should try to avoid them for as much as possible.
Of course, some of these foods (if not all) are so delicious that we can’t live without them for a long period of time, which is why, as long as you consume them in moderation you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Still, it’s best to avoid eating colorful foods immediately after you’ve had your teeth professionally whitened.
The whitening process weakens the enamel and opens the pores in your teeth’s structure, so for the following two days, the tissue will be working on rebuilding itself. Now, if you consume highly pigmented foods in this time period, your dentures will turn a yellowish color quite fast because of this.
Beverages can be worse than foods because every time you take a sip, you basically bathe your mouth and dentures in it. Furthermore, if you like nursing the drink, your teeth’s exposure to the harmful elements in the drink will be of longer duration, which can lead to bigger problems.
The drinks that are most harmful to your pearly whites are:
- Carrot juice
- Tomato juice
- Balsamic vinegar
- White and red wine
- Lemon juice (for the acidic content)
- Sugary drinks
The basic idea would be to avoid colorful drinks that can leave a stain on your teeth, but how many of us can actually live without coffee or tea? In this case, it’s best to have sugarless gum in your purse – this helps reduce the exposure – or you could simply sip your drinks through a straw (where it’s appropriate).
This nasty habit is not just harmful to your insides; it also affects the color of your skin, and stains your fingers. Not to mention, your breath will always have that smoky odor that’s not always appealing.
But why does tobacco leave stains (after all you’re not chewing on it!)? Well, your teeth have pores (like the ones on your skin) that allow them to absorb nourishment and breathe, but this also means they will absorb things like nicotine and tar. The result is a yellow discoloration that in time turns brown, and if you do chew the tobacco, the discoloration is darker.
According to specialists, smocking and/or chewing of tobacco are among the most powerfully staining habits one can employ. However, these stains are also the ones to show the most improvement after a professional cleaning process. Still, it will be difficult to remove them completely and get a nice round of pearly whites because the stains build up in years of bad habits.
There are cases when the yellowish color is inherited, but this is due to a thinner layer of enamel or a thicker dentine. In most cases, genetics is the main cause differences in the development of the dentine or enamel, but this can happen because of nutritional factors during the development phase.
If the situation is genetic you can still get whiter dentures, but it’s highly recommended to talk to a dentist before starting to toy with home teeth whitening set. Because of the thinner enamel, the substances in such it may provoke pain or even increase the sensitivity of your gums and dentures to various factors.
Some antibiotics are also known to produce yellow teeth, but only in certain conditions. For instance, tetracycline and doxycycline are known to have an effect, but only if given to kids while their dentures are still developing.
Of course it’s not just about antibiotics as other types of medication can endanger your pearly whites. A good example is Benadryl, which is an antihistamine, and drugs designed to reduce high blood pressure are known to cause teeth discoloration.
The good news is that with most of these medications, the discoloration stops once the drug leaves the system. Still, if you notice any permanent damage, you should talk about this with a healthcare professional.
Our Final Thoughts
As you can see, teeth whitening for at home use are quite effective if used properly and on natural teeth. However, they only work on stains produced by foods, drinks, or smoking and only if applied on natural dentures. For other discoloration problems you should talk to your dentist.
Now, when you first choose a whitening product you’ll notice that the market is flooded with all sorts of models, with different types of application and lots of promises. This is why we selected the top three products available right now and did a thorough overview on each of them – so you can choose the one(s) that ideally fit your needs.
We also included a short but comprehensive guide to the features to consider when you’re looking for a highest quality teeth whitening product. This way, you can select other products than the ones we mentioned on our best three products list and you have the right information for any future purchases.
Finally, we talked about why and how your teeth can get discolored and the best ways to avoid it. Home teeth whiteners are amazing in terms of efficiency and durability, but you must also do your part in maintaining those pearly whites if you want long-lasting results!
Overall, your oral hygiene is the first aspect you must consider, and only then you should think about getting that perfect smile!
Does the Whitening Work?
Basically, there are two major procedures that help you get a whiter smile: bleaching and whitening. Bleaching is a complex procedure, and can be done by a dentist or you can do it at home using a whitening kit designed especially for this operation.
Through bleaching, you use chemical substances that change the color of your enamel, improving your smile and boosting your self-confidence.
Whitening is usually done using a special type of toothpaste, with abrasive crystals in it, that scrapes off the stains on the surface of the enamel, giving a whiter smile.
In terms of efficiency, both methods work, but using a quality whitening kit may be the most effective one to try. Both methods are designed to remove stains on the enamel, which can be of two kinds: intrinsic and extrinsic.
This type of stain is deep set within the tooth’s structure, which makes them difficult to remove (also why home whitening kits won’t work on them). The intrinsic stain may have formed during the development of the permanent dentures by simply incorporating some dark pigmented molecules into the tooth, but they can also the direct result of medication with tetracycline antibiotics.
Some kids also develop intrinsic tooth stains because of excess fluoride in their diet (a brownish color), but the same can happen in the case of an injury – if a tooth is damaged, the body sends more blood to heal the area, but the iron pigments will make the dentin a red-brown color.
Sadly this type of stain requires the attention of a professional and, in most cases it cannot be neutralized through bleaching. The best way to eliminate an intrinsic stain is through bonding and veneers, but this will be established by your dentist.
These are surface stains and can be ameliorated or removed using standard whitening kits at home or at the dentist.
Extrinsic stains are not damaging to the enamel but they can pose a cosmetic problem as your smile can appear sloppy and your reputation may suffer. After all, a beautiful smile is extremely helpful when you want to reflect confidence or you work in a position where you’re in constant contact with people.
These types of stains are usually produced by pigmented foods and drinks such as curry, coffee, tomato juice, tea, wine, and so on. However, harmful behavior such as smoking can also produce a yellow color of the teeth.
Other causes for extrinsic stains can be a poor diet, eating acidic foods, or simply poor oral hygiene. In many situations, the stains are accompanied by bad breath, so it’s not just aesthetically problematic.
Still the positive side of all these is that these stains can be easily removed if they didn’t settle in and produced damage to the enamel’s surface.
Extrinsic stains usually show up in areas where the enamel has been roughed up, allowing various elements to stick on the surface of your teeth and produce a discoloration.
Still, it’s important to know that, if the stains are due to bad oral hygiene, the enamel won’t last for a long time. So, if the enamel is damaged, a whitening kit may not be the right course of action.
What to Look for in a Kit
How Long Will the Whitening Last?
When it comes to whitening, there are two main ways to go about it: professional bleaching and whitening kits that can be applied at home. Now, both are effective, but it’s best for the safety of your teeth, to first talk to your dentist about your intentions.
A health professional in the dentistry industry can give you valuable advice on the type of method to use and why. Of course, they can also recommend certain products and they can tell you which will be more effective for your needs.
Still, in terms of durability, professional bleaching is known to last longer than at home kits. If you decide it to do it professionally, you should know it will be more expensive as well.
Basically, the dentist will use a bleaching gel that’s a lot more powerful than what you usually find in any over the counter products (this is why you need professional supervision when using it).
The gel is usually applied using specially-made trays (or mouth guards) and it works on breaking down the stains on your enamel, making it lighter. The same happens with highest quality teeth whitening kits you use at home, but the active ingredient is less powerful so it won’t damage the enamel.
Now, in terms of durability, professional bleaching, according to the method used, can last for up to three years if it is properly attended to (this means thorough brushing and flossing, no smoking, no colorful drinks or foods, and so on). On the other hand, at home kits can last from one month to a year, but the durability varies from person to person.
The idea with at home kits, is that you will have to repeat the procedure if you want to continue having a brighter smile. Of course, professional procedures must be maintained and repeated as well.
People with sensitive teeth feel hot and cold differently, in the idea that a cold/hot beverage may produce discomfort and even pain if the dentine is exposed. The same happens with sweets and all the foods that in general are harmful to your teeth.
This happens because, during the whitening procedure, the enamel gets more permeable and allows more particles to pass through, reaching the dentine.
Now, it’s important to understand that a tooth is just like a candy – it has a hard layer on the outside (the enamel) and a soft core (the dentine). In this case, the core is the one with the nerves and the one that will make you feel discomfort or pain if something happens to the enamel.
During a professional whitening procedure, the gel applied on the teeth opens the pores in the enamel to allow oxygen to pass through.
This is what gives your smile that whiter shade and why it may feel a bit weird the first few times when you use the gel. But whitening kits can also create discomfort if your enamel is already more permeable than the standard.
That’s why it is important to treat the sensitivity before you apply any whitening treatment (for home or professional use). The active substances contained in the gel will heighten your sensitivity and can make things worse for you, which is why it’s important to discuss this step with a professional.
There are many underlying causes for teeth sensitivity, which is why you need the opinion of a professional. For instance, amongst the most common causes, you’ll find tooth wear, gum recession, or the fact that you tend to grind your teeth.
Naturally, the whitening process can also be the cause of sensitivity, but mostly when you’re using trays form an over the counter whitening kit. These may put pressure on the gums, which leads to irritation and discomfort.
In conclusion, if you suffer from sensitivity, make sure to first talk to your dentist before applying any high-quality whitening kits.
Will it Damage My Gums?
It’s important to know that every whitening treatment, be it for home use or for use in a dentist’s office, will cause some irritation to the soft tissue it gets in contact with. After all, this gel is designed to clean your teeth, which are hard surfaces, so it’s normal to think soft surfaces won’t have the same resistance.
However, this irritation is not to be worried about, as it’s like getting sunburn on your gums. The affected area will be tender and sore for a few days, but the pain will soon go away and the tissue will heal.
The irritation of the gums happens because the gels usually contain hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which are aggressive for soft tissues such as gums, the inside of our cheek, or even the tongue.
This is why it’s best to avoid applying too much gel that could leak in the inside of your mouth during the treatment. However, even when you’re asking a dentist to do this treatment, there are chances to get gum irritation.
Now, the best way to avoid getting too much of a burn, when you apply the gel at home, make sure to wipe the excess off with a cotton-tipped applicator. Furthermore, if you’re using trays, it’s important to get some that will fit your dentures just right.
The good news is that the healing process starts as soon as the burn happens and it only takes a few days to go through it. You can also speed up the healing by rinsing your gums with salt water, after removing the gel.
Another way to make sure the burn won’t be deep is to rub a drop of Vitamin E oil on your gums after the burn has happened.
So, to conclude, some mild irritation is normal with both at home whitening kits and professional treatments, but it’s best to allow the tissue to heal before starting a new whitening treatment.
Will it Damage My Teeth?
Professionals and people involved in keeping our teeth clean and healthy get this questions a lot, but the answer is a definite no.
Given the fact that the gel and its active substances are indeed a bit aggressive, it’s normal for people to wonder if getting their enamel whited doesn’t actually make it thinner. After all, no one would want to trade the health of their teeth for a lighter shade, right?
We had a chat with several professionals and, learned that the enamel is considered to be the hardest tissue in your body because it is made of tiny elements that are strongly bonded together.
Furthermore, most of the stains are not actually set on the enamel, but on the dentine, which is a soft tissue situated right underneath the enamel.
So, in order to remove stains and make your teeth whiter, the gel goes through the enamel (it has tiny pores called tubules) and work on making the denting lighter.
Actually, the sensitiveness you feel after applying a whitening kit is due to the fact that the pores in the enamel remain open after the gel is deactivated. This process is also known as dehydration, but the tissue gets hydrated back by your saliva (which acts as a sort of mouthwash).
So, the reason why you should avoid consuming colorful foods and drinks after applying a whitener is that the tooth will absorb the color during the re-hydration process.
This means that, if you drink coffee while the enamel is still hydrating, the yellow color will affect the denting and your effort for a whiter smile will be in vain.
Naturally, if you eat sweet foods during this time, the nerves may get irritated and you may experience pain, because the dentine is not yet fully protected by the enamel. So, to be sure, first check with your dentist on how long you should avoid colorful or sweet foods and drinks after whitening.
Teeth Whitening Benefits and Side Effects
There are many benefits when it comes to top quality teeth whitening kits, but below we listed the best ones:
- Self-esteem boost – You don’t need a bunch of scientists to tell you that people will look at you differently just because your smile is brighter! After all, the teeth whitening industry is not so rich just because people love applying cleaning gel on their teeth, right? When you know your smile is flawless you are more confident and relaxed, which can be seen in the way you act around other people.
- Improves your oral health routine – It may sound silly but studies have shown that people who have had a teeth whitening treatment, are more careful with their oral hygiene routine. They floss more often and they put more thought in the way they brush and the products they use. It may be just because they want to keep those pearly whites shining longer?
- Disease prevention – This is strongly connected to the reason mentioned above. Poor oral hygiene leads to a series of diseases, so just by being more careful with the way we brush and floss, we keep our health level quite high. Actually, this may be the best benefit of all the whitening craze!
Naturally, like most procedures we do for our health, having teeth whitening treatment leads to some side effects, but these are just passing by. Of course, you have to follow the instructions to a tee, and make sure you buy only high-end products.
Now, here are the side effects that are supposed to happen and shouldn’t have you too worried:
- Mild gum irritation – The gel you or your dentist apply on the enamel is aggressive towards soft tissue, and this is why you will feel a burn sensation if it gets on your gums. When this happens (even professionals will give you gum irritation), make sure to remove the excessive gel with a cotton swab or a clean cloth, and wait for the tissue to heal.
- Nausea or vomiting sensation – This only happens if you ingest some of the gel. Remember, it doesn’t take much to make you feel nauseated so don’t use too much! Always follow the instructions and be extremely careful when you’re using home kits.
- Tooth sensitivity – This is normal and it will last for at least a few days from your whitening procedure. The gel will open the pores of your enamel leaving the tiny bits of your dentine exposed, which is the soft tissue containing nerves in your tooth. So, make sure to follow the instructions and stay away from sweets and hot or cold foods/drinks.
It’s important to never use home kits more often than recommended and you should never leave the gel on over the time mentioned on the box. If you overuse whitening kits, the side effects can be worn enamel, which leads to cracking and chipping.
Are at Home Kits Worth it?
A whitening product you can use for yourself, in the comfort of your own home, sounds a lot better than a professional treatment that will set you back a couple hundred dollars or more in your budget.
However, are these kits really worth it or are they just a marketing scam to make you throw away your money?
Well, this question is legit and we are here to provide a fact-checked answer. For this, we had a chat with several specialists in the field, and below you can read a summary of their opinion on the topic of home whitening kits.
Are They Safe?
Overall, the answer is yes. However, the main condition here is for the kit to be used exactly as directed by the producer.
The ingredients in a home kit are FDA-approved and are safe to be used in the recommended proportions. Now, you should also be aware of the fact that the whitening gel should, under no circumstances, be ingested!
Of course, small quantities may get into your digestive systems, and in this case you may feel nauseated, but if it happens and you swallow a larger quantity, you should call your doctor immediately.
Now that we discussed this aspect, we should discuss overuse. Many people believe that, if they apply the gel more often or keep it for more than it is indicated on the box, they will get faster results. Sadly, this isn’t true, and it can have serious side effects for the health of your teeth.
Furthermore, if your teeth are not fully developed yet (you’re a teenager), it’s best to postpone the use of whitening kits until you’re older.
This is important because the enamel on underdeveloped dentures is thinner than the one on adult teeth and chemicals in a kit will be too strong for you. But, if you really want to try your luck with such a treatment, we recommend talking to your dentist first.
Do They Work?
Home kits use the same chemicals dentists use when they do a professional treatment, only in smaller dosages. Of course, a professional may introduce other substances to the mix, but the active ingredients you use at home have the same effect; only it takes longer to show results.
However, it’s important to keep it on the safe side and choose only products that are supported by the ADA and other professionals in the niche. It’s also important to avoid products with high bleach ingredients (nothing over 10%) to avoid damaging your teeth.
Overall, premium whitening kits do work but only on surface stains (extrinsic). The stains that are already set on the dentine or due to a mineralization of the enamel must be addressed by a professional. Furthermore, whitening doesn’t replace good oral hygiene and doesn’t fix issues as cavities.
So, as long as you understand how to use the kit correctly and you don’t expect to have a fantastic smile overnight, yes a kit works just as advertised.
Ease of Use
Besides being cheaper than a professional treatment, at home kits have another great benefit; the ease of use.
First, we have the application method; this is highlighted by the way your kit is designed, such as:
- Pen whiteners – The gel is contained in a small pen-like container with a tiny brush at one end. The ingenuity of this design is that it is portable and extremely easy to use.
- Strips – You will get several strips embedded with cleaning gel that you have to apply on your teeth and wait for several minutes for the gel to activate.
- Trays – The gel is placed in fitted trays that go over your teeth like a mouth guard would and you have to wait several minutes, up to 1 hour for it to activate.
- Gel applicators – These kits have a special applicator and the gel is contained in a box that allows you to dip in the applicator and then paint your teeth with it.
As you can see, there are plenty of options on the market, and each method is very easy to use. The secret is to make sure you understand the instructions correctly. At the end of the day, it depends on your personal preferences which application technique to use.
Quick tip: if you have sensitive gums, we recommend using the pen or the applicators as this are the methods that will get less gel on the gums.
Should People Avoid Kits That Whiten Teeth
If you have healthy dentures and you know you are not allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the whitening kit, then there is no reason to avoid using such a product if this is your decision. You should not let anyone convince you into this activity if you don’t feel completely safe using it!
Now, while home kits are safe to use, there are some situations when you should avoid them, and below we’ll list the ones that are mostly met by professionals in the niche:
- Peroxide allergy – Most kits contain peroxide in their mix, so if you know yourself to be allergic, you should first talk to your doctor (Of course, you can also ask your dentist to recommend a peroxide-free kit). Furthermore, if you are not sure you are allergic, it’s best to make a test before applying the gel on your teeth.
- Dental problems – Whitening kits are designed to be used on healthy dentures only so, if you have worn enamel, cavities, or exposed roots you should talk to your dentist before thinking about using a kit.
- Dental work – The same goes if you have crowns, fillings, or other work done because the materials used to keep everything together are not responsive to the ingredients included in a home kit. So, the result may be an uneven whitening job, which is quite unpleasing.
- People with braces – If you wear braces, have a talk with your dentist before you even think about teeth whitening. It will save you a lot of money and a professional can recommend something that’s safe for you to use. The active ingredients in the whitener can oxidize the metal in your braces and make it change color, plus the gel only works on the surface it gets in contact with. This means that the area under the braces will be of a different color when you remove them.
- If you are under medication – as we mentioned before, the kit contains a mixture of chemicals that can interact with your medication. So, if you are under treatment, talk to your doctor and your dentist and ask if there will be any complications.
Tips When Using Your Whitener
According to the method of teeth whitening you’re using, there are several tips to follow. Below, we listed the some of the most useful tips, on the methods that raise the most questions.
- Whitening toothpaste can be a great method, but you should use it in combination with strips or trays. Also, don’t use whitening paste for more than three times a day if you don’t want to worry about worn enamel.
- Avoid wine, coffee, curry, or tea for about 40 minutes to 2 hours after you’ve used strips. These open the pores in the enamel and eating or drinking anything colorful will completely reverse the whitening process.
- You will feel increased sensitivity after using a kit containing peroxide. While this is normal, if the sensitivity persists or turns into pain, you should stop using the kit and go visit your dentist.
- Never use the kit if you have dental work or cavities! Whitening should only be done on healthy dentures.
- Don’t let the gel get in contact with your gums or other soft tissue in the mouth as it will product mild burns. If this happens, wipe it off with a clean cloth or a cotton swab. Some kits also come with Vitamin E cotton tips that are great for reducing the burn sensation and getting the gel off your gums.
- Don’t buy from a brand you don’t know and don’t use a product without reading/seeing opinions from other actual users. We also think it’s a good idea to ask your dentist’s recommendation as they should be able to give you good pointers.
- Always, always follow the instructions on the box!
Teeth Bleaching Vs. Whitening
You may be confused about the two terms as they are used quite often by producers and the difference is subtle.
First, bleaching is a term used by products containing ingredients that, when in contact with water, produce a bleaching effect. These ingredients are hydrogen peroxide and/or carbamide peroxide and you’ll find them in most kits because the result is impressive (they make your enamel a few shades lighter than it naturally is).
Whitening products are less effective in turning your smile white, but they do work on removing surface stains and debris from the surface of the enamel. In this category you’ll find special toothpaste, and rinses with a whitening agent.
So, to put it short, the difference between bleaching and whitening is in the ingredients and final results. Still, because bleaching sounds a bit weird, most producers will sell you a whitening kit, even though it contains bleaching agents. Of course, both are safe to use as long as you follow the instructions.
Our Final Thoughts
We all know that a beautiful smile can open a lot of doors, which is why the teeth whitening industry is so popular nowadays. However, like everything that’s good, if you abuse it, you may have to suffer unpleasant side effects, so it’s important to do your homework and research.
Actually, we did the research work, so make sure to read the article carefully and ask questions where things are not clear enough. We talked with the experts and learned from real users’ opinions about the best products to try at home and how to make sure your teeth are safe and healthy.
We discussed the types of stains that are most commonly met and how to treat each of them, but we also covered the topic of sensitive teeth and how to take care of your gums in the process of whitening.
Furthermore, we tried to offer answers to questions that most people have before trying a highest rated whitening kit for the first time and we made a list of tips to help you along.
So, all that’s left for you, is to read everything and make sure you understand the process. Next, choose one of the highly recommended products we mentioned and start your journey to a better smile!