These days, with magazine cover models setting unintentionally setting a beauty standard for women to achieve a perfect smile, it’s hard to not want to get your teeth whitened. Bright smiles make for the most photogenic people, and also are natural sign of self-confidence in ourselves. But with Pinterest users on the rise, many people attempt to implement new beauty tricks that we can supposedly do ourselves, without wasting money or time. Whitening teeth seems to be a popular procedure that people, particularly women, are wanting to get done instantly and cheaply.
So, if you’re one of the millions wanting to have a brighter smile, make sure to take a look at our list of dos and don’ts for getting this dental makeover. Let’s start with the nasty “don’ts.”
- Home remedies
We’re looking at you, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Beauty queens are usually drawn to this technique because of how much money ISN’T involved. In fact, both items are usually something we have on hand in our homes at this very moment. Unfortunately, you’re most likely going to find yourself wasting time trying to get this technique to actually work, or make a noticeable difference. It takes a lengthy amount of time to work — about three or four hours at minimum for one application. However, you would still need to continue reapplying to get the mix to stay on teeth and have any sort of whitening effect.
- Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash
These products should have a big label informing people it is primarily for those who are wanting to maintain their already professionally-whitened teeth. Relying on these somewhat expensive products daily can cause somewhat severe sensitivity. This is because the process of whitening in itself causes sensitivity, so constantly using these products daily seems unreasonable. Additionally, you will only see a minimal change over a long period of time.
- Whitening Pens
People turn to these products for the “instant fix” the companies claim to provide. But that golden rule we’ve all heard a thousand times comes into play here: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Whitening pens are a known Internet scam that cost a fortune but provide no effects. This is due to the fact that the pens fail to have a high enough concentration or long enough exposure to the teeth to really work. Dentists advise to never purchase one of these.
- Bleaching Kiosks
First and most importantly, these mall kiosks are completely unregulated. Their concens are solely making money. Whether this means putting ineffective and possibly harmful chemicals in your mouth or not, they want to snag your cash. That’s not to say all kiosks are a ripoff, but when it comes to whitening teeth, stay away.
Finally, let’s move on and look at what products and procedures are best for your teeth:
- Teeth-whitening strips
These strips are relatively inexpensive, although they require patience. They DO work, but most people who claim their ineffectiveness gave up and didn’t even finish the box. These whitening strips are not harsh on your teeth enamel like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, but provide great results for those willing to wait it out.
- Custom bleaching trays
These trays are almost guaranteed to get you good results quickly, mainly due to the necessary high concentration of peroxide involved. They’re custom fit for your teeth, so they can be worn any time of the day — even while you are sleeping at night. However, these trays can be expensive, and you really do get what you pay for. The lower-priced trays are usually similar to the home remedies mentioned earlier in this post, while higher-priced trays give you quicker and faster results.
- Laser teeth whitening
Going in the chair and getting your teeth whitened professionally will definitely give you the greatest results of all methods mentioned. For one thing, you are combining the heat and light of the laser with the high concentration of peroxide. While the procedure may take a few trips to the dentist, you are almost guaranteed to have top-of-the-line results. Although, be prepared for a high cost of $500 to $2500, and some intense sensitivity in your teeth and gums for a few weeks.
Lindsay Bradshaw is a content developer for Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry in Austin, Texas. She has seen positive results from the laser treatment from multiple friends.
“Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net”