At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
People of all ages attempt to whiten their teeth through various home remedies, such as consistent brushing and over-the-counter whitening gels, and visits to the dentist's office for bleaching and other procedures. There are so many products and procedures available that many people wonder about the best teeth whitening methods. The most common response from dental professionals is that different methods work better for different people, and choosing the best teeth whitening strategy depends on a number of factors, especially the color and condition of an individual's teeth and the desired outcome from treatment.
Teeth can be yellowed and damaged by a poor diet, drinking caffeinated beverages, smoking, inconsistent brushing and flossing, and skipping dentist checkups. For many, the best teeth whitening solution is simply eliminating over-consumption of sweets, coffee, and sodas, quitting smoking, and brushing regularly. Some individuals find that supplementing their regular toothpaste with a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda solution helps to break up plaque and lighten their teeth. Regular trips to the dentist can ensure that tooth decay and plaque are kept to a minimum, which is usually enough to preserve white, healthy teeth.
Many people who want to whiten their teeth at home try whitening toothpastes, strips, and gels. Many whitening toothpastes have the same plaque and cavity fighting capabilities as regular fluoride toothpastes, with the added bonus of encouraging stronger tooth enamel and bleaching dark teeth. Over-the-counter whitening gels and strips use hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or a specialized bleaching solution to remove bacteria and brighten the appearance of teeth. Most products, when used according to directions, result in whiter teeth after a period of one to four weeks.
Individuals often find that a trip to the dentist provides the quickest and best teeth whitening results. After examining and cleaning a patient's mouth, a dentist can apply a potent bleaching agent that instantly whitens teeth. Some dentists believe that the best teeth whitening strategy is laser or light treatment, in which a specialized bleaching gel is applied to teeth and exposed to frequent flashes of bright light or laser beams. The light activates certain chemicals in the agent, whitening teeth over the course up to an hour. In addition to clinical treatments, dentists often supply patients with bleaching trays that they can use at home between visits to keep their teeth looking white and beautiful.