Professional teeth whitening shows immediate results and lasts quite a long
time, but it also costs around $500 and isn’t usually covered by insurance. So where should someone on a budget look?
Home whitening kits
You may be able to get rid of superficial stains by yourself. Tooth-whitening products use a surface-type bleach to break the bonds between the stains on tooth enamel. Dentists use a highly concentrated amount to achieve more dramatic results, but the at-home kits, which use a smaller amount, can achieve results too.
Expect that any at-home products will require multiple applications over a week or two and have a gradual whitening effect. If you do opt for a professional whitening treatment, dentists often recommend using at-home products as a booster to keep your teeth whiter for longer.
Perhaps the simplest way to stay on top of your teeth whitening is to pick a whitening toothpaste to brush with every day. While whitening toothpastes don’t lead to dramatic changes in color, they usually contain a small concentration of hydrogen peroxide that will whiten your tooth enamel over time.
Ideally, you’re using a whitening toothpaste in addition to other whitening solutions, says New York cosmetic dentist Edward Alvarez. But this is a good place to start.
Another simple trick to up your teeth game is to swap out your standard toothbrush
for an electric one. Electric toothbrushes
can remove up to 70 percent more plaque than manual brushes. They also remove more stains by vibrating or rotating more effectively.
Prevention is key
The best way to whiten teeth is to observe some preventative measures so they don’t
get too discolored in the first place. Good practices mean avoiding staining substances, the most egregious of which are red wine, coffee and tobacco residue. But other foods that contribute to stains are tea, tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar.
If the thought of avoiding any of those feels out of the question, try rising your mouth out with water after you eat. Brushing your teeth is even better. And of course, regular flossing and dental check-ups never hurt either.
Ladies, try this!
Wear a red lipstick with a blue undertone to give your teeth the illusion of being brighter than they actually are.