The teeth are a major point of attraction between human beings. Studies show that both men and women are attracted by a sparkling set of white teeth, and that’s not all. The way we take care of our teeth opens a huge window into our habits when it comes to personal hygiene! If we do a less than stellar job taking care of our teeth, people will notice, including current and prospective employers. It goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyway: take care of your teeth!
When it comes to a great smile, the big question is “how.” How can you get the same set of pearly whites that you see on TV and in magazines? (Yes, this is an achievable goal)
We’re here to tell you!
Now, most teeth whiteners contain a chemical called hydrogen peroxide. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide dictates both effectiveness and cost inversely. Taking this into account, here are four recommendations for teeth whiteners, ranked from least to most effective.
Toothpaste! This is an obvious starting point, but far too many people neglect to brush their teeth regularly. Standard toothpaste brands will have between 1% and 1.5% hydrogen peroxide, making toothpaste the least effective, but most affordable option for teeth whitening.
Simply by brushing regularly, you should be able to take care of stains on your teeth left from things like red wine or coffee. However, when it comes to the actual enamel of your teeth, forget about it.
#3: Over-the-counter Gels/Strips
In most grocery stores and pharmacies, you can find gels and strips to put on your teeth much the same as one would administer a medication. These gels and strips are available over the counter, and normally have between 6% and 10% hydrogen peroxide.
Strips and gels like this will do a much better job at at whitening your teeth than the whitening toothpaste. Most brands will be able to penetrate the tiny holes in the enamel of your teeth, while still remaining relatively affordable. Just make sure you apply them symmetrically so that your teeth whiten evenly!
#2: Tray-in Gel
Now we’re beginning to climb the financial ladder of the teeth whitening world. The issue with gels and strips is that their application is entirely up to you! You might not realize that you’ve been favoring one side of your mouth or missing particular spots until your smile has already been unevenly whitened. Tray-in gels not only relieve you of this danger, but have more effective chemical concentrations.
The tray that the gels sit in will be tailor made to fit your mouth, and nobody else’s. This will ensure optimal application of the whitening chemicals. These chemicals will likely have concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide of 10% to 22%. However, making these trays is not cheap. Expect it to cost a few hundred dollars.
#1: Whitening Treatments
We’ve arrived at the top of the ladder with respect to teeth whitening. If you’re prepared to invest some serious money into whitening your teeth, modern whitening treatments are pretty incredible. To be clear, these are cosmetic level procedures (meaning that they are not covered under normal health insurance).
Whitening treatments are typically consist of a series of four 15 minute sessions with a dentists. The chemicals they will use will likely contain as much as 35% hydrogen peroxide, and the results are jaw dropping. These procedures can make your teeth whiter than you had ever thought possible.