Hello, Beth here from theHealthBase team with another fully comprehensive guide on a matter that is very much at the fore in the health and beauty industry – this matter being the topic of teeth whitening.
There has been an exponential rise in products related to this niche over the past number years, with numerous brands aiming to take advantage as the popular feeling reaches its zenith.
In this guide, I will address and discuss all the important material that pertains to this topic. This will include all the top methods; an in depth look at the actual process and how it works; the key benefits; some notable warnings; and which brands supply the best at home teeth whitening kits.
OK, so that’s the gist of what this piece is about. Before I begin, please note that you can skip ahead to any specific part of my guide by clicking on the relevant link supplied in the table of contents below. Let’s jump straight in, shall we
What this Method Entails
Believe it or not, but the act of teeth brightening is not a new trend. A lot of people believe that it’s something that has just recently been adopted by modern societies.
Well, a lot of people are wrong 🙂
Though, it does make sense that people would believe this. After all, the top brands and professional services use the latest technology in their products so it’s not surprising that many people think it’s a modern health and beauty invention.
However, as is the case with pretty much everything in the world today, tooth bleaching can be traced back to the Ancient Civilizations that used to rule this world. There is evidence that the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all experimented with different methods of enhancing the color of their teeth.
For example, it’s established that the Romans, the guys who took over the vast majority of the planet, used to mix goat’s milk and human urine in an attempt to achieve a lighter tone. Pretty disgusting, unbelievably unsanitary, and quite probably lacking in terms of results, but it does go to prove how far back this health and beauty technique goes.
In terms of what exactly this is process is, it’s quite simple. By using natural or man-made agents, or a combination of both, stains and discolorations can be removed from your teeth. These unwanted blemishes cover the natural, white color that is meant to seen.
In addition, this method is then designed to boost the whiteness to whatever level you would prefer. By achieving these two steps, it is then very possible to return our smiles to their brilliant best.
Whitening & Bleaching - the Difference
Technically speaking, these two processes are actually classed as being different in nature. To clarify, take a look at how the FDA differentiate between the two:
“Teeth whitening is any method or technique that causes the restoration of a tooth’s natural color, while bleaching pertains to a process that whitens the teeth beyond their natural color.”
So, in other words, whitening revolves around removing stains and discolorations on the teeth’s surface with the aim of returning them to their natural shade. Bleaching takes this process to the next level by actively turning the shade of color even whiter. This will of course also remove any stains.
I’ve taken the time to make this distinction clear because many of the top brands pay no heed to this difference – they use the terms “whitening”, “lightening”, “brightening”, and “bleaching” interchangeably, all which means the process of making a person’s teeth as white as they want.
The only time where the difference between whitening and bleaching comes into question is if you were visiting a dental clinic. In such a setting the former would mean cleansing your teeth, while the latter would mean turning the shade of color an unnatural tone.
For the purpose of this guide, I’ll follow these brand’s lead, sod so you can take it that all the above terms mean the same thing. This is so you can get used to the terminology when it comes time to purchasing your own treatment method.
Now let’s next look a little closer at our teeth and how exactly they reach the point where they need to be treated.
What is a Tooth?
The structure of our tooth is more complex than perhaps you might believe. As is the case with the human body, there is so much more going on beneath the surface than the eye can perceive.
The visible part of a tooth is known as the outer layer or, more commonly, the enamel. The enamel is the key part when it comes to whitening. Underneath this outer layer lies the dentin and then the pulp. The pulp is where the blood and nutrients can be found and also where waste is removed.
But, for now, let’s focus on the enamel. As time passes, the enamel on any given tooth can start to change in color. This can happen for a variety of reasons – dietary habits; poor oral hygiene; aging; hormonal changes; excessive caffeine; smoking; excessive brushing; elemental factors; et cetera et cetera.
The bottom line is that your teeth will start to lose their white glow and discoloration will start to appear. Now, for the most part this isn’t a health concern, but it is something that most people aren’t fond of. Understandably so.
Generally, people want to have bright, healthy looking teeth so that they can beam a smile at people. There are a multitude of reasons for this, below I’ve outlined some of the better ones.
The Reasons Behind the Popularity
Possessing a beautiful, white smile is something that we all want. This desire therefore inevitably leads to a rise in methods and techniques that can help.
In this section, I am going to go through some of the reasons where this popularity stems from. There are actually quite a few of these reasons, varying from simply aesthetics to key oral health issues.
As I researched this area and waded through all the online sources, I noticed that the same few benefits and positive aspects came cropping up. Whether it be from clinical studies, the promotional material supplied by the top brands, or customer testimonials and reviews, it was universally agreed that teeth whitening resulted in the following occurrences:
1 – Attractiveness
OK, let’s get the obvious one out of the way! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that the better your smile is, the more attention you will receive from the opposite sex.
Don’t believe me? Have a think about it. I bet it won’t take you long to remember a guy or gal who caught your eye because of their beaming smile.
It’s OK to admit it 😉
Having such a smile is massively beneficial for a whole host of social reasons. Whether it be on a date, at a wedding, or at some other social function, if you have a healthy, sparkling smile then I guarantee you’ll attract more positive attention than negative. It’s human nature to be drawn to something that is pleasing on the eye!
This will then inevitably lead to your…
2 – Confidence Being Boosted
If you know that you possess a charming smile, then it cannot help but make you feel better about yourself. This is only logical.
I know that this is true from personal experience. In my twenties, I used to be quite self-conscious about my teeth. I used to be a coffee addict and my drink of choice was red wine – two things that are guaranteed to stain teeth.
It got to the point where I’d reflexively raise a hand to my mouth if I was about to smile. As you can imagine, this was an incredibly insecure and unhealthy way to be! A smile should be the exact of this – it should be a thing of confidence and happiness.
This all changed when I got my teeth lightened. I instantly felt so much more confident in my smile. This alone was enough of a reason to take the steps to brighten my smile.
3 – Oral Health
When it comes to irritating pain, there’s very little that beats a tooth ache, or issues in your gums. It can be maddening. Having poor oral hygiene is a sure fire way of one or both of these problems occurring.
While bleaching your teeth will not guarantee that you have a healthy mouth, it certainly will make you more conscious about your oral region.
It’s like buying a new pair of shoes – you’ll do your absolute best to keep them looking as new for as long as possible!!
The same thing can be said for when you get your teeth cleaned or lightened. You’ll be aware of how good your teeth look and feel and therefore you will no doubt take more care in cleaning and maintaining them. This will then lead to good oral hygiene.
4 – Mental Health
This one is a bit abstract but it’s still worth noting. It goes back to the whole idea that if you possess a healthy, glowing smile then you’ll feel more confident and generally better about yourself.
This will result in you having a positive outlook on life, something that is absolutely vital for mental health.
Now, of course, I’m not saying that a good smile is the key to a happy life, that would be bizarre!! But it certainly can contribute to your overall self-image which is indeed an important factor of being happy.
5 – Helps with Relationships
I’m sure that you’re well aware of the idea that smiles are contagious. This is something that is very true. It’s quite difficult being around someone who is smiling and not have it effect you in a positive way.
We all know that person who constantly has a smile on their lips, a smile that is beaming in appearance. These kind of people are those who we all want to be around. Why? Well, it’s simple, smiles are an expression of joy and positivity. Therefore, it’s only natural that people are attracted to an easy-to-smile individual.
Another great thing about smiles is that they boost trustfulness! A person who is quick to smile often causes people around them to relax and to trust them. This is the phenomenon that is known as “charm”
6 – Increased Professionalism
This is one that not many people might think of, but it actually makes a lot of sense.
It ties back in with the previously mentioned idea that a great smile will boost confidence, boost attractiveness, and make you more likable and trustworthy.
Think about it, if you walk into an interview and begin the process with a solid handshake and a great smile, then you’re onto a winner from the get go!
Of course, it won’t guarantee that you get the job, but it will certainly help your chances.
Just like a dazzling smile can cause you to be attracted to someone, it can also make you stick in someone’s mind. Someone such as a potential new employer for example. Subconsciously, that’s why they will remember you. After all, every little bit helps
7 – Removal of Stains
There are a whole host of different stain types that can ruin our smiles. Three of the worst culprits are caffeine, red wine, and smoking. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a sucker for two of these!!
I often rely on caffeine to get me through the day, just as I often love a glass of red wine every now and again to unwind! Now, there’s not wrong with these two vices as long as they are enjoyed in moderation.
However, even when consumed in moderation, caffeine, red wine, and smoking can badly stain our teeth, leaving yellow or brown marks. This is obviously not what anybody wants and thus many people turn to proven solutions in order to remove any stains.
Fortunately, with modern techniques, such stains can indeed be removed quite easily.
8 – Removal of White Spots
White spots on teeth is quite a common occurrence, both in children and adults. The technical term for this is dental fluorosis.
There are many reasons why this might occur, including a calcium build up; braces; poor oral hygiene; eating acidic/sugary food; or even brushing too hard. (1)
Whatever the underlying problem may be, brightening your teeth in an overall sense will result in the white spots fading into non-existence.
Important Note: it’s key that you understand that teeth bleaching is not a one cure fix all kind of deal. There are certain issues of the oral area that will not be cured by this method. I’ve given a list below of such things.
If you think that you have any of these then the best bet is to make an appointment with your dentist.
Top Dental Life Hacks
In addition to the lightening methods and top tips that I’ll cover in the guide, there are also a few handy life hacks that you can add into your daily routine. These hacks won’t suddenly give you that perfect smile that you want, but, as they say, every little helps!
The majority of these hacks revolve around applying common sense, but there are also a few I’ll mention that people in general don’t consider. Hopefully there will be a hack or two that will improve your own dental well-being.
Let’s jump straight in!
Hack #1 – Change Up Your Toothbrush Regularly
This beginning hack is something that is very logical and obvious but is also one that goes under the radar somewhat. Many people do not change their toothbrushes on a regular basis, and only do so as a kind of an after-thought. I’m also guilty of doing this so don’t feel do bad!!
The reason for being conscious about upgrading your toothbrush is pretty straightforward. A toothbrushes sole job is to clean undesirable elements from your mouth. It’s essentially a cleaning implement which means that it will get dirty and damaged after continuous use.
There are some clear signs that you brush needs to be replaced ASAP. They are:
In addition to the above visual cues, it’s a good idea to change your toothbrush every six months regardless. Remember, this tool is used to clean your mouth on a daily basis so it’s important that the tool itself is clean and workable.
Hack #2 – Don’t Just Brush Your Teeth...Hit the Tongue as well!
This is a hack that not only do the majority of people don’t do or understand, they also laugh at the very idea of it!
This is an understandable reaction though there is actually a good reason why brushing your tongue can be beneficial for your oral health.
A person’s mouth is home to various types of bacteria which feeds off the food that you consume. While you may chew and swallow food, there will always be bits and pieces that remain in your mouth.
The aforementioned bacteria, which dwells on the tongue, can then dine on this residue food. This can then lead to this bacteria growing in volume which can result in stains occurring as your tongue comes in contact with your teeth. Not good.
So, to avoid this problematic build up, why not give your tongue a quick up and down to finish off your brushing session! It’ll take all of five seconds
Hack #3 – Using Whitening Toothpaste
If you are hell bent on boosting the color of your teeth, then such a product as this could be well worth adding to whatever whitening method you’ve chosen to go for.
I’ll admit, these toothpastes can be a bit gimmicky – they won’t have a major effect on lightening the tone of your teeth, but they could supply you that extra little oomph as long as you’re also using a top quality treatment.
There are two things to look out for if you’re thinking of buying these special toothpastes:
Ultimately, such toothpastes won’t have a dramatic impact on the color of your teeth. However, they can indeed prevent stains from getting worse.
Warning Note: There has been reports that over using such toothpastes can lead to a stripping of tooth enamel so keep this mind. Perhaps it’s best to use such products in a cyclical manner, taking breaks often.
Hack #4 – Eating Raw Foods
Consuming raw foods such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts are a brilliantly natural way of cleaning your teeth. The trick is in the rawness and the crunchy texture that is present in some foods.
Crunchy, raw food works to cleanse your teeth of things that have stuck to them over time. This is just another reason why you should be eating healthy!!
Hack #5 – Using Mouth Wash
A top-quality mouth wash has many benefits when it comes to maintaining and improving upon your oral hygiene. Below are the key ones:
Hack #6 – Rinse, Rinse, Rinse!
Quickly rinsing your mouth after a meal is a great way of removing some of the stuff that can build up on our teeth. Such residue will then lead to stains, plaque, or tartar if not removed.
This is especially important if you have consumed something that is exceptionally acidic in nature. Fruits, sweets, juices, or fizzy drinks are the main culprits in this as they are packed full of sugary elements. (3)
Such acidic foods can actively damage your teeth. Giving your mouth a quick rinse is a great way of stalling this damage until you can have a good brush.
Important Note: All of these dental hacks can be effective in their own way, but it’s vital to understand that they should be viewed as additions to a quality treatment and not as a full treatment option in their own right.
Delivery Styles – the Different Options
When it comes to the delivery styles there are actually quite a number of different methods available. Because of the popularity of teeth lightening in recent times, there has been an industry wide clamor for new and improved options.
This is the case with every hot health and beauty product or treatment – the top brands pump money and effort into creating an option that will see them skyrocket to the top of the market. (4) For us consumers, this is all good as can be seen below via a simple yet spot on equation:
More brands interested = more competition = better products and services
Now, for the sake of applying some organization and structure to all the brightening products and treatment options that are around today, I’ve decided to split them into four broad groups – the top over the counter options; professional dentist services; DIY options; and at home treatment kits.
Each of these four have their own varying options as well, as you will soon see. Let’s jump straight in. Up first it the…
Over the Counter
(Average Cost: $100 – $150+)
This particular option revolves around products that you can buy in chemists - products that you do not need a prescription for. This option can be further broken up into two separate categories: Brightening Dentifrices and Bleaching Agents - click on the relevant tans below for more.
1 – Brightening Dentifrices
This option is simply a paste or gel like substance that you rub onto your teeth. Such a product is often created to resemble toothpaste, sometimes even possessing that minty flavor.
These pastes have been designed to be rubbed into your teeth in circular motions, this movement activates the cleansing agent which will help to clean and whiten your teeth by breaking down and removing stains.
As you can probably guess, this option is very similar to the act of brushing one’s teeth, except that it’s been designed to be more effective in combating stains and discoloration. As with toothpaste, once you have finished thoroughly brushing the paste/gel into your teeth, you then simply spit it into the basin.
2 – Bleaching Agents
This option is a more aggressive version of the brightening dentifrices. This is because these bleaching agents contain carbamide peroxide as their key ingredient. This chemical, when introduced into the mouth, transforms into hydrogen peroxide and urea.
These two agents will then work to bleach the teeth which will obviously result in that white look that we all crave. This will work on teeth that are stained as well as those that are already of a whitish color.
When it comes to the physical makeup of bleaching agents, they usually come in the form of bleaching trays or else strips. The trays are designed to be filled with the bleaching agent and then fitted snugly around the teeth. The strips on the other hand are applied directly to your teeth.
These trays and strips commonly come in two different variations:
- High Concentration: this is the stronger of the two, usually containing more peroxide solution, and are of the tray variety. These trays should be placed on your teeth for a shorter period of time. 10 – 20 minutes will suffice, but make sure you check the instruction manual to be sure
- Low Concentration: usually found in strip form, this is the milder of the two choices. The bleach infused strip is placed on your teeth and is left in place for several hours at a time. This is often the preferred option as you can go about your daily business with these strips in place.
All in all, bleaching agents are in general far more effective than brightening dentifrices with the latter been very much a mild option. However, even though its more effective, there are downsides with using bleaching agents as I’ve noted in the con section below.
Other Common Over the Counter Options
Whitening Tooth Paste – these are simply just normal toothpastes that contain some bleaching chemicals as well. These types of pastes will only be effective on very minor staining and will need to be used continuously to be effective.
Mouth Rinses -These rinses usually contain hydrogen peroxide which has a brightening effect. Gargling with such a rinse before and after brushing can help remove stains.
Chewing Gums - More of a fad than an actual option in my opinion. Some health brands have created these gums that contain a compound known as sodium hexametaphosphate. This agent actually combats stains from appearing in the first place.
Though, in all honesty, you would want to be chewing this gum 24/7, 7 days a week for it to have any real impact on your teeth. My opinion would be to give this option a miss!!
Pros & Cons of Over the Counter Options
Which to Use: if you have your heart set on trying an over the counter option, then there’s a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to make the right choice. I’ve outlined them below:
Severity of your problem: If you only have slightly yellowing or discoloration from foods and perhaps caffeine, then I would recommend you try a paste/gel. Using a bleaching option for only minor to mild staining is overkill!
Check for accreditation: this is quite simple – if an over the counter product does not have a FDA-approved seal on its container, then don’t buy it!!
Products that do not have this seal have not been deemed safe and effective, or both. Therefore, using such products could at the very least be a waste of time and money, but at the worst could lead to severe damage to your teeth. (5)
Our Overall Verdict on Over the Counter Options
if I was asked to sum up over the counter options in one sentence then it would go like this: frustratingly hit and miss!!
Pastes and gels are very mild products so don’t expect to see a great deal of success with them. They might indeed remove some minor staining, but they won’t supply that overall bright, white smile that we’re looking for.
Bleaching is more effective at boosting whiteness and removing stains, but it can also cause damage to both the gums and the enamel.
Ultimately, the over the counter options are quite tricky when it comes to finding one that is reliable and cost effective. If you intend to follow this route, then the best advice I can give you is to do some thorough research into the multitude of options that are available.
Only by reading the available information as well as customer reviews and testimonials will you have a chance of finding an over the counter product that will be worth the cost.
Professional Dental Service
(Average Cost: $700 – $1000+)
As you can imagine, visiting a professional dental clinic is a sure-fire way of getting a proper job done. These facilities have been specifically designed to do just this. In addition, they are operated by full time professionals who know exactly what they are doing. Safe hands and all that.
In terms of the actual service itself, it usually consists of a more concentrated and better version of the bleaching option outlined in the above section, or else laser treatment. A standard session in one of these clinics will take up to an hour, not including the travel time or waiting time. Outlined below are the top options.
1 – Bleaching Trays
Very similar to the over the counter variety in terms of application and physical makeup, but the professional trays are far more effective. A large reason behind this is because the professional dental clinics are allowed use a better-quality bleaching agent than the type available in over the counter products.
Due to this much stronger bleaching element, a professional individual really does need to be one the applying it to your teeth. To emphasis this, an over the counter product will contain between 3 – 7% of hydrogen peroxide, while a professional clinic's bleaching agent will contain between 15 – 45%. This is quite a jump, especially when dealing with a potentially damaging agent!
How it’s Administrated:
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Your dentist creates a mold that is custom fitted to your teeth alignment
This mold is then used to create the tray. These trays resemble sports mouth-guards
The tray is filled with a high quality, fast acting bleaching gel. Dentists often include desensitizing agents and Calcium-Phosphate to make the whole experience more comfortable as well as more effective
The tray is fitted to your teeth for an exact amount of time. During this period, you are required to stay as still as possible
The tray is removed, and your mouth is rinsed out
2 – Laser Treatment
This option can only be found in professional clinics due to the machinery that is needed, i.e. the laser itself.
Normally, the heat of the laser is used to greatly increase the effectiveness and speed of the bleaching gel that has been applied to your teeth.
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Your dentist will place a layer of high quality bleach directly onto your teeth via a swab or brushing implement
The soft tissue located in your mouth is often also covered in a substance. This substance, often beeswax or something similar, is applied so as to protect you from the strong bleaching element
The laser will then be used to heat this gel which will greatly expedite the whole process. Also, because these lasers are so accurate, common bleaching issues like inflamed gums or damage to the enamel are mostly negated
Once finished, you will rinse the bleaching agent and protective substance from your mouth
Pros & Cons of the a Professional Service
Our Overall Verdict on Professional Services
Without doubt a visit to a professional dental clinic is right up there as one of the top options. The professional care given will guarantee results. This ultimately supplies a far more efficient and safer whitening/cleansing experience. Results will be achieved at a far quicker rate as well.
Though, in saying this, these sessions are quite time consuming and costly. Visiting a doctor in general can be both these things, but going for a specialist reason definitely amps up the price unfortunately. On top of this, it usually takes a few visits in which to achieve the desired results. This obviously means that the cost can quickly become quite high.
If you have the cash, and the time, then this definitely a worthwhile option. It could also be a very good idea to treat yourself to one of these sessions every now and again in-conjunction with using a top quality at home treatment kit. This would be a very effective teeth brightening routine that would dramatically cut the cost when compared to regular visits to a professional clinic.
The DIY Choice
(Average Cost: Free - $20+)
As with every health and beauty niche and topic, there comes attached a whole host of varying DIY options. (7)
This makes sense as everything would have once started with using just purely natural ingredients, then evolved as machinery and science got involved.
The same can be seen with teeth whitening – there are numerous DIY options that have been used over the years.
Before I list some of the more prominent ones, it’s important to note that these DIY options are nowhere near as effective as visiting a professional clinic or using a top home treatment system.
Why? Simply because the two above mentioned methods have taken the positive impact of natural DIY choices and improved upon them by incorporating scientific and manmade elements.
Below are some of the more common DIY options that people try:
Baking Soda Mixed with Lemon Juice
Baking soda is a very powerful cleansing agent. Otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, this is a mild alkaline compound that is grainy in texture.
It can be applied directly to your teeth and is effective at removing minor/weak stains. (8)
In addition, lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that is mild in strength. When added to the baking soda, it gives an extra brightening impact to the whole process.
It must be noted that lemon juice can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth if used in improper fashion, so caution is advised.
How to Use:
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Place 3 – 5 tablespoons of baking soda into a dish/container along with a few drops of lemon juice. Mix them until they become a consistent paste
Using a face cloth or paper towel, gently dry your teeth by blotting or rubbing. This will remove any saliva that might act as a barrier to the soon to be applied paste
Place an economical amount of the paste onto your tooth brush and gently rub it into your teeth in circular motions
Allow the paste to dry on your teeth for a minute and then rinse off
This is a newish DIY method that people are trying as a cheap alternative. I say newish, but it’s really more accurate to say that it’s having a resurgence in popularity. There is evidence that shows that oil pulling was a remedy used by the Ancient Indian civilizations as far back as 3,000 years ago.
Essentially what happens with this method is that you swish around a certain substance in your mouth which works to draw out toxins and impurities in your mouth and from your teeth. You then spit and rinse these unhealthy elements from your mouth.
A common substance used for oil pulling is coconut oil because of its powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal elements.
How to Use:
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Place a tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth and swish it around as you would do with mouthwash. Do not swallow
Swish around the oil in your mouth for between 3 – 5 minutes in the beginning. Over time you can increase this to 15 – 20 minutes for a more effective cleanse
When finished swishing, spit out the oil into a basin and give your teeth a thorough brushing
Strawberries Mixed with Salt & Baking Soda
This is a strange mixture but one that has been proven to work to a certain degree. The salt is very gritty which helps with the cleansing. The strawberries contain vitamin C which is always a healthy addition and works as a great brightening agent for this process.
Vitamin C also contains something called malic acid which is an enzyme that can help in the removal of minor stains. The salt will also help to convert the strawberry pulp into a paste like substance. I’ve already explained the benefits of baking soda.
All in all, this mixture works to breakdown certain things like plaque and tartar that can stain or block the whiteness of our teeth.
How to Use:
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Wash the strawberries to remove any potential impurities and then mash them into a pulp
Add a bit of salt to the pulp as a well as a teaspoon of baking soda. A pinch of salt will be enough
Using a towel or cloth, dab your teeth until they are dry and free of saliva
Apply the paste to your teeth with your tooth brush. Do this for five minutes and then spit and rinse out your mouth
This herb in general is very good for the human body and usually comes in essential oil form. Being a natural astringent agent, basil strengthens your gums; prevents bad breath; and can help remove plaque and tartar that has built up.
While it can aid in boosting the tone of your teeth, basil can also help in the prevention of such issues like pyorrhea and irritated gums.
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You can use basil essential oil or the actual leaves. For the latter, gather some basil leaves and leave them in a dry location so they can dry out
Once the leaves are suitably dry, grind them until they become powder like in consistency
Wipe your teeth clear of saliva with a towel or cloth
Mix some of your toothpaste with the basil powder and brush the resulting paste into your teeth thoroughly
Brush for a few minutes and then spit and rinse
Apple Cider Vinegar
Some people like to add apple cider vinegar to their tooth brushing routine. This element is acidic in nature and potentially could remove stains. Be wary though when using apple cider vinegar as in general it is very harsh when it comes in contact with the human body. It could very likely burn your gums or the soft tissue of the mouth. (9)
The Peels of Fruit
Such fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, or bananas can be used to clean your teeth. Simply remove the fruit from the peel and gently rub the inside of the peel along your teeth. However, this method will be limited in terms of effectiveness.
Overalls Pros & Cons of the DIY Choice
Our Overall Verdict on the DIY Option
In all honesty, DIY options won't deliver massive results. They might help with some minor staining or plague/tartar build up, but they’re not going to supply dramatic results in your efforts to boost the whiteness of your teeth.
In saying this, using a few DIY options in conjunction with some better methods is indeed a worthwhile venture. Having as many tools in your toolbox as possible is certainly not a bad idea.
At Home Treatment Kits
(The Health Base's Recommended Option)
(Average Cost: $50 - $100+)
OK so now let’s turn to the last option and the one that we here at the Health Base believe is the best – this being the top home treatment systems that are available on the market today.
Why do we think this is the best option?
Simply put, because we believe these kits incorporate the best elements of the professional clinics, the DIY choices, and over the counter options, while at the same time nullifying the negative parts of these other methods.
This can be seen below:
As with the other methods I’ve mentioned in this guide, home kits also come in different forms. The best brands all have slightly different ways of providing a top quality product, with each having their own pros and cons.
In general, home treatment kits come in the form of a hydrogen peroxide solution combined with a device that emits light/heat. This light/heat works to increase the effectiveness and speed of the bleaching session by activating the hydrogen peroxide solution.
Below are the top methods that these brands tend to go for.
1 – The Custom Tray & Blue Light Combination
This essentially is a combination of the two methods that you could avail of if you were going to book in for a professional visit – a custom fitted mouthpiece enhanced by a heat source. This method is very popular in the market today, as is evident by some of the top brands using this combination.
Let’s look at the two unique components of this option:
The Custom Trays: the great thing about these trays is the custom ability aspect. This means that you can fit the tray exactly to the shape of your mouth which will ensure that all your teeth will be targeted and there won’t be any gaps or bits missing.
In terms of how it works, the first thing to do is to place the malleable mold onto your teeth. Make sure that it is very snug. Next, immediately place the mold into a bowl of hot water for 5 – 10 minutes. This will result in the mold setting and thus morphing into your new custom tray.
Next, to begin your session, pour some of the supplied solution into the tray. This solution usually consists of carbamide peroxide which will then transform into hydrogen peroxide when exposed to the saliva in your mouth.
With regards to how much solution to use and how long to leave the tray in your mouth for, all of these details will be supplied in the home system’s user guidelines.
The Blue Light: This particular element comes in a few different forms. Some brands supply it build into the mouthpiece/tray or have it as a separate piece that attaches itself or is used in conjunction with the custom tray.
With regards to what this light does, it essentially increases the effectiveness of the solution that has been placed into the tray. This will result in the strength of the whitening solution being boosted dramatically. This obviously then makes the whole process quicker as well as supplying a more thorough experience.
2 – Bleaching Pens & Gel Brushes
This is another popular option that many brands side with when it comes to creating their unique product. There’s no real difference between this and the tray & blue light combo – they are both very effective at removing stains and lightening the tone of your teeth.
Bleaching Pens – This product is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; a device that is shaped like a pen. The whitening solution is either already located in the tip of the pen, or it needs to be rubbed onto the tip. It’s then a simple task of rubbing the pen across the surface of your teeth.
Gel Brushes – Very similar to the pen option except this looks like a small paint brush. Again, it’s simply a case of applying some of the bleaching solution to the brush and “painting” your teeth with it.
Top Tip: If you are looking to whiten your teeth in an overall sense, then ensure that you use your pen/brush to get in between every tooth. Otherwise you might still be left with stains and discolorations in the crevices in between each tooth which will ultimately thwart your efforts.
Our Overall Verdict on Home Treatment Kits
Ultimately, the reason why we believe that the home treatment kits are the top choice is because they combine the best elements of the other methods while at the same time minimizing or negating many of the negatives that are associated with these other options.
Beware the “Miracle” and/or Cheap Fixes – no matter what health and beauty niche you are interested in, there is going to be “miracle cures” and super cheap options that promise unbelievable results!
It doesn’t take a cynical mind to understand the importance of being wary about such products.
If something is super cheap, or is promising results that border on magical, then you can bet it’s not legit!
These type of scammy products exist because there is a certain amount of people who are gullible enough, or perhaps desperate enough, to be sucked in to the lie…don’t be one of these people!!
A well-established rule in the market place is that you’ll end up getting what you pay for most often than not. Yes, the top products might cost a bit more, but there’s a very good reason for this. That’s because these options are both safe and effective, as proven by the response they receive in the market place. It really is as simple as that.
Feel Your Way In – it can be very easy to go a bit mad when starting a new health and beauty regime. It’s exciting; it’s new; it’s hopefully going to solve a health and/or beauty issue that you’ve been having problems with. Therefore, it’s understandable that you want to jump straight in and begin to see those results ASAP.
However, it is definitely worth keeping in mind that patience and logic is needed if these results are to be reached in a safe manner. Products such as teeth brightening options supply recommended guidelines for a reason – because the brands behind these products have done the necessary scientific and consumer testing in order to pinpoint what is needed to be done to achieve the maximum benefits.
The reasons for adhering to this thinking:
Celebrity Endorsements – What to Think About Them?
It’s commonly known that there are whole host of A list celebrities that openly advertise different teeth whitening brands and their products.
These individuals include Chris Pratt, Kylie Jenner, Floyd Mayweather, Ashley Benson, Conor McGregor, Amber Rose et cetera et cetera. The list really is endless and always being added to.
But what are we, the mere mortals, to make of this?
Does this mean that these products are good?
Should we now trust a certain brand because our favorite celeb is endorsing them?
Are the ones being endorsed by famous people better than the ones that do not have such backing?
Well, the first thing to note is that the fact some of these brands can hire such A list individuals to actively promote their product shows just how much cash they are making!! The names I’ve mentioned above are global super stars. This means that they command a hefty fee from potential advertisers.
In my opinion, this is a positive sign. If these brands have that type of cash to burn, then it means they are being successful in the market place. Being successful in the market place indicates that they have top quality products.
What about the trust question? Should we just blindly follow a celebrity’s lead and choose the option that they use? Well no, you shouldn’t blindly follow anyone!! What I would say is that the fact that these type of celebrities are endorsing certain products and systems is overall a positive aspect.
Why? Simply, because these famous people are attaching their name to the product that their showing off on Twitter or on Instagram. This means that their reputation is intertwined somewhat with the brand. If the product turns out to be rubbish or god forbid harmful then the celeb will receive quite a strong negative backlash from their social media followers.
If we were talking about little-known celebrities, then I’d advise caution – such people will often attach their names to any type of product once there is a pay cheque coming their way.
However, as mentioned at the top of this section, the type of celeb associated with the premier brands are pretty massive names with massive reputations.
What does this mean? It means that they are not just randomly selecting products or brands to be endorsed by. These types of celebs have managers and teams of people who carefully select the type of product that best fits their client’s image.
These management agencies are very thorough when it comes to endorsements – they understand that promoting a bad or faulty product could forever stain their client’s reputation.
So, all in all, I think it’s a positive thing that such high-grade celebrities are promoting some of the top brands. If I were you, I certainly wouldn’t base my purchase on this factor, but it is something that ultimately works in the favor of these brands in my opinion.
Is this Process Safe?
As with everything in life, the safety and effectiveness of any given venture really comes down to the user. Personal responsibility is vital in every aspect of life. It’s as simple as that.
If you approach things in a logical and responsible manner, then you will not have problems with this health and beauty technique. You will achieve the desired results without any risk of causing damage to your teeth or the surrounding parts of your mouth.
However, if you are reckless and don’t follow common sense then there’s always the possibility that you can cause damage. Below are some obvious things that you should be avoiding.
Steps that could lead to difficulties:
Avoid these above pitfalls, apply some logical thinking, and you will have no adverse issues
Is it All Just a Fad?
As you can imagine, there is a lot of cynicism and skepticism surrounding this particular issue. Detractors use the following arguments and complaints to belittle enhancing your teeth:
The above are the common points anti-teeth lightening people roll out whenever the topic pops up. I personally don’t particularly agree with any of these complaints and I think they are a bit OTT.
These detractions could easily be made about any number of beauty techniques. Makeup; tanning; hair styling; beard grooming; you name it. All of these and many more could also be targeted by some of these arguments, if not all of them.
Teeth whitening is no different to any health and beauty technique. It’s designed to boost a person’s appearance to a certain degree, just like makeup or a well-groomed beard will do. Are any of these things absolutely necessary in order to fit into the modern world? Absolutely not!
In my little circle of friends, I’m one of the few people who has had her teeth enhanced. Does this make any real difference? Not that I can see! Every now and again someone might complement me on my smile, but, unsurprisingly, more often than not my whitened teeth are not the main source of conversation
Look, teeth bleaching is a great way to achieve a beautiful, gleaming smile. It’s also very proficient at cleaning your teeth of any stains that might be present. But it is by no means the be and end all of a person’s physical appearance.
If you would like to give it a go then fire ahead, I'd bet you'll be delighted with the results. However, if it's not for you, then that’s also perfectly fine! You should never feel pressurized into adopting a beauty trend that is popular at a certain time. If you do, then you need to take a step back and do some internal pondering.
- Get to Grip with the basics
- Key an Eye on certain food & Drinks
- Smoking...why bother?!
- Be Mindful Of The Percentages
- Purchase From Reliable Sources
Whenever you are thinking about delving into a new area or niche, it’s a good idea to understand the basics of what you’re getting in for.
With regards to this topic, this can mean the reasons why people get their teeth boosted in color; how the process actually works; and the different methods in which people utilize. Hopefully I have addressed all these issues in this here guide.
In terms of the individual brands and their products, make sure that you take a look at the reviews we’ve created – all the pertinent information will be included.
A leading factor behind stains and discolorations appearing on our teeth is prolonged exposure to some types of food and drink. Now, these items won’t stain our teeth overnight but rather could do so over months and years of regular consumption.
The obvious culprit when it comes to this issue is caffeine. Coffee and other caffeine infused beverages are drunk by the gallon load every hour. In fact, it is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed on a daily basis…wow!!
Caffeine can leave yellow or brown stains on our teeth over time as it is quite a harsh agent. Black coffee in particular is guilty of doing this.
Certain food can also replicate the problem of caffeine. Blueberries and foods of an acidic nature are the most prominent such types. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat these food types – you should, they’re good for you – or drink coffee, but there’s no getting away from the fact that they can stain your pearly whites.
Why indeed!! Smoking is one of those habits that is as illogical as it is unhealthy. There really are no benefits to smoking whatsoever while the negatives are not only numerous but also very serious. (10)
When it comes to dental hygiene, smoking has been proven without doubt to not only stain our teeth but to actively kill them as well. That’s not even including the horrific breath that this habit can cause.
Think about it. When you’re smoking you are inhaling smoke that consists of toxic, chemical substances. Your teeth are the first thing that this poisonous cloud will come into contact with, thus taking the brunt of the negative impact.
Therefore, smoking…why bother?!
The majority of options incorporate some sort of bleaching solution. This solution usually contains either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Some of these solutions will be stronger than others, something that is important if you have sensitive teeth.
In saying that, this particular problem is nullified by the leading brands who supply at home treatment systems. These brands have taken the sensitive teeth and gums into account when they were constructing their products.
The same can’t be said for over the counter options so keep the % makeup in mind if you’re going down this route.
This goes without question and indeed is good advice for any type of purchase. You want to know that the brand or company that you’re buying from is reliable; trustworthy; respected; and ethical in their practices.
There are a few ways to determine this:
By using these three categories you can easily determine if the brand behind the product you’re looking at is top drawer.
- Consult The Instructions
- Check For Warranties/Money Back Guarantees
- Respect The Pain
- Understanding The Limitations
This one is straightforward and obvious. Instruction manuals and direction leaflets are included with products so as to help you get the maximum benefits.
These manuals are usually quite easy to follow, especially when it comes to products such as at home teeth whitening kits – these treatments are in general extraordinarily easy to use which is one of their appealing factors.
However, if you do come across a convoluted manual, then YouTube can be a great source in which to find your answers. People are constantly putting up tutorials and reviews. Also, check out the official site of the brand if there is any uncertainty or confusion.
If we here at theHealthBase every decided to adopt a motto or catchphrase of some sort, then you best bet it would include the importance of warranties!! Every guide that we do we make sure to include this.
The reason for this simple – financial security. It’s always difficult to part with hard earned cash, so why not make sure that there is no risk involved with the parting?
This can be achieved by purchasing products that have a warranty or money back guarantee included in the sale. These additions mean that you have a period of time in which you can return the product and regain your money.
So, check with each brand to see what they offer. This is a great way of narrowing down the potential options.
It goes without saying that if you start something new and pain starts kicking in then there’s a problem. Either the method you’re using is wrong/not suitable, or you are using it in an inappropriate manner. Whichever is true, it’s best to immediately stop your treatment until you figure out what the issue is.
When it comes to teeth lightening, the kind of issues that you might encounter usually revolve around gum pain or teeth sensitivity. If you start to feel either of these two then I recommend you give the treatment a rest for a bit and perhaps go see your dentist.
You can also follow these simple rules:
OK I have already mentioned how it is silly to think that any particular method is a one cure fix all kind of deal. This simply isn’t the truth.
There are plenty of oral issues that the products I've mentioned will have little to no effect on. Below are some of the ones:
However, that’s not to take away from what this treatment method can indeed achieve.
Recap of the Pros
Q. How to whiten teeth?
A. There are multiple ways and methods from bleaching to using light and heat.
Q. What’s the best way?
A. The safest and most effective option is a top-rated home treatment kit that has been tested and proven to be top grade in the marketplace.
Q. Can I do it at home?
A. There are tons of DIY options, though the results are very up and down. It’s worth experimenting while you look for a proven method.
Q. Is this treatment ultimately safe?
A. If you apply common sense and follow the guidelines supplied then there is no danger. There is of course a big risk associated with DIY methods as these will have no concrete testing attached to them. Also, beware of any over the counter product that does not have an FDA accreditation seal.
Q: When will I see results?
A. This will be dependent on which option you intend to utilize. The top at home treatment systems will start to show results within two weeks of consistent use.
Q. How often should I use this beauty method?
A. Again, you will need to read the instructions to ascertain the answer to this question. Most methods can be used on a daily basis.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. There should be no pain or irritation associated with this process. If there is, then it means the method you are using is aggravating your gums or soft tissue in your mouth. It could even be stripping your teeth of its enamel. This is an ever-present danger with DIY options.
At home treatment kits will not encounter the above problem as they have been refined to do their work without damaging the mouth in any way.
Q. Is it safe to use while pregnant?
A. It is best you make this inquiry with your local health professional. There should be no issues but it’s always best to air on the side of caution.
Our Final Word & Overall Verdict
I hope that you found this guide helpful and informative. I feel that I’ve touched upon all the important elements surrounding this particular niche. However, if you think I have missed something, then please feel free to drop me a message in the form provided below.
As you can see in the guide, there are tons of different methods and options when it comes to improving the tone of one’s teeth. The list really is exhaustive, and it can be infuriating trying to figure out which is the best one.
To help you do this, I’ve condensed the above guide into an overall verdict of each potential option.
Wishing You the Best of Health,