Teeth whitening is the process of removing stains from your teeth and brightening your smile. Teeth whitening treatments include in-office bleaching procedures, dentist-grade products for at-home use, and over-the-counter (OTC) whiteners.
Tooth whitening is safe and effective when the manufacturer’s protocol is followed or performed by a dental professional.
Though whitening is safe, there are still some risks that users should know. Temporary tooth sensitivity and gingival inflammation are the most common adverse effects of teeth whitening.
Many factors can cause teeth stains, including:
To protect your pearly whites from becoming discolored, you should:
For a whiter smile, you should limit your intake of foods that stain the surfaces of your teeth, including:
There are a few ways to whiten your teeth safely and effectively from the comfort of home:
You should also eat more foods that brighten your teeth, including:
Teeth whitening is only safe for patients with good dental hygiene. If you have cavities, gum disease, or other oral health conditions, refrain from using whitening products.
Before using DIY teeth whitening methods, you should first talk to your dentist about what teeth whitening options are best for you.
Activated charcoal is not proven to be safe or effective for teeth whitening. The American Dental Association has not given activated charcoal its Seal of Acceptance, which certifies a treatment is safe to use and is recommended by dentists.
Not only has charcoal not been proven safe, but it might also damage your teeth.
Charcoal is abrasive and can erode enamel, which is irreversible. If the charcoal erodes too much of your enamel, it makes your teeth look more yellow. This is because thinning enamel reveals more of the inner dentin, which is darker.
Enamel loss can lead to increased sensitivity and susceptibility to dental decay.
Turmeric is not recommended for teeth whitening because it has not been certified as a safe or effective method. The American Dental Association has not given turmeric its Seal of Acceptance, which authorizes a treatment as safe for use.
There is limited data on turmeric’s efficacy as a natural whitening product. However, turmeric is an astringent, which may impact tooth enamel and health. And in one study, turmeric created no difference in teeth color.
This whitening toothpaste has the ADA Seal of Acceptance and is proven to help prevent cavities, plaque, and gingivitis. It is also effective at preventing or reducing enamel erosion from dietary acids and reducing sensitivity.
This whitening toothpaste is made with enamel-safe whitening ingredients. It promises whiter teeth within one week and also has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Tom’s of Maine’s White Clean Mint Toothpaste is the only natural whitening toothpaste to earn the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This whitening toothpaste is made with naturally-derived silicas and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
This toothpaste is free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), triclosan, parabens, and artificial flavors and sweeteners. This whitening toothpaste has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Hello Naturally’s Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste is made with natural ingredients like farm-grown peppermint, tea tree oil, and coconut oil. This vegan and gluten-free toothpaste whitens naturally and gently, prevents cavities, and strengthens enamel. It is also cruelty-free and has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Sensodyne's Extra Whitening toothpaste is the best-selling toothpaste for sensitive teeth in the United States. It contains potassium nitrate to quickly help relieve sensitivity, and prevents pain for 24 hours.
These whitening strips are dentist-formulated and certified non-toxic. Lumineux’s Oral Essentials contain coconut oil, sage oil, and lemon peel oil. They are also free from sulfates, artificial colors, and artificial flavors.
These white strips use carbamide peroxide as an alternative active ingredient. They are a good choice for those who don’t want to use hydrogen peroxide for tooth sensitivity reasons. These strips promise to whiten teeth in just five days, and are comfortable on both teeth and gums.
Crest Whitestrips are the only whitening strips with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. None of the listed ingredients in Crest Whitestrips have been shown to be unhealthy or dangerous to tooth enamel.
This mouthwash is safe for whitening teeth, protecting against future stains, and killing the germs that cause bad breath. Crest’s 3D White Glamorous White Whitening Mouthwash is alcohol-free and won’t cause any uncomfortable burning or dryness during or after use.
This natural mouthwash incorporates vitamin C to help soothe and nourish the gums. It’s also alcohol-free and the majority of the natural ingredients it contains (aloe and mint leaf oil) are organic.
Lumineux products are the first on the market that have been clinically proven to enhance and protect the oral microbiome, leading to better whole body health, improved digestion, and a beautiful, brighter smile.
This natural, hydrogen peroxide-free mouthwash is made with sea salt, coconut, lemon peel, and xylitol, which help prevent tooth decay. This mouthwash was tested in the strictest lab in the world for toxicity, and was the first in the U.S. to receive a non-toxic seal. This means that Lumineux can improve your oral health without the potential side-effects of harsh chemicals.
This teeth whitening kit was designed by a top NYC aesthetic dentist, Dr. Jonathan B. Levine DMD, PC. It features ingredients that are vegan, gluten-free, latex-free, andcruelty-free.
This teeth whitening kit is hands-free, made in the USA, and comes with a mouthpiece and storage case. GLO claims to accelerate the whitening process with the use of an LED and heat light.
AuraGlow uses cool LED whitening technology with 5 built-in bulbs, and comes with a built-in timer to keep track of whitening.
AuraGlow’s organicteeth whitening gel is made with gluten-free and vegan-friendly ingredients, and features 35% carbamide peroxideas a bleaching agent for professional-grade results.
This teeth whitening kit allows you to whiten your teeth hands-freewith a comfort-fittray, which makes it easy to whiten your teeth for 30 minutes per day.
This dentist-approved teeth whitening kit was designed for sensitive teeth and is safe for gums and enamel.
Each whitening application only takes 9 minutes per day, and 90% of customers see results after just one use.
This LED whitening kit was designed to reduce sensitivity and uses enamel-safe ingredients.
This kit can be used hands-free and doesn’t require a smartphone to use it, making it easy to apply.
Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening only takes 10 minutes a day for 10 daysto see results. It is clinically proven to deliver brighter teeth up to 6 shades whiter.
Risks commonly reported with teeth whitening include tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation. The severity of these side effects is directly connected to the concentration of peroxide bleach used and the duration of treatment.
While limited data is available on the effects of LED light in dentistry, studies have shown that the light sources have little effect on teeth sensitivity.
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