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Americans spend over 1 billion dollars on whitening teeth each year. Over 80% of Americans aged 18 to 49 want whiter teeth.1 There are several safe and efficient options for teeth whitening treatments. Professional whitening treatment from your dentist will give you the fastest, safest results in one or two sessions.
However, it will cost around $400 to $1,500 per treatment session. The options for whitening teeth at home include over-the-counter whitening products and DIY remedies.
Learn about the safest ways to whiten your teeth.
The best, safest, and most effective way to whiten your teeth in one day is with professional teeth whitening treatment. While these treatments are effective and produce instant results, they are expensive.
The price can range between $400 to $1,500 depending on a few factors, like:
However, you only need to undergo professional whitening every six months to a year. Some options include:
Zoom! Chairside whitens your teeth safely and effectively (up to 90% of their maximum brightness). The whitening procedure is quick, whitening your teeth in over an hour. This office whitening treatment is also FDA-approved and takes one hour to complete.
Opalescence Boost is a chemically activated whitening product. This means it doesn’t require LED teeth whitening lights which may be uncomfortable.
It’s also relatively quick. The activated gel will typically brighten your teeth within one hour.
This tooth-whitening method uses a refrigerated, high-potency gel. This gel is combined with a scientifically designed application system to deliver visibly whiter teeth after just one use. KöR also claims to provide less tooth sensitivity than leading brands like Zoom.
A quick, easy, and pain-free experience that takes about 15 minutes to set up. The entire whitening process only takes an hour.
Sapphire teeth whitening treatment contains 25% hydrogen peroxide. It’s also a chemically activated procedure that doesn’t require lasers or lamps.
Various teeth-whitening products can remove stains. Read our review of the 9 Best Teeth Whitening Products.
If you want to change the appearance of your teeth quickly, here are some popular options:
At-home whitening kits are affordable, easy to use, and produce great results in less than two weeks. These kits include a mouthpiece with LED lights and a whitening gel.
Be sure to choose one with a hydrogen or carbamide peroxide-based serum. If your teeth are prone to sensitivity, use a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide (5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 20 percent carbamide peroxide).
If you do not experience sensitivity or want faster results, use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. You can use up to 15 percent hydrogen peroxide or 45 percent carbamide peroxide.
Teeth whitening strips are another affordable and effective at-home whitening treatment. If used correctly, they are safe and produce minimal side effects.9,10,11
Whitestrips are made from a thin, flexible plastic coated with a tooth-bleaching agent. They are less expensive than LED whitening kits.
However, we recommend LED kits because whitening strips are difficult to place on your teeth. They cannot cover the tight spaces between your teeth. This can result in uneven whitening results.
Whitening toothpaste with an ADA Seal of Acceptance can help remove extrinsic (surface) stains from your teeth.14 However, they don’t remove intrinsic stains and are much less effective than:
Whitening toothpastes are best used in combination with the above teeth whitening methods. This can help prevent new stains on your teeth.
Whitening mouthwashes containing hydrogen peroxide can also help remove or prevent extrinsic stains. Like whitening toothpastes, they’re less effective than other teeth whitening methods.14,15
Baking soda-based paste is an effective and safe teeth-whitening method. Many clinical studies have shown that baking soda pastes are more effective in stain removal than some highly abrasive, non–baking soda whitening mixtures.4
Here’s how you can do it:
Once this is done, your teeth should look brighter. Keep in mind that baking soda can only remove superficial stains (extrinsic). Deeper stains (intrinsic) typically require professional teeth whitening.
The majority of DIY whitening home remedies lack any scientific backing. Most of the “evidence” is anecdotal, meaning someone has shared their personal experience.
This is an opinion, which is not the same as scientific evidence. DIY home whitening remedies that do not have any scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness include:
Talk to your dentist about these DIY whitening methods before trying them. In some cases, like with apple cider vinegar, they can harm your teeth.
See NewMouth’s top 10 teeth whitening products of 2022.
Tooth discoloration refers to your teeth staining or darkening. It can be caused by various factors such as tooth decay, aging, trauma, etc.
Here are some common types of tooth discoloration and their causes:
Extrinsic stains are on the surface of your tooth. They are caused by substances coming in contact with your teeth. Often, plaque will build up on your teeth, giving these substances a sticky surface to stick to.
The most common causes of extrinsic stains are from certain foods and drinks, including:
This is not a complete list. Extrinsic stains are easier to remove than intrinsic stains. They can be removed via mechanical whitening (i.e., brushing and cleaning your teeth) or chemical whitening.
Intrinsic staining happens inside the tooth. It can be caused by:
Intrinsic staining is harder to get rid of. Chemical whitening is the only way to get rid of this discoloration.
As you age, your teeth's outer layer of enamel wears down. This exposes the second layer of your teeth, called dentin. Dentin has a yellowish tint and gives your teeth a discolored appearance.
Unfortunately, dentin cannot be whitened. If the cause of your discolored teeth is worn enamel, neither mechanical nor chemical whitening will help. You’ll need to explore other cosmetic treatments, such as veneers.
Professional in-office whitening treatment is the only way to see significant results in one day. However, at-home whitening treatments are available and give you similar results.
It will take up to two weeks to see significant results. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are best used as a preventative treatment once you have achieved your desired whitening results.
DIY treatments such as charcoal, acidic fruits, vinegar, fruit peels, and coconut oil have no scientific research behind them and aren't recommended. Baking soda may have whitening effects but is less effective than hydrogen or carbamide peroxide.
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