One of the first things people notice when they meet someone new, subconsciously or otherwise, is if they have a beautiful, white smile. Whether you realize it or not, pearly whites go a long way. According to a Match.com survey, 58% of men and 71% of women cite white teeth as the most important trait in a potential date. Keep reading for our favorite ways to brighten your smile – from DIY treatments to incredible at-home products to in-office procedures.
Baking Soda + Lemon Juice: Baking soda is often associated with whitening teeth – it’s abrasive properties can scrub away any yellow stains on the surface of teeth, Turn it into a paste by mixing with lemon juice. Combine a few teaspoons of baking soda with a few drops of lemon juice – add more as needed. Once it has a paste-like consistency, apply it to your teeth and leave on for a minute or so. Don’t leave it on too long – you don’t want it to be too harsh on your delicate enamel. You can repeat this process every other day until you see results, which is usually in a week or so.
Strawberries + Salt + Baking Soda: Strawberries are another natural way to whiten teeth. Take a few strawberries, a bit of salt and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Mash up the berries and combine all the ingredients to form the concoction. Apply it to your teeth, leave on for five minutes and rinse. Do it once a day, and you should begin to see results after a few uses.
Coconut Oil: Use coconut oil, aka the multi-tasking wonder product, for ‘oil pulling.’ Swish a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for about twenty minutes every day. Spit it out, rinse with water and brush your teeth. After a few treatments, you will see visibly brighter and whiter teeth. Additionally, it can help freshen breath and keep your gums healthy.
Crest 3D Whitestrips: Simple and effective, Crest Whitestrips really work. They’re so easy to use – apply once a day for thirty minutes for two weeks to see results. At $20, they’re also an inexpensive way to get whiter teeth. If you have an event coming up in a few weeks, definitely consider whitening strips. Keep in mind, some people report teeth becoming extra sensitive after using strips (or any other whitening product), but I’ve used these multiple times and never felt any discomfort. ($20.55)
Whitening Lightning Dial-A-Smile Professional Teeth Whitening Kit: The Dial-A-Smile kit delivers results fast. It comes with a syringe filled with whitening gel which you apply to your teeth, and an LED light you pop into your mouth that activates the gel. Keep the light on your teeth for twenty minutes, and your teeth will be noticeably whiter. There’s even a chart in the kit that will allow you to see how many shades lighter (often 5 to 7 shades!) your teeth have become. ($39)
Plus White 5 Minute Whitening Gel: This extremely cost-effective treatment promises results in five minutes. Whether that is totally accurate or not, at less than five dollars, it’s worth a shot! Apply the enamel-friendly gel to your teeth, let it work it’s magic and rinse. ($5)
GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device: This beloved system delivers real, lasting results…and it won’t irritate even the most sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, you know how uncomfortable or even painful whitening can be. GLO is formulated to work for everyone. Apply one of the whitening gels to your teeth and place the mouthpiece over your teeth. The light will give a whiter, brighter smile in as little as five days. ($220)
Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste: Want to maintain already-white teeth, or just spruce up your smile a bit? Use a whitening toothpaste, like Colgate’s Total Whitening. Consistent use keeps teeth bright and sparkling. It’s whitening without having to think about it…you’re going to be brushing your teeth regardless, so why not go with a whitening formula? ($5)
If you’re more comfortable letting a pro handle your teeth whitening, make an appointment with your dentist. Stepping into the dentist’s chair will be more expensive, but it’s worth considering if your teeth are very sensitive (they protect the other areas of your mouth, like your gums, which minimizes the pain) or you want drastic results. The bleaching solution used in-office is almost always stronger than at-home options. Call your dentist for more details on the whitening procedures they offer and cost estimates. Depending on how well you take care of your teeth, a single in-office whitening treatment can last you up to a year.
Do you want to whiten your smile? Which treatment method would you go for? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover image via Dr. Brownson
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