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How to Whiten Teeth at Home

Mar 18 • 1 minute read

If you’re like many of our patients, you’re dreaming of a white Christmas. We’re not talking about dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh, but getting back your set of pearly whites.

Over time, you may have noticed that your smile just doesn’t glisten like it used to. You can chalk it up to certain foods and beverages that are notorious for staining teeth—think red wine, black tea, cola, sports drinks, berries, soy sauce, tomato sauce and certain sweets. (If that grape popsicle stains your tongue, it’s staining your teeth, too.)

What are your best options for home teeth whitening products that actually work?

First, we’d like to steer you away from one home remedy that may actually damage your teeth that’s being popularized in the media. It’s mixing a little bit of baking soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and applying it to your teeth with a cotton swab. This mixture has a high acid content that can actually erode your healthy teeth enamel if you leave it on for more than a minute or apply it too frequently. (If you think your teeth aren’t white now, removing healthy teeth enamel will make them look yellow when the dentin underneath is exposed.)
Your best bet for over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products that actually work are relying on a well-known brand you can buy from a popular store or online.

These products include:
• Whitening toothpastes. These gritty cleansers lift surface stain from your teeth, but don’t expect noticeable whitening results.
• Whitening strips. You can apply these to the surface of your teeth for a certain amount of time, and can expect your teeth to lighten about five shades. Our patients report it can be an uneven whitening because the whitening strips skim the surface of the teeth and don’t reach the grooves in between them.
• At-home bleaching trays. Some OTC kits come with a bendable mouthpiece, which work better than one-size-fits-all-trays. Because they are not custom-made to fit your mouth, they may cause irritation. The bleaching gel that come in these kits aren’t as strong as the ones you get from a dental office.

If your teeth aren’t brighter after two weeks, give us a call. You may need a stronger treatment, such as our in-office Zoom procedure.

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