Stained teeth are unattractive, so it’s no surprise that there are so many whitening products and techniques available today. Whether you want to take a DIY approach at home or you prefer to leave it up to the pros at your dentist’s office, whitening your teeth to the perfect shade is possible.
To help you discover more about what your options are, we’ve compiled a list of the latest teeth whitening trends. Check them out below.
Let’s Start with Some Stats
Before we dive into all of the whitening methods out there, let’s take a look at a few interesting stats about this area of dentistry:
The teeth whitening industry is a big one. Annual sales of whitening toothpastes around the world add up to around $3.2 billion. Plus, people spend a whopping $11 billion annually on whitening procedures and products. And the whitening market is expected to continue growing. Wow!
In case you were wondering, professional whitening delivers better results. While 82.5% of patients stated that they saw a noticeable improvement in the color of their teeth after a professional treatment, 63.8% of people noticed improvements when they used an at-home whitening product.
There are several reasons to take white teeth pretty seriously. You could be around 58% more likely to land a job after you’ve had your teeth brightened. Really! And nearly 100% of people (99.7%, to be exact) feel that an attractive smile is a social asset.
Popular At-Home Whitening Trends
Want to get a whiter smile in the comfort of home? You aren’t alone. Some people just don’t like being in the dentist’s chair, even if it’s for a cosmetic procedure, while others may want to try a more affordable option first. Whatever your reasoning is, there are a few trends that you can consider. Not all of these are created equal, though.
Sticking with Whitening Strips, Gels, Trays, and Toothpastes
When it comes to whitening products that you can use safely at home, you can choose from strips, gels, trays, and various toothpastes. Because so many of these types of products are readily available in stores and online, and because they’re affordable, you can try more than one to see which option will give you the results that you’re after.
Toothpastes designed to whiten your teeth are easiest because you can take steps to brighten your chompers while brushing twice a day, so you don’t need to put any extra effort in. Basically, these toothpastes are designed to help reduce and remove stains on the surface of teeth. The polishing action doesn’t involve harsh bleaching agents, and toothpastes that are approved by the ADA are gentle enough to use daily.
With trays, strips, and gels that you can purchase over-the-counter, you get even more brightening power in a shorter amount of time because you’re applying a whitening product right onto your teeth and allowing it to work over the course of several minutes. Using these too often, however, might lead to side effects like sensitivity and irritation, so it’s best to carefully read the label and follow the directions closely for optimal results.
Trying the Au Naturel Route
For those interested in whitening their teeth at home without the use of synthetic ingredients, there are some natural tricks that have become trendy. These tactics might require more patience, and you may never really get the same impressive results that you could get from other whitening products.
You can try brushing with some baking soda to help your teeth get to a brighter shade. Baking soda is safe to use (in fact, it might already be an ingredient in the toothpaste that you use daily). To create a paste, just mix some water with pure baking soda and then brush your teeth with it. The mild abrasion may help reduce surface stains caused by what you eat and drink daily.
Another natural ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. A lot of whitening toothpastes use it to help brighten smiles, so some people like to dilute hydrogen peroxide with water before using it like a mouthwash—just be sure you don’t swallow it! A word of caution: doing this too much and too often may result in sensitivity.
Taking an Unconventional Approach
Beyond the usual products that you can purchase in stores, there are other whitening trends that have become quite popular lately.
Oil pulling, which is an Ayurvedic treatment that claims to be a natural way to detoxify the body and whiten teeth, has become well-known, so a lot of people are giving it a try. Basically, you take a bit of oil, such as coconut oil, and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. The problem is that there’s no scientific evidence to show that this tactic does anything to whiten your smile.
Charcoal products have become a super trend in the world of teeth whitening, claiming that they can help you achieve a brighter smile in no time, and in a natural way. Unfortunately, like oil pulling, there isn’t enough science to prove that using charcoal on your teeth is safe or effective. Experts advise against using such abrasive products because they may cause long-term damage to the enamel—and that could actually make your teeth yellow! So, even though you might see some whitening effects after using charcoal, the short-term boost in brightness isn’t worth the potential damage it’s doing.
Using LED Light Kits at Home
Dentists use special lights during some professional whitening treatments in order to boost the effectiveness of the whitening gel that they’re using. So, if you come across an LED whitening kit that you can purchase for use at home, you might be tempted to give it a try.
Only using an LED light on your teeth won’t help remove stains; instead, you need a combination of a whitening agent and the light for this strategy to work. However, before trying one of these trendy products, consider that experts have warned that they might discolor fillings and cause discolorations between the teeth. The bleaching agent may even lead to damage from overuse, as well as sensitivity in the teeth and irritation in the gums.
Want to Stick with the Pros?
Some people don’t even want to waste their time with at-home products, especially when they want to dramatically whiten their teeth. This is where your dentist can help!
Professional teeth whitening services use higher concentrations of ingredients that can brighten your smile quickly and safely.
In addition to seeing your dentist for whitening treatments, though, you can help keep stains at bay simply by making regular appointments for checkups and cleanings.
Achieving and Maintaining a White Smile Is Easier Than Ever!
Whether you opt to whiten your teeth at home or at the dentist’s office is entirely up to you. If you’re going to take the DIY approach, however, experts highly recommend sticking with products that are ADA approved for safety and effectiveness.
Other than using at-home products or making an appointment for a professional whitening treatment, brushing and flossing twice a day is a wise way to keep your chompers sparkling and healthy, so don’t neglect your oral hygiene routine.