With Americans spending over $10 billion a year on teeth whitening procedures, and $1.4 billion each year on at home whitening kits, it seems that presenting a pretty set of pearly whites is high on everyone’s priorities.
If you are interested in restoring your own teeth to their former unstained splendor, you should know that there are many options available. In order to help you choose the best tooth whitening treatment for your needs, we have selected a few of the most effective over-the-counter and all-natural teeth whitening regimens for your consideration.
Of course, a cosmetic dentist in Jacksonville will offer a full range of highly effective professional treatments to suit every need. But, for those looking to exhaust a few budget-friendly options before expensive treatment, this article is for you.
Remember, it never hurts to try out a few natural options and compare how they work before moving on to the more potent chemical-based options.
4 All-Natural Tooth Whitening Strategies
1. Oil Pulling
This practice goes back to the times of Native Americans and was practiced in other cultures as well.
There have been extensive anecdotal records of those who have practiced dental oil pulling regularly and claim it does indeed remove certain types of stains, like nicotine, for example.
This involves swirling an oil, typically coconut, around in the mouth for several minutes giving as much time for the oils to work. Mild brushing can also be applied.
Be sure not to spit the coconut oil into the drain or toilet as this can clog the pipes.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon
Many proponents of natural treatments extol lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for their capacity to bleach stains, especially those of the teeth.
Lemon juice also has the capacity to kill a variety of bacteria that can contribute to better dental hygiene. The acetic acid in vinegar allows this cleaning agent to have a similar effect.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is the active ingredient in a wide variety of cleaning agents and valued for its whitening properties. It also has naturally abrasive properties suitable to scrubbing teeth without damaging their surface or affecting the health of the gums.
This whitening effect has been observed in clinical studies and worth considering as part of on-going treatment for whitening teeth.
4. Eating Fruits
There are some fruits that have received much acclaim for their capacity to whiten teeth and improve their conditions. Strawberries contain malic acid which may lift stains off the teeth, according to some sources.
The standing recommendation is to chew strawberries with baking soda. As the malic acid loosens the stains, the abrasive baking soda will scrub off the discoloration.
Over the Counter Teeth Whitening Options
1. Over-the-Counter Tray and Gels
These are the options that have been around the longest and provided results of all different ranges to various individuals.
The system typically involves filling trays with gel and biting down allowing the carbamide peroxide to work its whitening magic.
While this method has been found effective to a certain degree, many have reported irritations due to sensitive gums and the tongue from the chemicals used.
2. Whitening Strips
These hit the markets around a decade and a half ago and involve adding a hydrogen peroxide serum to a polyethylene strip. The oral whitening strips will be applied directly to the teeth and held in place for a given amount of time.
It is important that the strong hydrogen peroxide content does not contact gums or soft tissues, but if the user is patient and consistent, the results will begin to show within a matter of weeks.
This handy option allows whitening agents to be painted directly on to the tooth and thus ensures that any harmful compounds aren’t affecting soft tissues in the region.
Of course, to ensure that this works it will be important to find a quality product that does not migrate from its operations zone. While the action is not as intense as whitening strips, it is effective in the long run.
You can expect to see noticeable results in a matter of months.
4. Whitening Devices
One of the latest options on the OTC market are teeth whitening devices that apply heat and intense light to the tooth increasing the reaction rate of chemicals also applied.
This solution requires protective eyewear for all in the area but has been extolled as the most effective home-whitening option to date.
For those who need their teeth whitened in time for a huge event in a couple of days, a suitable whitening device can have the job done in two days.
It’s important to not go overboard when whitening your teeth. Not only can “overly white” teeth look funny, overly whitening your teeth can cause sensitivity issues in your mouth and gums.
If you experience any strange side effects from at home whitening products contact your dentist immediately. Side effects from these products are rare; however, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.