Teeth whiteners are pretty much unavoidable these days. Everywhere you look you see a television commercial, a store display, a radio message or a print ad, constantly touting the benefits of the latest and greatest teeth whiteners to hit the market. They’re big business, to be sure, but do they actually work?
Teeth are one of the most visible parts of our body. They are constantly on display, and people take great care to make sure that their teeth look as good as possible. We got to great lengths, from porcelain veneers to complicated and expensive orthodontic work, just to make sure that our smiles dazzle.
Of course, our teeth take a lot of abuse. We bombard them with sugar filled diets that cause cavities, soak them in coffee that stains, all the while hoping our pearly whites stay both pearly and white. So it’s absolutely no surprise that things like teeth whiteners, which promise and immediate and relatively cheap way to improve our smiles, are big business.
In any such market, there’s going to be a lot of potential for scams and abuse, with unscrupulous people out to make a buck off a hot trend. Fortunately for all of us that need a little dental tune up every now and again, most of the whiteners that are on the market actually work, although how well they work depends on which kind you choose.
The cheapest teeth whiteners are the whitening toothpastes, which incorporate hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals in addition to the regular cleansers that you find in your toothpaste. These are more effective for maintaining the color of your teeth than they are for making them whiter, working mostly by removing dirt and debris.
The next step up in teeth whiteners is the strips that you put in your mouth, fitting over your teeth mostly invisibly while you go about your day, dissolving as you go. These are more effective than the toothpastes, but you shouldn’t really expect to see your teeth get whiter by more than a shade or two, and you need to try to curtail things that are going to keep staining them, like excessive coffee drinking.
The most effective kind generally available at your local store is going to be the leave in tray variety. Basically, you fill a molded tray with a bleaching solution and then leave it in for a set period to lighten your teeth. As you might imagine this is the most effective and expensive of the teeth whiteners you can get without going to the dentist. But they do work, and you can get several shades whiter with these treatments.
Of course, the most powerful method teeth whitening method is laser activated bleaching, which you can only get at the dentist’s office. This process can turn even the most stained teeth into a dazzler of a smile, but it is expensive and inconvenient. Teeth whiteners do work, and it’s just a matter of finding the right for your teeth and your budget.