How to Get Whiter, Brighter Teeth | Reader's Digest

How to Get Whiter, Brighter Teeth

Drugstore teeth whiteners can take the dingy out of your grin without sucking the cash from your wallet. Learn about strips, trays, and paint-on gel.

from Reader's Digest | August 2011

A dentist might use strong bleach or the latest teeth-brightening lights and lasers — but drugstore whiteners can take the dingy out of your grin without sucking the cash from your wallet. Here’s a shopping guide.

STRIPS
Apply them to your top and bottom front teeth; they’re coated with peroxide gel. What’s to like — or not: Strips are easy on sensitive teeth and, starting at about $30 for a two-week regimen, they’re relatively inexpensive. But they whiten only your front teeth and can be goopy and hard to position. Best if: you have sensitive teeth.

TRAYS
Fit mouthpieces filled with peroxide gel over your top and bottom teeth; wear the trays at least 30 minutes a day for about a week. What’s to like — or not: The trays whiten teeth that strips can’t reach and stay on better too. But they can feel awkward and are more likely to cause tooth sensitivity. Prices for most are $30 to $40. Best if: you want the most complete whitening.

PAINT-ON GEL
Use the applicator to coat your teeth with peroxide solution twice a day after brushing. With most brands, you’ll need to wait 20 to 30 minutes before you eat or drink. What’s to like — or not: The approach is easy and cheap (some pens are under $10) and allows you to target specific teeth. But the gel is easily wiped off by food or beverages — or saliva — so it doesn’t have the whitening power of trays or strips. Best if: you don’t want to spend much — and don’t expect much.

Before bleaching:
•Have your teeth professionally cleaned to remove surface stains. Your dentist can alert you to potential problems —  fillings or crowns, which won’t whiten, or gum disease, which would be painful.
•If you have sensitive teeth, reduce discomfort by using a toothpaste containing potassium nitrate (such as Sensodyne ProNamel) for two weeks before you bleach.

Chris Woolston

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      Perhaps you can also add how long people should expect the whitening effect to last for each choice. That way, they can really think which one of those will be worth the price.

    • http://chattanoogadentalimplants.com/ Dean Dacanay

      Perhaps you can also add how long people should expect the whitening effect to last for each choice. That way, they can really think which one of those will be worth the price.

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