All we see on television, and in the movies is bright white smiles. With the release of several over the counter teeth whitening products over the past few years, it can be hard to know which one is going to give you the Hollywood smile that you dream about.
Whitening toothpastes generally cost between $2-$10. Several studies have been done on these toothpastes to see if they really can whiten your teeth just while you brush. Studies have shown that you they can help a bit, and also that the same results can be achieved with normal toothpastes with a little extra brushing every day. The simple fact is that the toothpastes doesn’t sit on your teeth for long enough to actually bleach any discoloring that is present.
Bleaching trays are usually obtained through a dentist. What happens is that the dentist will take an impression of your teeth, and make a mold. You will then have to wear that mold with bleaching solution in it for a certain amount of time each day. Experts all agree that this is the most effective method however the price is more than most people are willing to pay. Bleaching trays can cost between $300-$2000. If this were a method you are interesting in I would recommend talking to your dentist for more information.
Over the Counter
There are several brands of over the counter whiteners. The two largest ones that I am familiar with are Crest Whitestrips, and Colgate Night Effects. Both of these products work in a similar way although have completely different application. Crest Whitestrips are small plastic strips, which you rap around the upper and bottom sections of your teeth. The bleaching solution is on one side of the strip, and rests along your teeth while you wear the strips. You must wear the product twice a day for 30 minutes for two weeks.
Colgate Night Effects is a paste that is painted on your teeth before you go to bed, for 14 days as well. I have personally tested out both of these products and have found that most others agree that the Crest Whitestrips are the superior method.
I noticed a much greater level of whitening after using the Whitestrips, and was much more impressed with the ease of application, and the time involved in using them. Whitestrips are simple to use, and can be used anywhere. I've popped them on at work, and no one will even notice that I was wearing them. Crest Night Effects are a bit cheaper of a solution and if you don't mind waking up with a chalky feeling in your mouth, they might be the product for you.
Before trying out any bleaching solution I would recommend talking to your dentist, as he or she knows your teeth the best, and will be able to guide you in the right direction. There are always new options available to you in the area, including "Zoom" and other procedures that are similar.
For more on having a great smile check out flossing... makes all the difference.
Ryan Fyfe is the owner and operator of Toothwhitening Area. This is a great web directory and information center on Tooth Whitening and related issues like Teeth Bleaching.