Using Teeth-Whitening Gels to Achieve a Dentist-White Smile at Home
Everyone knows the importance of a dentist-white smile. Not only does it make you feel great, gives you confidence and can create a perfect first impression, it is also the sign of healthy, cared-for teeth. The professional teeth-whitening industry is booming, with more dental clinics offering top-of-the-range services and thousands of at-home teeth-whitening products becoming available to buy over-the-country in drugstores or online. Americans have never spent so much money on a dental cosmetic procedure, purchasing billions of dollars’ worth of teeth-whitening treatment and products in the last year alone.
But if you’ve always wanted to achieve the perfect white smile, and have felt like teeth-whitening treatments were just too expensive for your budget, you’re in luck. The teeth-whitening market now has an at-home product for every pricerange, with professional teeth-whitening gel kits and whitening trays available from some of the biggest brand names to industry-approved companies. You can buy entire teeth-whitening gel kits or, if you already have a whitening tray from your dentist, you can easily purchase teeth-whitening gels to use with it.
With so many teeth-whitening kits and teeth-whitening gels available on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to know which teeth-whitening product is right for you. To make it easier to decide, there are certain factors you first need to consider.
What is teeth-whitening?
If you are completely new to teeth whitening, you might be wondering what exactly it is or involves. Professional teeth whitening has been one of the most popular dental cosmetic procedures for several years. If done by your dental professional at a dental clinic, the procedure will usually involve either an in-chair treatment, where you leave with your teeth whitened, or a take-away treatment—where your dentist will make an impression of your teeth, create a mouthguard or whitening tray, and send you home with a teeth-whitening gel to carry out the bleaching at home.
At-home teeth-whitening treatments remove the dentist from the equation—you will simply use a non-customized tray and will apply the teeth-whitening gel yourself.
What teeth-whitening products do you need?
If you’ve already visited your dentist for a professional teeth-whitening treatment, chances are they will have supplied you with a customized whitening tray or mouthguard. This whitening tray can then be used with any teeth-whitening gel—whether provided by your dentist or bought over-the-counter, or online.
If you don’t already have a whitening tray, it would be best if you start by buying a teeth-whitening gel kit. These kits will not only come with teeth-whitening gels, but also with a whitening tray, and although it won’t be customized to fit your teeth exactly (as one made by your dental clinic would be) these whitening trays can still work wonderfully to get your smile back to pearly white.
It’s a simple question of either needing only teeth-whitening gels or both a whitening tray and teeth-whitening gels.
How to choose a teeth-whitening gel or kit
Now comes the slightly trickier part—you need to decide on which teeth-whitening gel kit or teeth-whitening gels will work best for you. This is an important decision and you’ll want to take into consideration several key factors:
Sensitivity—If you have had your teeth whitened before and noticed discomfort afterwards, or you simply suffer from sensitive teeth on a day-to-day basis, one of the most important factors in deciding which is the best professional teeth-whitening kit or gel for you will be what it offers in terms of reducing sensitivity. Most products will state if they are not suitable for sensitive teeth or gums, and these are commonly the teeth-whitening gels that have a 30-44% peroxide content. If you have sensitive teeth, look for teeth-whitening gel kits that state they reduce discomfort after the whitening treatment, or include a remineralization gel to help rebuild enamel and reduce sensitivity.
Safe, approved, compliant— At-home teeth-whitening gel kits are easy to use and should always be safe to carry out in your home, but if you want to be absolutely certain, look for professional teeth-whitening gel kits that come with either an FDA approved or FDA compliant label. Although it can sometimes be appealing to go for the cheapest option, with approved, professional teeth-whitening gel kits, you know that you are buying a safe, high-quality product.
Results and timescale—Some teeth-whitening gels and kits will promise you the perfect white smile in a matter of days; others claim that you can see results mere minutes after you have applied it. Whatever it claims, always check that you have read the small print carefully. Does it say it will whiten your teeth in just 15 minutes because the percentage of peroxide is the maximum allowed? Sometimes it’s better to choose a slightly longer working teeth-whitening gel with a lower percentage of peroxide—especially if you are trying a teeth-whitening kit for the very first time.
Four of the best teeth whitening gels and kits
Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to narrow down your search. We’ve gone ahead and compiled four of the best teeth whitening gels and best teeth whitening gel kits to get you started:
Philips Zoom Whitening Day White 14% Gel
Starting with one of the most well-known brands, the Philips Zoom Whitening Day White 14% Gel is a great choice for anyone who is new to teeth-whitening kits and wants to start out with a reliable name they recognize. The Philips Zoom Whitening Day White 14% Gel pack comes with three syringes of 14% hydrogen peroxide—the equivalent of 42% carbamide peroxide—which provides up to 9 applications. This is a quite strong whitening gel, but it is also one of the best teeth-whitening gels available on the market for home use
Watts Power 35% Teeth Whitening Gels
This professional strength teeth whitening system contains 8 large syringes. The active ingredient is 35% carbamide peroxide, one of the most powerful teeth whitening strengths available. Additional syringes contain calcium phosphate, minerals naturally found in teeth. The addition of the mineral syringe functions to reconstitute minerals back into the teeth after the whitening process. The bleaching nature of the product, serves to whiten as well, but in many cases, may strip the teeth of calcium phosphate.
By adding calcium phosphate to this whitening process, teeth reacquire minerals while decreasing sensitivity sometimes experienced by the whitening process. Manufacturer guarantees teeth to be 5-10 shades whiter in 20 days or less. This non sting formula will last for up to a year in the refrigerator for up to two and a half years with clearly labelled expiration dates on each syringe. Whitening trays sold separately.
Whiter Smile Labs XL 38% High Intensity Teeth Whitening Gels
This teeth whitening product contains 38% premium carbamide peroxide whitening power in an easy to apply gel. This strength is the most powerful whitening agent available. The gel formula provides an optimum whitening experience. Made with FDA approved materials in the USA, the product includes 5 extra-large syringes complete with precision tip for easy and even application. Users report up to 10 shades whiter in just over one week.
Product includes remineralization gel for application after whitening process to decrease any possible sensitivity while replenishing necessary calcium phosphate back into teeth. Even users with sensitive teeth have used this product successfully with no sensitivity. This product’s manufacturer offers a full money back guarantee. Customers report high satisfaction with level of whiteness achieved with this product. Whitening trays sold separately and required for use.
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Non Peroxide Gel Syringes
The AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Non Peroxide Gel Syringes use a formula of sodium bicarbonate to whiten teeth without causing sensitivity; it also has an added blend ofchamomile, pomegranate and aloe to soothe gums during the whitening treatment. The pack includes very easy to use syringes and clear-to-follow instructions, and is a great choice whether you are looking for refills for your dentist-made custom whitening tray or mouth guard, or for a whitening tray that came with an at-home kit.
How to use teeth-whitening gels and trays
Now that you have chosen the best teeth-whitening gel or teeth-whitening gel kit for you to use at home, there are just a few more things to consider before you get started. If you have never used a teeth-whitening kit before and you have any concerns, you can always speak to your dentist before you try bleaching at home. They will be able to discuss the best kind of teeth-whitening gel kit for you and even show you how to apply your teeth-whitening gel at home.
It’s important for you to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth before you use a teeth-whitening gel with your tray—this helps to prevent any general dental problems such as gum disease and decay, and will enable you to see the difference in shade more easily.
Make sure you read the individual instructions on your teeth-whitening gel kit as each set of instructions can vary slightly between brands. In most cases, you will use a syringe filled with teeth-whitening gel to fill your whitening tray. Following this, you will apply the tray to your teeth, evenly distributing the gel. If any teeth-whitening gel leaks outside of the tray, it’s likely that the teeth-whitening tray is not a good fit for your mouth, or that you have put too much whitening gel inside the tray.
The duration and frequency of the teeth-whitening treatment will depend on which teeth-whitening kit you bought. Carefully follow the instructions on your teeth-whitening kit but remember that because teeth-whitening gels differ in strength and components, the duration of treatment will varyaccording to the strength of the whitening gel. Usually, you will be advised to wear your tray daily for anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour, or longer if you have purchased a kit that allows for overnight teeth-whitening. These treatments are mainly advised for two weeks, and then to be repeated once every six months.
How do I look after my teeth-whitening gel?
Once you have competed a treatment, it is important to make sure you look after your teeth-whitening gel and whitening tray. If you have a custom tray and supply of whitening gel from your dentist, they will likely have given you specific instructions on aftercare. If you purchase a teeth-whitening kit or teeth-whitening gel either at a drugstore or online, check the packet for any information on storage.
Generally, a good quality teeth-whitening gel will last between 6 months to 1 year if it is not refrigerated, and up to 2 years if it has been refrigerated. Remember to always check the use-by date on your whitening gel before you start a new treatment, and it’s advisable to always have a spare teeth-whitening gel refill in your refrigerator in case you run out or want to do a touch-up treatment.
How do I keep my whitening teeth white?
Now that you have achieved the perfect, dentist-white smile using the best teeth-whitening gel available for at-home treatment, you are going to want to do everything to keep those pearly whites as white and bright as possible.
Teeth whitening is not a one off treatment—it will not make your teeth white forever, which is why you should take very good care of your teeth and make a note if they are starting to look stained or yellow again.
There are certain things that will always cause bad staining of your teeth, with the main offenders being coffee, red wine and cigarettes. If you can cut these and similar foods and drinks out of your diet, you stand a much better chance of keeping your smile whiter for longer. Other recommendations include drinking through a straw and using a good aftercare whitening toothpaste.
Of course, now that you have your at home teeth whitening gel kit and spare teeth-whitening gels ready to use in the refrigerator, it is easy enough to carry out a top-up treatment if you start to feel like your smile is lacking its luster.