Roughly 32% of people say that they’re very concerned about the look of their teeth. One out of every five people even go as far as concealing their teeth in photos. Based on this, it’s no wonder teeth whitening is so popular in so many countries around the world.
When it comes to your teeth whitening options, you have two main choices available to you: you can choose to do it yourself at home (DIY), or you can head to a dentist to have things done in a professional manner.
Which of these two techniques is more effective? Is one legitimately better than the other?
Read on to find out.
Your At-Home Teeth Whitening Options
If for some reason you’d rather not go to dental appointments but still want those professional teeth whitening results, you still have a wide range of options available to you.
DIY teeth whitening is convenient. You can do them on your own time, on your own terms. The downside of this, however, is that they’re only effective to a certain point. It’s hard to get the exact same results you’d get in a professional setting without actually sitting down with a dentist to get the work done.
In this article, we will explore three DIY teeth whitening options: teeth whitening trays, teeth whitening strips, and whitening toothpastes and rinses.
Teeth Whitening Trays
Trays contain a unique solution or other form of liquid that, when regularly applied, will whiten your teeth between five and eight shades over time. The process itself varies depending on which brand you plan on using.
But generally speaking, people have the most success with durations of between one to three hours per night, for one to three times per week. The more frequently you use the trays, the whiter your teeth will get as a result.
This is by far the most effective at-home teeth whitening option you have. The downside here is the cost. These kits can range from $50 to several hundred dollars or more, depending on how many you need, how often you plan on using them, and other factors that will be unique to your situation.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are clear strips coated with a whitening solution that you apply to your teeth once or twice a day for between a half hour and two full hours (depending on the brand you’ve selected).
The major advantage that this has over teeth whitening trays is cost — you can get a full set of strips for as little as $40. They’re not nearly as effective, however, and will probably only whiten your teeth by between two and four shades. Results will also be less consistent around the crevices of your teeth and in other areas where establishing long-term contact with the strip is difficult.
Finally, we have whitening toothpastes and rinses — a very popular option for many people around the world. They’re far more convenient than other options. Instead of using a regular toothpaste or mouthwash, you simply switch to one made to whiten your teeth.
They cost far less than any other at-home option. Quality whitening toothpaste can be purchased for as little as $10 in many locations, but they’re also far less effective. Your teeth will be about two shades lighter, but they may be hard to notice at a casual glance.
Because of this, whitening toothpastes and rinses are really best used as a supplement to another one of these techniques — not necessarily as a replacement.