Types of Teeth Whitening: What You Should Know
Almost everyone wants a whiter smile for photos or Instagram pics, but getting there can sometimes lead people to break down their teeth’s enamel and cause tooth decay. To avoid accidentally harming your teeth in the pursuit of pearly whites, let’s break down the different types of teeth whitening you should be aware of and explore which ones you should prioritize.
What Are the Types of Teeth Whitening?
If you decide you want a whiter smile, you have a few different options to pick between.
In-office dental whitening treatments are the most professional (and expensive) options. But many people choose these options because they can lead to long-lasting results.
Most in-office dental procedures involve your dentist placing a protective coating on gum tissue and your lips to protect them from harsh bleaching ingredients. Your dentist may then apply a whitening gel or another solution to your teeth, then shine an ultraviolet lamp onto the teeth to activate the whitening treatment.
You can also get over-the-counter products, such as whitening trays, strips, toothpaste, pens, and more. The results of these tools can vary from product to product – some can only brighten your teeth’s color by one or two shades, and only for a week or so before needing to be reapplied.
Others, such as Supersmile’s whitening options, are both safer for your teeth and longer-lasting.
You may also decide to use home remedies to whiten your teeth. The whitening techniques can vary dramatically; for example, you may choose to adjust your diet to include less coffee or tobacco, both of which can stain your teeth progressively.
Home remedies also sometimes use abrasive ingredients like charcoal or baking soda (although charcoal is harmful to your teeth). Rinsing agents like coconut oil can also be effective to a limited extent.
What Are My Options for Professional Teeth Whitening?
If you decide to go with a professional teeth whitening appointment, your dentist may offer several options.
In-office bleaching can usually be done in about an hour, but it is quite expensive. It bleaches your teeth and provides long-lasting results without necessarily harming your teeth’s enamel (though it can happen).
Zoom Teeth Whitening
Zoom teeth whitening is offered throughout the country. The lips and gums are protected before the application of Zoom’s special hydrogen peroxide gel. The gel sits for 15 minutes, and a specialized lamp targets the teeth and causes a chemical whitening reaction on their surfaces.
Laser whitening is similar to Zoom teeth whitening. With this procedure, a peroxide-based gel is applied to the teeth, and a laser applies intense heat to induce a chemical reaction that breaks down stains and whitens the color of your teeth. The length of time required for this procedure can vary based on how many teeth you want to be targeted.
LED whitening procedures work similarly to the above two procedures. A tray is fitted over your front teeth and an LED light activates a built-in whitening solution. Your dentist may use a bleached-based solution or a non-bleached solution depending on whether you want to take care of surface-level or deeper stains.
Some people choose to get veneers, which are custom-made shells that cover the front surfaces of teeth to enhance the color and durability of your smile. Veneers can sometimes stain over time, and those stains can be whitened using professional cleaning techniques.
Note that you can’t usually whiten your veneers at home.
Boost is a new professional teeth whitening solution that uses chemically activated whitening compounds rather than uncomfortable or hot LED lights or lasers. The teeth whitening gel uses potassium nitrate and fluoride to ensure comfort and prevent enamel decay.
How Can I Whiten My Teeth At Home?
Whitening your teeth at home is definitely possible, provided you use the right tools. Lots of people, unfortunately, use whitening strips and trays, which are incredibly damaging to the teeth.
Alternatively, people may use harmful whitening toothpaste that uses abrasive silica ingredients. These can damage the enamel of your teeth and lead to tooth decay.
In contrast, here at Supersmile we provide whitening tools that are gentle and not harmful to your teeth’s enamel. We skip harsh bleaches and other damaging ingredients in each of our products, and we don’t offer tooth damaging strips or trays.
As a result, whitening your teeth at home with Supersmile’s products will result in healthier and longer-lasting whitening results than if you relied on other solutions.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips involve using bleaching strips on the surfaces of your teeth, removing them after they burn away stains and enamel. As mentioned, these are not recommended due to their potential to irrevocably harm your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Gels and Trays
Whitening gels and trays also typically use harsh abrasives or bleaching agents. They do not typically provide very long-lasting results and must be reapplied regularly, further damaging your teeth with time.
Teeth Whitening Toothpastes
Teeth whitening toothpastes are useful in that they actively clean your teeth and eliminate surface-level stains over time.
For example, Supersmile’s Professional Whitening Toothpaste uses fluoride and a handful of other effective ingredients like our signature ingredient Calprox to both protect your teeth and whiten them in safe amounts over time. The whitening results are not immediate, but after continued use of about three weeks, you’ll experience more long-lasting and thorough whitening improvements than if you used strips or trays.
Teeth Whitening Mouthwashes
Most mouthwashes just illuminate plaque and bacteria in your teeth. But Supersmile’s advanced products, including its Oral Rinse, can do more than that – it can also whiten your teeth!
This high-quality mouthwash can illuminate bacteria and make it harder for bacteria to settle on the surfaces of your teeth. At the same time, it’ll help to eliminate surface-level stains and bring you a brighter smile, especially when used in conjunction with other whitening tools.
Teeth Whitening Floss
Similarly, we don’t offer floss that just cleans between your teeth. Our Professional Whitening Floss uses a long-lasting germicidal coating to prevent bacterial build-up between your teeth and safely whitens in between your teeth thanks to its Calprox weave.
Calprox (more on this below) is a special protecting and whitening formula found exclusively with Supersmile’s whitening solutions.
Professional Activating Rods
You can alternatively bring in-office whitening to your home with Supersmile’s Professional Activating Rods. These specialized tools help to prep your teeth's enamel for excellent whitening results and help to make your smile look shiny and new.
Just apply the whitening rods before using our whitening toothpaste or other whitening solutions and you’ll effectively simulate a thorough, in-office whitening regimen, all for an affordable cost.
What Should I Look for in At-Home Whitening Products?
If you decide to go with an at-home whitening regimen, you should look for a few key ingredients in any product you purchase.
Carbamide peroxide is an effective whitening agent since it releases hydrogen peroxide when it is mixed with water. The hydrogen peroxide then helps to remove surface-level stains without harming the teeth or gums.
An Accelerator Formula
You should also look for whitening products that include an accelerator formula to boost the result of your at-home whitening efforts. Only Supersmile has a suitable formula; it’s found in our Professional Whitening System.
Calprox is the magic ingredient found in many of our best whitening products. Developed by Dr. Irwin Smigel, this proprietary ingredient protects your teeth and helps to whiten them by up to five or six shades. It’s science-backed and effective for everyone, and it doesn’t come with some of the negative side effects like abrasion that’s caused by other ingredients such as activated charcoal.
Do Home Remedies Work?
Home remedies may seem easy and convenient, but their results can be hit or miss.
Oil pulling is a controversial tooth whitening remedy for home use. It involves putting coconut oil in your mouth and swishing around. Unfortunately, there isn’t any evidence that this is actually effective for whitening your teeth.
Baking soda foams up and, in the process, removes dirt and bacteria from your teeth’s enamel. However, it’s not as intensely whitening as some other compounds, like Calprox.
Hydrogen peroxide by itself is similar to baking soda – it can be effective to a limited extent, but it’s not strong enough to remove more embedded stains or whiten your teeth by more than one or two shades.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
You can eat some fruits and vegetables to benefit from their acids or fiber content to remove stains or plaque. But again, these won’t do much to dramatically whiten your teeth by more than a couple of shades at best.
Does Charcoal Really Whiten Teeth?
No. Charcoal can technically rub away surface-level stains, but it can also grind down enamel over time, which may reveal the yellowish dentin underneath (negating any whitening effects).
What Is the Best Way To Whiten My Teeth?
In the end, the best way to whiten your teeth depends on your budget and how much time you have to apply whitening solutions at home. If you plan to practice at-home whitening, you won’t find better whitening solutions than those at Supersmile.
Fortunately, you can check out our online store today and place in order for any of the above whitening products (or anything else you need). Contact us if you want more information or have questions about how our whitening solutions are so effective!