Here’s the thing about my teeth: They shouldn’t be white. I drink at least two cups of coffee every morning, and red wine is one of my favorite treats. Both of these things are known to cause teeth yellowing.
My teeth probably would be yellow without help, but I’ll let you in on my favorite secret: I use teeth-whitening products regularly, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Before I go into the best whitening products out there, I talked to some of the best dentists in the biz to learn about all things teeth-whitening.
Why do teeth start to get yellow?
Teeth can get yellow for a variety of reasons. Foods, such as red wine, that are filled with tannins can contribute to tooth yellowing, as can smoking. “Aging is associated with darker, yellow teeth,” says Matt Nejad, DDS. “As we age, the outer enamel becomes thinner, revealing more of the underlying yellow dentin color.”
What should you look for when shopping for whitening products?
The two ingredients that work to whiten your teeth are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. “They act to chemically whiten tooth structure without abrasive or acidic ingredients, which wear away and remove tooth structure,” says Nejad.
There’s one thing to look out for when you’re shopping for teeth-whitening products. “When purchasing whitening products at the store, it is important to look for the American Dental Academy seal of approval, which means products are held to a higher standard than required by law and tested to be safe and effective,” says Veytsman.
How often should you whiten your teeth?
How often you whiten your teeth depends on your own preferences and sensitivity to whitening products. You can whiten your teeth once a week, once a month, or a couple of times per year to see and maintain results.
The best whitening products on the market:
"These pens are great because you can literally carry them around with you and use them on the go," says Veytsman. With its vanilla mint flavor, this whitening pen also helps freshen breath.
Nejad recommends this device for at-home maintenance and stain removal. "It uses glycine abrasive tablets to remove extrinsic stains without damaging your enamel," he says. "This is a great way to maintain results and reverse the effects of staining food and beverages consumed on a regular basis."
Ever wish you could use a whitening product designed specifically for you? This Laughland kit is personalized to your specific needs, keeping in mind important details like if you're a smoker, if you consume teeth-staining foods often, how sensitive your teeth are, and more.
This kit comes with an LED mouth tray that activates the whitening serum. If you use it for 10 days, you can whiten your teeth by six shades.
The best products for teeth-whitening upkeep:
This mouthwash helps remove surface stains prevent new ones. Use it like you would a normal mouthwash.