Looking for tips on how to whiten your teeth at home?
Follow these 5 easy steps to get the results you want
Feeling like a smile pick me up? I’ve been there.
There are quite a few options to whiten your teeth, and historically the norm was getting teeth whitened at the dentist. The only problem here is that can be quite expensive (prices can reach £300 - £1000), it's quite time consuming (having to sit in a dentist chair for over an hour) and from personal experience, it can be a bit painful and leave teeth sensitive.
I personally preferred home teeth whitening options because the results are pretty instant, they are easy to use, they’re super convenient (delivered to your door) and I don’t experience sensitivity because of the much lower level of bleach or zero bleach in PAP formulas. Granted, the teeth whitening results don’t last as long with at-home options. But neither does my face highlighter, and I buy that every month, so why not give it a try?
Here are some top tips I have learnt to maximise teeth whitening results when using an at home teeth whitening kit!
1. Brush teeth properly before each use!
This might sound obvious, but it actually really helps improve your teeth whitening results!
Dental consultants recommend brushing properly before using teeth whitening products to help remove build-up of tartar and other sediments/deposits on the teeth.
Plaque and tartar that build up on the teeth when saliva, food and fluids combine. It can block the teeth bleaching products from making contact with the tooth enamel. If the teeth whitening product cannot make contact with the tooth enamel (the front of your teeth) – this will negatively impact how white your teeth can get. A comprehensive teeth cleaning process will help avoid this!
Your toothpaste can be sufficient, but if you are looking for a natural option, the UK’s leading wedding platform, Hitched, recently recommended the best teeth whitening powders of 2020 you can brush with here
2. Use at-home teeth whitening on consecutive days
Skipping a few days of teeth whitening during the course could cost you your results! This is because of how teeth whitening works. Here’s an overview:
So basically, dentists confirm there are two types of stains:
- The obvious ones on the front of your teeth (known as ‘extrinsic stains’);
- The not so obvious ones between the cracks in your teeth (known as ‘intrinsic stains’).
It is commonly accepted that whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses may be able to remove some of the obvious surface stains on your teeth. However, only teeth whitening products can remove the stubborn extrinsic stains and the unsightly intrinsic stains that cause your teeth to look discoloured.
For example, SmileTime provide 6 days’ worth of teeth whitening gels in the SmileTime Teeth Whitening Kit which contain an active whitening ingredient called PAP. The PAP gels undergo stringent safety testing before being approved for use in the EU & UK. The gels contain no hydrogen peroxide (bleach) so can be bought direct by customers under EU laws.
The PAP whitening agent works by penetrating your enamel to get to discoloured molecules. Oxygen molecules from the whitening agents react with the discoloured molecules in your teeth, breaking the bonds that hold them together.
The oxygen molecules spread, whitening the entire tooth – this process needs to be consistent to really work which is why you should use the teeth whitening product on consecutive days. As a result, you are left with a brighter, whiter smile.
3. Avoid staining foods and drinks during your teeth whitening course
I know this sounds annoying…but there are some real benefits (and will help get you great results!)
Before undergoing any teeth whitening procedure, actively seeking to prevent and reduce layers of staining on the teeth can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the teeth whitening product. This means taking steps to eat foods less likely to stain the teeth.
Victoria Evans, Nutritionist & Centre Manager at Bupa UK, highlights some of the top teeth staining foods:
Tea and coffee. Tea and coffee both contain tannins, which cause the staining. There is some evidence that upping the milk in your tea or coffee may help to counteract the staining.
Red wine. It’s fine to enjoy the occasional glass of wine. But unfortunately for our teeth, red wine is one of the most common causes of tooth staining.
Cola. The dark colouring of this drink, coupled with the acids which will wear away at your teeth, make cola a definite no for your teeth.
Fruit juices. Dark-coloured fruit juices, such as cranberry, blueberry and grape juices are liable to leave stains on your teeth.
Tomato-based sauces & curry. Tomatoes are a great source of many important nutrients. But the pigment causing their deep red colour makes them a key offender for staining.
Rinse whenever possible– Sometimes, eating or drinking foods that may stain the teeth is inevitable – make sure to rinse with water as soon as possible, minimising any potential staining.
4. Use for 30 minutes for maximum effect
Some people have very strong enamel (which can be a sign of healthy teeth!). However, it can make it more difficult for a teeth whitening agent to do its work. At-home teeth whitening kits generally have a course of 6 days and instructions to use for 15 minutes each day.
In rare cases, people who are not seeing the results as quickly as they would like – it’s a good idea to use the gels for 30 minutes each day to give the gels more time to work.
The PAP whitening agent is proven to work– but in rare cases it will take longer to see the results and the 6 day course will be insufficient.
5. Take before and after photos
Most home teeth whitening kits contain a results chart which helps you to track your progress.
Taking before and after photos after each use of the teeth whitening course will really help you keep track. After the course is finished – it will be much easier to compare your results using the photos on the results chart than using the naked eye. You can check out some of SmileTime's Before And After Photos here.
Please note this article is based on the opinion and experience of the writer and does not assert or defend factual claims. Natalie is the CEO & Co-Founder of SmileTime and writes monthly blog content to share her personal experiences of both in-chair (dental) teeth whitening and at-home teeth whitening products, and to provide tips to get the best results from the SmileTime range.