Last week, Rembrandt sent over a box of its Deeply White toothpaste and mouthwash duo (about $7 each). It just might be the fastest whitening product I've ever tried. After using it for the first time, my chompers were gleaming. "Wook!" I cried out to my boyfriend as I swished the mouthwash. "Ome wook at my eef!"
"Your eef?" he responded.
"My teef," I said, spitting out the mouthwash and showing off a much whiter smile.
Sometimes I think I'm imagining improvements through product use, but my beau was similarly blown away by the change. He decided to try the toothpaste, too. A few minutes later, we were both staring into the mirror, marveling over how quickly the whitening duo had worked. If people were to see us, they'd think we were crazies — crazies with really white teeth. So if you demand drastic change in very little time, this might be the ticket.
Getting brighter teeth at home usually means wearing whitening strips for a couple of weeks. But if you're more of the instant gratification type, Luster One Hour White ($40) aims to whiten teeth up to six shades in an hour. Like other whitening products, it uses hydrogen peroxide to lighten. What's unusual is its activation light, which mimics in-office treatments used by dentists. I tested it out, so for the pros and cons, read more.
Sometimes in beauty, you've gotta break the rules. For instance, there's no reason not to use a shimmery eye shadow as a cheek highlighter if you want. And when it comes to whitening teeth, it pays to be a loner, Dottie. A rebel.
See, you're supposed to wear whitening strips every day for at least two weeks. In theory, this is a great idea. In practice, I can be lazy and forgetful. Things start off well, then my teeth get whiter, and after a few days, I forget to keep strippin'. Eventually, red wine brings back a few stains. But the good thing is, it takes only three or four days of strip-wearing for them to bounce back to a bright, natural hue. I fear using all of the strips in one fell swoop might make my chompers look too Optic White and fake, so this is a good plan if you want a more natural-looking gleam.
I use Crest 3D White Professional Effects strips for a few days each month, then use the mouthwash and toothpaste in between for maintenance. It's easy and gets rid of the corn-teeth look quite well, promise.
Source: Flickr user Let Ideas Compete
The rich and famous trek to Beverly Hills to get a brighter smile from Dr. Kevin Sands, who you might have seen on Dr. 90210. But if you can't make it in for an appointment, here's the next best thing: Dr. Sands's advice on getting whiter, healthier teeth at home. (Be sure to check with your own dentist before starting a whitening regimen, of course.) For his five easy and affordable ways to get your gleam on, keep reading.
Well, the corn-toothed brigade isn't going to like this bit of news: Dentists are dissing tooth-whitening services done at salons, and now the Matlocks of the world are stickin' their litigious noses into the issue.
Here's the deal: Many salon owners who already provide spa services (such as brow waxing and spray tanning) have added tooth-whitening to their list. They say it's a cosmetic service, but people like Dr. Leslie Seldin, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, feel otherwise. And now that lawsuits are beginning to pop up, it may just be a matter of time before regulations declare who can perform tooth-whitening services. Would you get (or have you had) whitening sessions outside of a dentist's office?
Having sparkling white teeth can give you a confidence boost, and there are so many products on the market claiming to do the trick. That's why it was so enlightening to find out which ones you think are best.
Marcella brings up the point that many whitening products can be tough on sensitive teeth. Because of this, she prefers Denblan toothpaste, saying "I can't use the hard abrasive whiteners, so I love the mellowness of this one."
Thank you to everyone who participated. Check out everybody's picks below!
When two dentists in a row recommended Whitestrips over more expensive tooth-whitening products, my inner Scrooge McDuck was giddy. It's always great when experts sing the praises of relatively inexpensive treatments over spendy ones. Alas, the original Whitestrips formula requires users to wear 30 minutes a day, and frankly, that is too much of a commitment for me.
But now I am back on the Whitestrips bandwagon because of a new variety. Crest has released a tartar-control version that promises to whiten teeth and reduce tartar — and the best part is that you have to wear the strips for only five minutes a day. I've been using these for the past two weeks, and I'm already seeing pearlier whites. What's more, I credit them with minimizing a stubborn bit of tartar that always seems to pop up on my incisors. Usually I have to break out the ol' Sonicare to get rid of that buildup, but now my chompers are clean without it.
Since my teeth are brighter and cleaner, the new Whitestrips a big thumbs-up from me. The retail price is $39.99, but you can get a $7 coupon to make the price more palatable.
Lately, I've been thinking of having my teeth whitened at Brite Smile, but the idea of spending a few hundred dollars for gleaming chompers doesn't sit so well with my inner cheapskate. So this morning, I asked my dentist which method he recommended.
"Honestly," he said—and I paraphrase—"I'd just get some Whitestrips." He went on to say that while Brite Smile would give me slightly better results than Whitestrips, he didn't think the difference was worth the significantly larger cost.
He's not the only one. My former dentist once told me the same thing: Whitestrips are effective and relatively inexpensive. Thought you all might like to know that in my completely informal survey, the at-home stuff gets the thumbs-up from dentists. It's been a few years since I've done Whitestrips, so I'm curious: Do you think they work? Or would you rather save up and do something like Brite Smile?
Well, this didn't sound like good news. A recent British report says that some at-home tooth-whitening kits had levels of peroxide so high that in some instances they approached the amount found in hair dye. Yikes, and then this:
In a study conducted by the University-Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem, doctors found that "all groups exposed to bleach showed an increase in mercury release over time."
None of that sounds good. But just as I was ready to succumb to a life of yellow corn-teeth, I read onward and was relieved. The story quotes multiple dentists who say that whitening your teeth isn't a health hazard. One dentist, Dr. Jeff Golub-Evans, director of the New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, says to follow these guidelines:
- Get a product recommendation from your dentist.
- Purchase only well-established brands.
- Don't buy teeth whiteners over the Internet, particularly from another country.
For four more tips on safe and effective whitening, read more