What Are the Best Teeth Whitening Options?

There are plenty of reasons why people turn to Google, high-street products, and their dentists in the search for a whiter smile. 

Researching the different methods of teeth whitening will take you in all sorts of directions, from at-home kits to a dietary overhaul, whitening toothpastes, and of course the pros and cons of a professional whitening treatment. 

In this blog, we’re sharing some of the most popular and the most common teeth whitening options, highlighting the one that we (and most other professionals) believe to be the best. 

But first, what causes teeth to become discoloured in the first place?

What causes teeth to become discoloured?

Tooth discolouration is one of those difficult things to pin down – if for no other reason than the fact that there are so many things that contribute towards and cause it. 

Most dental professionals, when discussing tooth discolouration and staining, will talk you through three different types of stains. These include:

  1. Extrinsic staining, which affects the surface and enamel of the tooth and is most often caused by food and beverages, tobacco, and other lifestyle factors. 
  2. Intrinsic staining, creating a visible grey tinge on the surface of the tooth, which can be caused by factors such as decay, trauma or injury, or even certain medications. This kind of stain occurs inside the tooth, well under the surface.
  3. Age-related discolouration, as enamel wears away and your teeth appear yellow as a result.

Any and all of the above causes of tooth discolouration can be tackled with a comprehensive whitening treatment – though some require a stronger solution than others. 

Do at-home teeth whitening kits work?

Before we get into the finer details around at-home and high-street whitening kits, it’s important to note that different types and causes of stains require different approaches for whitening.

Intrinsic stains in particular are less likely to be lifted by at-home kits, simply because they are not powerful enough to really brighten the colour of the tooth from the inside. However, there can be some brightening of surface stains and discoloration caused by food, drink, and lifestyle factors like tobacco – which is why at-home kits continue to be popular among consumers. 

In the simplest possible sense, at-home kits contain many of the ingredients used in a professional whitening treatment but in very low quantities (unsurprisingly, owing to the safety concerns of bleaching components being sold over the counter and online). At most, consumers will sometimes see a subtle brightening of their smile after using these kits, though the results will not last long. 

Understanding professional teeth whitening

Professional teeth whitening is offered by dental professionals and practitioners, and combines an activating cleanse with a whitening agent, before a targeted blue spectrum LED laser is channelled directly onto the teeth.

As a process, this may sound quite intimidating – but the comfort and convenience of laser teeth whitening cannot be overstated. Treatment sessions typically last for around an hour, with the laser shone onto the teeth in short bursts of 20-30 minutes at a time. 

What’s more, the benefit of professional teeth whitening, and the fine balance between the activating agent and the laser, means that stains are broken down and lifted from the teeth without causing any damage. Teeth that undergo this process are left whiter and brighter, without impacting their strength or stability in the process. 

And, if you’re still not convinced, then you need only look at the results that come from a single treatment session. When clients come to Harley Teeth Whitening, not only do they go home with a brighter and more confident smile, but they also benefit from our unrivalled aftercare and advice on how to prolong the results and protect their smile. 

Alternative approaches to teeth whitening

Suffice to say, if it’s results that you’re after, then a professional teeth whitening has it all.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternative methods that you can try while saving up for a professional treatment. 

Some of the most common alternative methods of teeth whitening at home include:

  • Investing in a whitening toothpaste that is marketed as a brightening paste to lift stains from the surface of the teeth. These offer varied success rates and can brighten the teeth to some degree, though they do not tackle the underlying cause of discolouration.
  • Baking soda and water, which is claimed to remove stains from yellowing teeth.
  • Rinsing the mouth after drinking coffee and consuming other products that contribute towards discolouration. This one is a no-brainer if you want to keep brighter teeth looking their best, though it is not going to reverse existing discolouration. 
  • Eating crunchy vegetables and fruits, which act as a natural cleanser between each brush. 

All of the above alternative approaches to teeth whitening offer some degree of success – though none are as effective or as reliable as a comprehensive whitening treatment. 

The benefits of whiter teeth

With so much information to take in, you might now be wondering what the benefits of teeth whitening are and why knowing which option is the best and most effective is so important. 

Teeth whitening not only gives you a brighter smile, but is great for boosting your confidence and self-esteem. Countless clients come to us ahead of job interviews, significant events, first dates, and other occasions where they want to present their best self – with the instant effect of a professional teeth whitening particularly popular.

Whatever your reasoning is, however, it’s important to understand that having long-lasting whiter teeth requires an oral hygiene overhaul as well as the treatment itself. In order to maintain the results of a professional treatment, you need to commit to regular brushing and flossing, dental check-ups, and potential dietary changes that cut down on foods and drinks that stain your teeth.

For more advice on securing – and prolonging – a whiter smile, the team at Harley Teeth Whitening are here to help and offer advice. Get in touch with us to start your journey to a bolder, brighter smile.