Lighten up! Dentists explain how to buy the best teeth whitening kit for your needs.
Beauty trends may come and go, but when it comes to your smile, nobody's ever said “Yellow is the new white.” Pearly whites are always preferable, which is why we got in touch with top dentists to learn the top causes of teeth stains—and which teeth whitening kits work best to do away with discoloration for good.
“Stains on the teeth can be a product of extrinsic sources, like foods or drinks that have dark ingredients, or intrinsic sources, such as a yellowing of the inner layer of the tooth,” explains Scott Cayouette, DMD, a Charleston-based dentist and fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. “Smoking and the natural process of aging can also contribute to discoloration.”
As for the right way to get your smile to shine bright, there’s no single option that’s best for all. Instead, consider your body and preferences first: “Choose a product that fits your lifestyle,” says Trey Wilson, DDS, a New York City-based dentist. “And know that there is variability to whitening results, since genetics, diet, oral hygiene habits, and medication all play a part.”
Nervous to jump on the bleaching bandwagon? Ask your dentist to evaluate your tooth sensitivity level before you choose a bleaching product to ensure that you’re opting for one of the right strength. “I generally recommend using a product that contains between 10 and 12% hydrogen peroxide, which is the whitening agent,” says Dr. Cayouette.
Whether you want to whiten your smile gradually or brighten up in one long sitting, there's a DIY kit out there for you. Here are four to consider.