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Whitening strips release bleach into the teeth via a moldable strip that wraps around the teeth. Most strips are to be left on for about 30 minutes, but you’ll need to wear them consecutively for a few days or up to a few weeks (as instructed) to see a difference.
Opalescence Go ($69)
Whitening trays can either be pre-made or customized. They can also be slept in to deliver a steady stream of bleach directly into the teeth. “The use of a correctly fabricated tray during sleep can prevent saliva from seeping into the tray, therefore making the material do its job more effectively,” says Wellington, FL, cosmetic dentist Sam Sadati, DDS. After two weeks, teeth should appear brighter.
Suitable for on-the-go whitening and last minute touch-ups, whitening pens contain bleach in low doses that stays on the teeth—don’t rinse your mouth or wipe your teeth because the bleach can deactivate.
You may recognize these types of devices from social media—celebs love to post pictures with whitening lights in their mouths. The miniature LED lights are thought to function the same way as those done in-office. The light accelerates the bleaching process (gel needs to be applied to the teeth first), although these treatments aren’t as strong as what your dentist can provide.
Loaded with low-dose whitening agents and/ or mild abrasives, whitening toothpastes work to gently lift up stains (some formulas even use carbon to brighten). “Whitening toothpastes that contain more abrasive ingredients will help to prevent stains from forming on your teeth,” says Wayne, NJ, cosmetic dentist Donald A. Spitzer, DDS.
For the most part, it’s not the toothbrush itself, but rather what you put on it that can help lead you down the path to a brighter smile. But, this new one claims to be a specialized toothbrush that does way more than your average toothbrush. Boasting sonic technology and three unique heads—we’re partial to the DiamondClean one that uses diamond shaped bristles to detach plaque and surface stains for whiter teeth—this pretty electronic toothbrush even features a “white” brushing mode so you can make your teeth that much whiter.
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