Hello! I see you are interested in making your teeth more white. I am too, but before I get into what I’ve used and what I’ve been using for the past couple of years I wanted to make sure I was clear about a few things
- Talk to your dentist about teeth whitening first. They’re more familiar with your mouth than I am and will most likely point you in the SAFE direction.
- Many dentists offer their own professional teeth whitening services as well, but these tend to be more costly …. they do whiten a lot better though.
- Some people shouldn’t whiten their teeth i.e. children & adolescents and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding might want to avoid whitening as well.
- People with gum disease and sensitive teeth might want to avoid teeth whitening
- A majority of at home teeth whitening kits involve peroxide gel. They are not all the same concentration/percentage of peroxide
- The reason I mention this is that if you have sensitive teeth you might want to look for products with a low percentage of peroxide
- Some people have more sensitive teeth than others and teeth whitening often temporarily sensitizes your teeth. It’s hard to know exactly how sensitive your teeth will become or how long it will last, so whiten at your own risk
- Changing the types of foods you eat or liquids you drink will help to reduce the amount of staining on your teeth.
- Surprisingly tea stains teeth more than coffee. just a tidbit. food for thought.
- Teeth whitening doesn’t last forever and adult teeth aren’t naturally bright white, if you want a glow-in-the-dark white smile you’ll have to work with dental professionals
So you want to try some at home whitening
I actually started with Crest whitestrips. I found they work the best so long as you go for the high % peroxide strips. But around 50 dollars a kit, my god I have to eat sometime. So I started trying out other kits and methods (this has occured over YEARS which is why I’m not posting pics of each and every kit). I even tried oil pulling since what American household doesn’t have coconut oil yet? That didn’t do anything, but I liked the taste. I also tried up and up brand from target, but finally my local Walgreens restocked on the plus white and I was able to try it out. And why? well the intro kit was 11 USD. And a back up tube was only 5 USD.
So plus white, is a 6% Peroxide gel. The kit comes with an uncomfortable tray for putting the gel in as well as a rinse. But I find the rinse isn’t really necessary.
And they tout themselves as being the 5min whitening solution. But as you can see… you’re teeth only START to whiten in 5mins. You need to leave the gel on longer. I tend to leave it on between 15 & 20 mins.
They also say you can brush your teeth with the gel, but that just seemed like a waste of gel to me.
But let’s get that grocery list started
- You’re going to need to get yourself customizable mouth guards.
- If you ever played contact sports you might remember dunking this type of thing in boiling water and then biting down on that soft warm plastic
- When you make them, make sure to press the mold around the entire tooth
- These don’t generally cover the entire jawline, but cover the teeth that are visible in a smile.
- If you mess up when making the mold, just reheat it and try again, the material hardens while it cools so just dip it in the hot water again to soften it up for a second attempt.
- Here’s a set I’m probably going to get off of Amazon because my current ones are a little uncomfortable
And that’s it! Aside from the 5 dollar tube of Plus white
The step-by-step guide
- Start with clean teeth BUT do not use the peroxide gel right after brushing or flossing, the brushing can scratch your gums (and over zealous flossing can too) and the gel can cause irritation.
- Usually I do this at least half an hour after brushing in the morning or evening
- If you have eaten and need to clean your teeth, brush VERY Gently to remove food debris.
- The gel works best on dry teeth, so take a tissue or some cotton and wipe them teeth off.
- Or just stuff the tissue behind your lips to soak up the excess saliva
- And don’t think about food… because you’ll have to fast for like 15 mins. It’s a struggle. I know.
- When applying the gel to the trays try to apply slightly toward the side
- After your teeth are dry place the tray and gel up over them and down over them.
- I leave mine on for 15-20mins but if this is your first time I’d maybe try 5 mins and then increase by a minute over time.
- After you’re done with the waiting game. Take out the trays, use a tooth brush to clean them and then brush the residual gel off your teeth.
- At this point I’m using toothpaste to help get the gel off
Results after 7 days use, 1x per day for 15-20mins
I’m not 100% sure how this will display across all devices and monitors, but basically I find that I managed to get an adequate amount of whitening and some yellow stain removal around my gums.
I’ve used no filter on these photos to try and give a true to life experience. I’m also using a Samsung Galaxy S4 to take these pictures soooo…. I tried.
After using it for a week, I’ll usually pull back to doing the treatment once or twice a week as maintenance. Especially if I’m drinking a lot of dark teas.
Lastly, some extra tips for getting the most out of your homemade trays and gel
- when you bite down on the trays don’t bite too hard, you’ll end up pushing the gel up and out of the tray. So make sure as you are biting do it gently and stop when you feel the gel coat your teeth.
- if you find that some extra gel has leaked out of the tray and into the rest your mouth, spit it out. Since it’s peroxide it will start bubbling up, no sense in staying uncomfortable.
- I’ve had a few roommates with sensitive teeth, if a few minutes in you’re experiencing burning, itching, or painful sensations, please stop and remove the trays and gel. It’s likely your gums and/or teeth cannot handle the peroxide.
- I usually find the peroxide to me mildly itchy, or have no sensation at all. The itchiness usually comes if I haven’t waited long enough after brushing.
And that’s it. The tube of plus white usually lasts me a couple months or so and I find it to be a gentle whitener that I can use consistently enough to prevent my teeth from getting deeply stained.
I hope this was helpful! Cheers!