Shedding years from your look is as easy as flashing a brighter smile! So we found the latest crop of whitening techniques (with the least sensitivity) that will transform your teeth from dull to dazzling, whether you have 4 weeks or 4 minutes. Find the one that works for you!
Choose tooth makeup!
The quick fix to whiter teeth? CHROM Toothpolish in Uptight White (ToothPolish.com). The white “paint” (a grain-based alcohol solvent mixed with food coloring — like pigments) creates a tasteless layer over the enamel that covers surface stains. The result? A smile that’s four shades whiter and lasts for 24 hours. Bonus? The peroxide-free formula won’t cause sensitivity, and unlike bleach, it can even brighten fake teeth like caps, crowns and veneers!
To do: Apply one coat to dry teeth and let dry 10 seconds. Repeat up to three coats. To remove, buff away with a tissue.
Opt for these strips.
Strips are the go-to when you have just 14 days to whiten — it takes them exactly that long to reach their potential. But the high concentration of bleach can trigger gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. To the rescue: Lumineux Oral Essentials Whitening Strips (OralEssentials.com), made with coconut oil (it pulls out embedded stains) and sea salt (it strengthens enamel to thwart new discoloration). And one study found that strips made with natural ingredients are as effective in whitening teeth as their harsh peroxide counterparts, sans the pain!
Try this 2-step solution.
Four weeks is the optimal amount of time to whiten teeth, says Las Vegas cosmetic dentist Michaela Tozzi, DMD. That’s because you can spend the first two weeks prepping teeth to prevent the discomfort that bleach can cause and the second two weeks whitening.
For weeks 1 and 2: Brush teeth twice a day with a toothpaste infused with arginine and calcium carbonate, like Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste (Buy at Walmart.com, $4.83). “Arginine blocks the little ‘highways’ in the tooth that lead to sensitive nerve pain, and mildly abrasive calcium carbonate buffs away external stains so teeth look whiter,” says Dr. Tozzi.
For weeks 3 and 4: Use a whitening pen with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide each night before bed. “The lower dose can sit on teeth for a longer period of time, breaking up stains as you sleep for teeth that are five shades whiter — pain-free.”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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