How good are those teeth whitening kits?

Home Teeth Whitening Kits

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Home Teeth Whitening

Friends tell me that I have a pretty face, but when I look in the mirror, all I see are my dingy teeth. I'd love to have my dentist whiten my teeth, but I really can't afford that now. Do any of those home whitening kits really work?

Thoughts from a Dental Assistant

As a dental assistant for a good number of years, my experience has been that for less expensive whitening, try the Crest® Whitestrips. You can often find coupons for the kit, and they do a very respectable job. Their limitation is that they only whiten the front six teeth, top and bottom, but for over-the-counter products, they rate at the top.

Some of the whitening toothpastes can do wonders with removing stains, but if your teeth themselves are darker than you like, the most effective way is the products available at your dentists. Ask if they have specials or do gift certificates and give broad hints to your loved ones. Our office does both. We have patients who wait for those offers. Never hurts to ask!

How to avoid dental scams

No Need for a Kit

Try using baking soda with just bit of hydrogen peroxide to form a paste (just enough for one use). If you use this twice a week, you will see a difference.

Whiten While You Sleep

I have found a very inexpensive tooth whitener that works well for me. It is a CVS store brand. It comes in a little bottle with a brush. It says "Nighttime Whitening Gel" on the bottle. I brush it on my teeth before bed and then don't eat or drink anything for an hour. There are no trays or strips. One bottle lasts a long time, and I only put it on the teeth that show when I smile. I think it is easier than other methods, and I have never had any sensitivity of teeth or soreness of gums.

Keeping teeth healthy while reducing dental bills

Hydrogen Peroxide Does the Trick

I often use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash, and it does whiten teeth! You need to swish it around in your mouth for about 30 seconds and then spit it out. If it seems too strong, you can water it down a little bit before using. It whitens teeth and is great for fighting bacteria, germs, and tooth decay. You can also pour some hydrogen peroxide on a piece of paper towel and then place it directly on your teeth and let it sit for a few minutes to really whiten them. Hydrogen peroxide has many uses.
Jennifer in Kalamazoo

Use Caution

Be cautious with whitening systems even if they are homemade. If you have sensitive teeth, they may not be good for you. Any whitening is stripping off some enamel on your tooth's layer. We don't get this back!

That being said, lemon juice is a natural whitener. Just eat a slice of lemon or squeeze in water. This takes time. Baking soda on a toothbrush is cheap, easy, and effective.
Judy M. in NY

Her Doctor Approves

I highly recommend an over-the-counter product called Plus White® (five minute whitening gel). It is a gel in a tube that is applied with a cotton swab and left on for several minutes. A scant amount every day will make a huge difference. I follow up with a rinse of diluted peroxide. My dentist tells me that my teeth are professionally white. She told me to continue with whatever I am doing. This costs mere pennies each year.

Affordable dental care at

A Lesson in Color Choices

While I have not tried the home whitening kits, I do have a tip (learned in art school) for making your teeth look less yellow. The trick is in choosing lipsticks that lean more toward orange than they do purple. Even a very slight difference in color can affect the perception of the colors next to it. Something with a yellowish tint will be exaggerated when there's no yellow nearby, and the appearance of yellow will be diminished when there is yellow nearby.

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