White teeth are the unspoken element of a confident smile. However, most men feel they don’t have enough time or money to keep their bridgework whiter than milk, with the assumption being that along with a treatment costing in the hundreds of pounds, we'd also have to give up our favourite vices (coffee, tea, sweets). Not exactly the sacrifices most men are willing to make.
But this is 2016, and at-home teeth whitening products are all the rage, making a huge impact on our appearance without requiring too much effort. Be it advanced toothpastes or enamel polishers, there are enough options on the market to maintain your fangs. Though not all products are formulated to perfection – some contain potentially harmful chemicals that do more damage to your teeth than a pack of cigs. These are just some of the toxic ingredients to avoid:
- Diethanolamine: An organic compound that can lead to increased risk of liver and kidney cancers.
- Glycerin: When scrubbed onto teeth leaves residue and accelerates tooth decay.
- Hydrated Silica: A substance made from a crystallised compound found in quartz, sand and flint that damages tooth enamel.
- Microbeads: Little plastic beads used to remove plaque that can damage tooth enamel and gum tissue.
- Sodium Fluoride: An active ingredient for pest control that in large doses can interfere with calcium metabolism.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): Known to damage skin tissue and decrease the amount of alkali soluble fluoride deposited on dental enamel.
- Sorbitol: Sugar alcohol that can cause stomach issues and chronic diarrhea.
- Triscolan: An antibacterial chemical linked to a variety of health issues including breast, prostate and testicular cancer.
Granted, while teeth whitening may seem like a feat that should be left to movie star dentists, oral hygiene products have ramped up their game and treatments these days are easy and quick to use. Most importantly, they’re affordable to buy. We’ve dug up the creme de la creme of the at-home-teeth-whitening crop and lucky for us, the results won't take long to spot.
Oral-B Glide Pro Health Floss Picks
The most overlooked culprit of tooth decay is food. So to polish up your smile and remove guck from teeth, Oral-B created these uniquely designed floss sticks that easily squeeze through the nooks and crannies of your bridgework to remove tough plaque. It’s far more effective than basic floss string and stimulates gums to prevent gingivitis. Stack up on a 6-pack.
LAILA Remineralising Tooth and Gum Powder
Half teeth whitener, half oral detoxifier, this specialty powder is composed from all-natural ingredients including myrrh gum, organic clove and peppermint, cinnamon and ginger, to promote healthy dentures and gums. Substitute it for your current toothpaste to remove stains, while refreshing the mouth with soothing trails of peppermint. After you get used to brushing your teeth with this powder, which is handcrafted in the UK in small batches, you won't go back to Colgate.
Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster
Need a quick fix for super-tidy ivories? This powerful teeth-cleaning agent comes loaded with three times more whitening agent than your favourite whitening stripe. That means it’s capable of removing surface stains in a matter of two days by unleashing a burst of peroxide to bleach teeth. Apply it over your toothpaste and brush in normal fashion to achieve the most effective outcome.
Smart electric toothbrushes are the oral wave of the future. Philips’ newest model promises ten times more plaque removal and healthier gums courtesy of pressure sensors that determine where you’re brushing too little. The device serves as a digital dentist that sends data from the device to your smartphone via mobile app, bringing up a personalised 3D mouth map and promoting optimised teeth-scrubbing techniques. That’s brushing smarter.
Price Perfect Whitestrips
Many Amazon reviews of various teeth whitening products report slight burning sensations or heightened teeth and gum sensitivity after usage (gotta scrub that coffee off!). It's one of the not-so-fun prices to pay for teeth whitening, but it absolutely does not have to be. Price Perfect's Whitestrips are the best on the market.
Start Pure Peroxide-Free Teeth Whitening Pen
The active ingredients in nearly all teeth whiteners out there are chemical, peroxide being the most common one. Although effective, that peroxide is breaking down some of your body's natural barriers to do their job. For the natural (but still efficient enough to act in a week) option, try Start Pure's teeth whitening pen. It's hassle-free without any of the finicky trays, meaning you can apply it in your car mirror and be off for the day. Plus, it comes in different flavours, like melon and pomegranate.
Pearl Drops Tea & Coffee Stain Remover
When it comes to stains, I think we can all agree that most of us can blame ours on two culprits: Tea and coffee. (Fact: Tea is guiltier than coffee when it comes to staining teeth). Pearl Drops's special drops formula is made for those spots you won't be brushing off with your drugstore tooth brush any time soon.
Crest Glamorous White Multi-Care Whitening Rinse
Sometimes you don't really want to fuss around with extra regimens, but you still want whiter teeth – ya feel me? That's fine. Crest has got you covered with the most effective multi-functional mouthwashes out there, so you can stick with your routine and still have that bright smile.
Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste
Ditto with this one. The Opalescence was the top reviewed whitening toothpaste we could find. The brand also makes great whitening kits (trays, syringes and all), so it knows what it's doing. Pair it with Crest's above-mentioned mouthwash and you've just upped your whitening game without taking up more space in your medicine cabinet or more of your time.
Shine Whitening Kit
Getting into the more nitty gritty of teeth whitening products is Shine Whitening's whitening kit, which uses a mouthpiece with carbamide peroxide gel. As the kit's packaging explains, the product is powerful so once you start seeing results (which come quick!), you'll want to scale back your daily usage to every couple days or so, so as not to hurt your teeth and gums.
Plus White 5-Minute Speed Whitening System
Probably the most unlikely-looking of the best teeth whitening products out there, Plus White's 5-Minute System is one of the few recurring whiteners found in top online reviews. It even won TotalBeauty.com's 2014 Readers' Choice Award. Plus, the packaging (unlike other similar products) is self-explanatory and this has to be one of the cheapest systems out there. No fooling around. Whiter teeth. Five minutes. Period.
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