Method 1Using Commercially-Available Whiteners
- Brush with a whitening toothpaste. Purchase a whitening toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Brush with the product at least twice daily for at least one month to see results.
- Buy a product with at least 3.5% hydrogen peroxide, which is the standard amount. Be aware that the more hydrogen peroxide in a product, the likely it is to make your teeth sensitive.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with the toothpaste. It can take four to six weeks to notice results.
- Recognize that toothpastes only remove surface stains from activities like drinking or smoking.
- Consider using another peroxide product in addition to a toothpaste to get deeper stains and have better results.
- Look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance to minimize the risk of using an unsafe product.
- Place gel-filled trays on your teeth. There is some evidence that gel-filled trays with a 3% hydrogen peroxide gel can significantly whiten teeth. Buy an over-the-counter gel tray or have your dentist prescribe one.
- Buy either pre-filled trays or trays you fill with a product at your local pharmacy. Be aware that these products will fit most mouths and are not molded to your own teeth.
- Ask your dentist to mold a tray to your mouth and give you a higher concentration peroxide solution for more optimal results.
- Leave the tray in your mouth for the time suggested on the packaging. Most trays require application for 30 minutes three times a day for two weeks.
- Discontinue use if you experience serious sensitivity, though most will stop after the treatment. Talk to you dentist about whether or not you should continue use.
- Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to reduce the risk of getting an unsafe product.
- Apply whitening strips. Whitening strips are similar to trays but are more flexible and come with the peroxide solution already on the product. Apply whitening strips to your teeth if you want a pre-filled treatment that is flexible and doesn’t necessarily touch your gums, which can be sensitive to peroxide.
- Recognize that strips are just as safe as trays and provide better results than just brushing.
- Consider using strips if you’ve had gum sensitivity with trays. Simply place the strips below your gum line.
- Buy whitening strips based on how much you want to whiten your teeth or mouth sensitivity. There are many different products available that offer results such as quicker and deeper whitening or strips for sensitive teeth.
- Follow all of the packaging directions and discontinue use if you have serious sensitivity.
- Check for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help ensure you are getting a safe product.
- Use a brush-on gel. Some companies offer hydrogen peroxide whiteners that you can brush or paint on your teeth. These products come in different forms such as a pen or bottle of solution with brush.
- Compare different formats and see which one works best for your needs. For example, you might find it easier to use a pen-like applicator than one that is a brush and bottle of solution.
- Apply the product before bedtime for two weeks.
- Follow the package instructions and discontinue use if your teeth and/ or gums are very sensitive.
- Consider a professional bleaching treatment. Dentists offer professionally applied hydrogen peroxide treatments used in conjunction with light or laser. Consider this option if you have very stained teeth or if you prefer to whiten with peroxide under a doctor’s supervision.
- Be aware that dentists will use a hydrogen peroxide solution in the concentration of 25–40%, which is not available over-the-counter.
- Consider this option if you have sensitive gums — inform your dentist that you have sensitive teeth or gums. Your dentist will protect your gums with a rubber dam or gel before the procedure.
- Ask your dentist if this is the best option for you. It can be expensive and insurance may not cover the treatment.