How to Whiten Teeth

Seven Methods:Whitening toothpasteWhitening traysWhitening stripsWhitening pensWhiten Your Teeth at the Dentist's OfficeWhiten Naturally/Home RemediesKeep Your Teeth White After Treatment

Teeth become less white over time as the mineral structure of your teeth changes and as your enamel becomes more porous. Teeth can also become discolored by smoking, coffee, red wine and even fluoride from tap water. If you're feeling self-conscious about your teeth, you can use a variety of methods to whiten teeth including whitening toothpaste, trays, strips and pens. If none of these methods work, then you can have your teeth whitened at the dentist's office.

Method 1
Whitening toothpaste

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    Use whitening toothpaste if you're on a tight budget. A tube of whitening toothpaste typically costs less than US$10 at the drugstore or local supermarket.
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    Look for a toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. ADA-approved whitening toothpastes use abrasive particles to polish teeth along with chemicals that bind to stains and remove them. Studies have proven that these toothpastes are no harder on your enamel than other toothpastes.[1]
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    Look for an ingredient called blue covarine in your whitening toothpaste. Blue covarine binds to your teeth and creates an optical illusion that makes them appear less yellow.
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    Brush twice per day. You should see some results within 2 to 4 weeks. For increased effectiveness, follow up with whitening mouthwash.[2]

Method 2
Whitening trays

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    Choose a kit that fits your budget.
    • You can get store-bought kits for $20 to $50 at your drugstore or supermarket. Store-bought kits contain 1-size-fits-all trays that you adjust to mold to your teeth.
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    • Kits from your dentist's office may cost about $300. Your dentist will create trays that are created from custom molds of your teeth.
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    Brush and floss your teeth. Check to see that your trays are free of moisture.
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    Squeeze a teardrop-sized amount of peroxide gel into the whitening tray. Excess gel in the tray may squeeze out into your mouth and irritate your stomach if you swallow it.
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    Insert the trays. If gel squishes out onto your gums, wipe it off with a paper towel.
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    Wear the trays based on the type of gel you are using.

    • For carbamide peroxide gel:
      • 10, 15 or 16 percent gel can be worn for 2 to 4 hours twice per day. If you experience no sensitivity, you can wear it overnight.
      • 20 to 22 percent gel can be worn 30 minutes to 1 hour twice per day. Avoid wearing a strong carbamide peroxide gel overnight.
    • For hydrogen peroxide gel, use the trays for 30 minutes to 1 hour, twice per day.
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    Remove the trays and brush your teeth again. If you're having some problems with sensitivity, use toothpaste that is specially designed for sensitive teeth or use a sensitivity gel.
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    Clean your trays with a cotton swab and some cold running water. Store the trays in their holders so that they can air dry. Then, store your remaining gel in a cool, dry place.
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    Wait for results. You'll see your teeth start to look whiter in 1 to 2 weeks.

Method 3
Whitening strips

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    Brush your teeth and floss them. Flossing ensures that the gel whitens between your teeth.
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    Remove the whitening strips from the package. You'll probably pay $35 for whitening strips at a drugstore or supermarket.
    • The strips are made of polyethylene, and peroxide gel adheres to the plastic.
    • You'll see 2 strips: 1 for your upper teeth and 1 for your lower teeth.
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    Double-check the ingredients. Avoid whitening strips that contain chlorine dioxide. This chemical, which is the same chemical used to sterilize swimming pools, can cause significant damage to your enamel.
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    Apply the strips to your teeth. Follow the directions on the package, but most strips can be used for 30 minutes twice per day. Some strips dissolve on contact with saliva and will disappear. Others, you will have to remove and discard.
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    Rinse your mouth to remove any of the remaining gel.
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    Watch for results. You should notice a difference after about 14 days.[3]

Method 4
Whitening pens

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    Brush your teeth and floss them thoroughly. You should have picked up your whitening pen at the drugstore, and it probably cost about $20 to $30.
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    Open the cap of your whitening pen. Give your whitening pen a counterclockwise twist to release some gel.
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    Stand in front of a mirror and smile widely. Use the pen tip to paint the gel onto your teeth.
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    Keep your mouth open for about 30 seconds to allow the gel to cure. Avoid eating or drinking anything for about 30 to 45 minutes.
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    Repeat the process up to 3 times per day. You should see a noticeable difference after about 2 to 4 weeks. Although pens do not effectively whiten between teeth, they will kill mouth bacteria and freshen your breath.

Method 5
Whiten Your Teeth at the Dentist's Office

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    Have your teeth bleached professionally. Your dentist will place a rubber guard or protective gel on your gums to protect them from irritation. Then, the dentist will put peroxide gel into a custom-molded tray and place the tray on your teeth.
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    Whiten teeth with laser whitening. Your dentist will put a rubber shield over your gums, apply a bleaching gel to your teeth and place you under a laser or a bright light. The light activates the chemical in the gel and whitens your teeth more quickly than bleaching alone.
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    Follow up at home. Dentists usually recommend that you place a whitening product on your teeth while you are at home, so make sure that you follow your dentist's instructions to get the best results. Dental whitening treatments are expensive, but they can last up to 3 years.[4]

Method 6
Whiten Naturally/Home Remedies

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    Use Hydrogen Peroxide as a rinse before you brush, using an enamel protecting toothpaste afterward is a good idea due to the abrasiveness of hydrogen peroxide, but after a month you will see amazing whitening results.
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    Use Baking Soda as a before toothpaste brushing, it works great as a stain remover if you were originally a coffee or tea drinker or a smoker. Remember to rinse with water after brushing with it and to brush gently as rough brushing can harm gums and rip the enamel off your teeth.
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    Use Lemon or Lime Juice with your toothpaste or Baking Soda, it is recommended to use an enamel protecting toothpaste afterward due to Lemon or Lime juice's acidity.
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    Eat a lot of Strawberries, because who wouldn't want to see great whitening results after putting strawberries in their diet.
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    Mix things up, like mixing Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide, or Baking Soda and Lemon Juice.

Method 7
Keep Your Teeth White After Treatment

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    Alter your diet and lifestyle. Avoid tobacco products, and either cut out liquids like coffee, black tea, grape juice, red wine or drink them through a straw. Curry can also stain your teeth, so eat it judiciously.
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    Brush your teeth after every meal. Also, brush your teeth after you drink a beverage that can darken your teeth. Maintain your whitened teeth by using whitening toothpaste and whitening mouthwash.
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    Have a professional dental cleaning every 6 months. A professional cleaning will help you to keep your teeth white as well as preventing many common dental problems.


  • Do not use lemon juice to clean your teeth. It wears down the enamel on your teeth.
  • Use baking soda, pour some on your toothbrush and a little water. The chemicals will help kill the bacteria and stains on your teeth.
  • Brush at least twice a day. Avoid using too much toothpaste, because it may cause the loss of enamel. You can use Neem sticks or other organic products to whiten your teeth. Use daily for best results.
  • Don't eat foods with a lot of acid in it because it wears away the enamel.
  • Remember to be patient. The results may take time, but it's all worth it!
  • At-home whitening won't change the colors of crowns or veneers.
  • Peroxide may cause any open sores or cuts in your mouth to sting. While this sensation may be painful, it isn't harmful.
  • Consult your dentist before starting any potentially harming whitening. Sometimes the ingredients in your whitener can wear down the enamel on your teeth.
  • Peroxide whitening gel has a shelf life of 1 to 2 years. If you store it in the refrigerator, it may last longer.
  • If any of the risks of these techniques scares you, stay away from them! Having your teeth white isn't worth the worry.
  • Try brushing with baking soda for a week.
  • Your favorite group-buying and daily deal websites will often have great bargains on teeth whitening products and kits. You should also compare prices between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers.
  • If you're making your own solution, remember to only use that 2-3 days a week depending on how much peroxide you put in it. (Lemon juice, etc.) it's very strong and can irritate your gums and teeth if used too many times.
  • Too much brushing can be just as problematic as not brushing enough, so don't brush your teeth more than 3 times a day, at most. It can cause bleeding gums, and it may gradually break down the enamel on your teeth. Try to stick with brushing after every meal.
  • Make sure to use a whitening mouthwash after brushing, but before flossing your teeth.
  • When you go to the dentist's office, try to bargain for a lower price.
  • While brushing sprinkle few drop of lemon on your brush.
  • Eating apples might help clean your teeth.


  • If your gums look swollen or hurt after a whitening treatment, stop immediately. If limiting the frequency or duration of at-home teeth whitening treatments still results in irritation, stop using them and consult your dentist immediately. You can rub petroleum jelly on your gums to prevent irritation from peroxide whitening gel.
  • Use your teeth whitening solution in consultation with your dentist, and don't overdo it. Sadly, "bleach addicts" may develop translucent, bluish edges on their teeth, and the changes are irreversible.
  • Many people who choose teeth whitening treatments experience sensitivity. Brush your teeth with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth or use your whitening solution less frequently and for a shorter period of time.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a whitening solution. Baking soda actually removes the enamel, which exposes the teeth directly to bacteria and other undesirables.

Things You'll Need

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Whitening mouthwash
  • Dental floss
  • Whitening trays and peroxide gel
  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening pens

Article Info

Categories: Cleaning Teeth