New Year, New You: What Method of Teeth Whitening Should You Choose?

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Looking for a new smile for the new year? There are a number of ways to whiten teeth, but which one is the best? With so many options to sort through it can be difficult, even overwhelming, to figure out which method is right for you.

It helps to have a basic understanding of what each method entails- the benefits and drawbacks.  Here’s an overview
of the four most popular strategies out there to help you figure out which method will be the best fit for you:

 What Method of Teeth Whitening Should You Choose?

Natural remedies 

Using mashed strawberries, lemon juice, and orange peels are natural methods that have been proven to work. However, you have to be careful when using them because of their high acidic levels. 

Having said that, they are much safer than many of the store bought products seen today. In addition, there are a number of herbal store bought products you can use, too.  Consult your dentist and ask their opinion on natural remedies and check with your pharmacist, too, for product information and ideas. 

Over-the-counter products  

Gels, toothpaste and strips are some of the more popular products on the market. Most of them use an abrasive ingredient which helps eliminate the stains. Many of them are quite effective.

Just be wary of the side effects. Some people find their teeth are incredibly sensitive after using home bleaching products. Others experience pain or chemical burns.  There’s also a risk of damaging tooth enamel.  Basically, it pays to research the product thoroughly and seek the advice of your dentist before using over-the-counter products.

Laser treatment 

You can get an in office procured done. This is the fastest, albeit most expensive method. It’s relatively pain free, and only takes about sixty minutes. Unlike the store bought products, it produces results almost instantly. Like the store bought products, however, it can bring about negative side effects and may not have lasting effects, leading to additional or on-going treatments. 

Holistic approach

This method is becoming more popular as more and more people are becoming dissatisfied with the store bought products. It’s not that over the counter products don’t work. Many just don’t like the negative side effects they produce, and their expensive price. 

So what’s the solution?

It is making better lifestyle choices. For instance, eating healthier and changing drinking habits has proven to be quite effective for many people. Also, eliminating certain drinks like tea and wine and foods like blueberries and soy sauce has proven very effective. WebMD has a handy list of foods and drinks that stain teeth, along with some suggestions of substitutes at

Also, try using toothpaste without fluoride. Many have found that this has helped their teeth regain their natural white color. 

And drink purified water without the fluoride. Fluoride is a known enemy when it comes to whitening your teeth. You could eliminate it altogether and be none of the worse for it, despite what many people have been led to believe.  

The bottom line is, on the whole over-the-counter products may be a last resort choice. They do work on occasion, but their negative side effects and price more than make up for the benefits they produce. Try making lifestyle changes first and talking to your dentist about the best natural options, and you should see long-lasting results soon! 

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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