One need only to take notice of the filled to capacity shelves stocked with 30 different kinds of toothpaste to understand there is a market for teeth whitening aids. As our populace ages, Proctor and Colgate and even Tom’s of Maine have gotten the memo and are spreading the message – no one wants to kiss someone with yellow teeth. We have a friend who can’t share a meal with anyone with yellowing teeth and another who won’t go on a blind date until someone can assure her the date practices good dental hygiene.
Tooth enamel normally thins with age, so dentin—the hard tissue under the enamel, which can be gray, brown, or blue in tone—may begin to show through. A long-ago tooth injury or early use of tetracycline can also contribute to the darkening of teeth and no amount of teeth whitening, in or out of the dental chair, can wholly eliminate this damage, but routine cleaning and the now improved home-whitening protocols can really change the color of our teeth, even if we enjoy a daily dose of espresso and cabernet.
Getting your teeth several shades lighter and then maintaining that level of white can be achieved in your dentist’s chair and nowadays, almost as effectively in your easy chair. Hello Netflix binge because an hour a day for five consecutive days will get your teeth really white. Our recent Glo Science experience showed results after even one day and without the usual symptom of tooth sensitivity.
Lori Golden, a practicing dental hygienist in the Riverdale, NY office of Dr. Susan Siegel for 43 years, knows a thing or three about dental health. We spoke to “Nurse” Lori about the best whitening treatments and her response is hopeful. “The most effective and easiest to use at-home treatment is the Glo Science Teeth Whitening Kit, the initial cost is a bit high but the results are terrific and far better and faster than those older custom trays .” The science of Glo Science combines the usual hit of a brightening light with heat and it seems to pack a punch without that awful post-treatment sensitivity. Glo Science treatment is offered as a “one and done” stronger treatment in your Dentist’s office or you can buy the less costly, at-home ,kit to use five days in a row. Either way you choose, the results are terrific, with the most dramatic whitening taking place in the dental chair.
Golden’s next tooth-pick (sic) is Venus Ultra White because these disposable whitening trays cling nicely to the teeth, but Golden counsels, “to see real results, you must use this for seven consecutive days and you must use a straw for drinking coffee and colas and no red wine during treatment.” If like us, you don’t have a lot of patience, try the super quick Crest Whitestrips Express. You will see the greatest lightening effect from these sticky gels on teeth that have just been cleaned, so consider taking on the job after you’ve had a thorough professional cleaning– something everyone should do at least twice a year.
“There isn’t anything wrong with brushing your teeth the old fashioned way as long as you take the time to brush each tooth and you are careful not to erode your gums,” Golden says in her firm but emphatic nurse voice “remember you are not scrubbing the kitchen floor – these are your teeth!” The newer electric toothbrushes now have integrated timers to police you at the sink and they do claim to employ 31,000 brush strokes per minute, which helps with plaque removal between teeth and along the gum line. Our toothy fairy, (aka hygienist) likes the pink electric one by Sonicare and it comes with a great traveling case.
QUIP makes the lightest, slimmest, most packable and affordable brush on the market. You can also subscribe and avoid using the same worn out brush head. A new toothbrush is less than a large latte. So why resist replacing it often? This set of chic all black brushes by Marvis might also help .
If you haven’t yet tried, activated charcoal powder , you might want to. No amount of any kind of toothpaste will whiten your teeth but they can treat surface stains. The entertainment factor of black charcoal is high but so is the clean mouth feeling you get after turning your sink into a black foamy mess. We also love this new exotically flavored Opiate Dentaire paste. It is orange, ginger and clove and tastes like a craft cocktail before bed!
”We want to keep teeth clean and gums tight and healthy,” says Golden, which sounds a lot like other areas of our bodies. Our very own tooth whisperer also says “no one wants to kiss a person with ugly teeth.” She might be working with a more critical and professional eye, but she’s probably right.
All of our recommendations are curated by Susan & the In The Groove editorial team. In some, but not all cases, we receive a small commission for leading you to what, how and where to buy all this wonderful stuff.