2020 is finally over! What are your resolutions for 2021? Are you trying to get fit or save more money? Many folks like to use this time of year to start new habits that vastly improve their health, and dental care definitely should be a part of that plan. If you’re striving to get rid of your yellow and stained teeth in favor of a whiter smile, then you aren’t alone! There are a vast number of whitening trends creating quite a buzz online lately. Which ones are most effective? Let’s take a look!
Can you imagine swishing oil around in your mouth for several minutes every day? It may sound gross, but fans of this ancient ayurvedic practice swear by its many health benefits. They claim that the viscosity of oil helps to pull harmful bacteria out of your gums, which in turn leads to better breath, fewer cavities, improved overall mouth health, and may even make those pearly whites brighter! But does it work—or is it just an old wives tale? Many dentists aren’t truly convinced of oil pulling efficacy, while others assert it can certainly reduce inflammation in the gums but may not be as effective at removing stains. It seems the jury is still out on this popular trend!
Are you interested in giving it a shot? It’s super simple (and cheap!) to add this practice into your daily routine. While ayurvedic experts recommend swishing a high-quality oil (like sesame or coconut) in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, most modern dentists who approve of this technique say you only need about 5 to reap the benefits. Start by brushing and flossing your teeth like usual, then add a teaspoon of oil to your mouth and swirl it around before spitting it out and rinsing with water. Be sure to dispose of your mouthful in a garbage can—if you rely on toilets or sinks, the oil could wreak havoc on your plumbing system!
This delicate, black powder comes from various ground organic matter—like coconut shells, olive pits, wood, or peat moss—that scientists oxidize with extreme heat exposure. The porous nature of activated charcoal is ideal for adsorbing toxins and other nefarious substances, which is why ER doctors often rely on it for treating accidental poison ingestion. Notice we said adsorbing and not absorbing. What’s the difference? The latter is when a material draws other substances into it (like water into a sponge), and the former is when molecules adhere to the surface of a compound (like paint sticking to a wall). This process means activated charcoal can attract stain and odor-causing bacteria in the mouth and transport it out of the body. It’s also a mild abrasive agent, which helps scrub clean yellow teeth to reveal a white smile! So how can we use it?
These days there are tons of products on the market that utilize activated charcoal! From face masks to body scrubs and beyond, this powder has even made its’ way into the dental world in the form of treated toothbrushes, paste, and even whitening powders. Meaning, using activated charcoal is as easy as brushing your teeth!
People have been using sodium bicarbonate for generations to clean their teeth—how do you think Arm & Hammer Toothpaste came to be? Before the industrial revolution made everything a commodity you buy at a store, folks were mixing up baking soda with water to help whiten and clean their mouths, as well as nix bad breath that was always getting in the way of making new friends. It works a lot like activated charcoal in the sense that it’s a mild abrasive which scrapes plaque, tartar, and other dental problem causers off the surface of your teeth. Simply create a paste, like your grandma probably did, and use it in place of that minty tube you keep in your bathroom. But be cautious and limit your baking soda usage to a few times a week at most, or you run the risk of causing damage to your tooth enamel.
Have you ever used a tanning bed before? Whether or not you have, most can agree it’s pretty incredible that a few specific lightbulbs in an enclosed space can have the same effect as bright sun rays at the beach. If light can temporarily alter your skin’s pigmentation, can it also be used to whiten a smile? Some experts say yes! But how?
The science behind this futuristic whitening process is pretty simple! These LED lights help speed up the effects of various compounds (like hydrogen peroxide) to help patients see results quickly. Fans of this method claim it can lighten your smile by 6-8 shades in only one use! That’s pretty impressive, right? We think so.
There are multiple types of LED whitening kits. Some feature a small, handheld light you shine into your mouth after using an accompanying whitening agent, and others utilize a device with a mouthpiece that you apply a specific gel to before biting down on for a few seconds to minutes. Experts claim this method is gentler on gums and tooth enamel because it doesn’t rely on physical abrasiveness to get the job done.
Do you live a busy life? Most of us do—that’s why whitening strips have become increasingly popular over the years. And why wouldn’t that be the case? These easy-to-use strips wrap around your teeth and cling to them while delivering powerful whitening ingredients that help brighten your smile while you do other things. When you’re working from home, you can also be erasing years of stains. If you’re driving the kids to school, you can perform double duty and make your smile glow. Do you need to squeeze in both a workout and a whitening treatment? Now you can multitask.
Some mainstream brands of strips have earned a reputation for creating discomfort in people with sensitive teeth and gums. This unwanted side effect is primarily due to the myriad of chemicals with which these large companies impregnate their strips. Like us here at Zimba, other brands on the market prioritize natural ingredients that produce similar effects without any irritation or damage. You can even subscribe to ensure your pearly whites stay, well, pearly white!
No, we’re not talking about an ink-filled Bic you use to take notes in class—we mean pens filled with whitening or desensitizing gels you brush onto your teeth and leave for a few minutes to achieve a desired effect. What makes this trend so popular? The extreme portability, of course! You can whiten literally anywhere when you toss a pen into your purse or backpack before heading out for the day.
These pens are super simple to use, too! Many brands employ a design with a twist-up function that squeezes the gel into a brush for easy application. Just find a mirror, prime your pen, brush it on, and whiten! It really is that simple—which is why pens are a popular trend most likely here to stay in a fast-paced world always on-the-go.
As you can see, there are quite a few trending whitening treatments on the market for 2021 if you’re seeking to create a brighter, whiter, glowing smile this year. Fortunately, most of these options are available right here at Zimba—and they’re super affordable, too! That means if your New Year’s Resolution includes building confidence or dazzling people with your smile, then the solution is within reach! What’s your favorite method?