15 Ways to Get Perfect White Teeth | The Secret to White Teeth

15 Ways to Get Perfect White Teeth | The Secret to White Teeth

 Whitney DiFoggio MA, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio MA, RDH🔬 Evidence Based

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15 Ways to Get Perfect White Teeth | The Secret to White Teeth

Everyone wants to know how to get white teeth as quickly as possible and with the brightest results. With so many teeth whitening methods and products available on the market, choosing the right way to whiten your teeth can be a little overwhelming. And if you choose the wrong one, it can also be. expensive.

Understanding the ins and outs of teeth whitening treatment options (and how to use them properly) will help you get the whitest teeth possible in the least amount of time. And in the most affordable manner, to boot.

From whitening pens and strips to trays and lasers, how to get white teeth will differ from one person to the next. But having a healthy understanding of tooth stain and what makes teeth white can help you see the best results from your investment.

The Secret To White Teeth 

Attractive, white teeth are something that almost everyone wants. Especially now that most of us have access to preventative dental care and are keeping our teeth for our entire adult life. Today, teeth whitening is a 6 billion dollar industry worldwide, with manufacturers producing a wide assortment of products that can be bought over the counter or even online.

The problem is that most people whiten for the wrong reasons, or do so improperly. If your mouth isn’t healthy and clean, or ready, you’re simply throwing money away by trying to whiten your teeth. You could literally waste hundreds of dollars a year on over-the-counter products and barely see a difference if you’re not caring for your smile properly.

How to get white teeth should usually start with a trip to your dentist. If you read the label on any whitening system, it will usually say something like only use it under the supervision of your dentist or to “speak to a dentist” before you whiten your teeth. Your dentist is KEY to an efficient and successful outcome.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

First off, how to get white teeth starts with understanding what makes your teeth yellow or dark.

Everyone’s teeth are different. But we all have a layer of tooth structure under our enamel that’s called “dentin.” Dentin is naturally yellow and can shine through semi-translucent enamel. So, if you have darker dentin than someone else, your teeth will be darker looking too.

And then there’s discoloration from things like stain and tartar buildup. If we don’t clean our teeth well or eat/drink a lot of things that soak into the tiny pores in our tooth enamel, it will cause stain buildup. Some of the worst offenders are things like coffee, tea, red wine, berries, curry, tomato sauces, and anything that would stain a white t-shirt.

If you’re not great about brushing and flossing or haven’t had a professional cleaning in years, then no amount of teeth whitening gel is going to penetrate your tartar buildup. You need to plan a professional cleaning ASAP.

9 Ways To Quickly Whiten Teeth

1. Regular Dental Cleanings

It’s best to whiten your teeth right after a dental cleaning so that your hygienist can remove the tartar buildup that’s in the way (and quickly polish off surface stains.)

2. Whitening Pens

On-the-go whitening pens are good for localized spot touch-ups. You can keep them in your desk or purse. The contact time is limited, but they help with areas that might get skipped over by delivering a concentrated amount of hydrogen peroxide to your teeth. Especially if you have a couple of crooked/crowded teeth that tend to get isolated staining. 

3. Develop A Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Keeping your teeth clean is essential to a whiter smile. Without great brushing and flossing, tartar buildup will cause brown, green, or yellow staining on your teeth. Once it’s there, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it.

4. Professional Teeth Whitening  

Professional teeth whitening is best way for teeth whitening, but it can be costly. Routine dental cleanings and a surface polish remove the buildup and external stains that accumulated since your last six-month checkup. Store your leftover hydrogen peroxide gel in the refrigerator when you’re not using it, and it can last for months. Keep your trays on hand to touch up for a few sessions after each of your dental cleanings.

5. Custom Whitening Gel Tray

Professional take-home whitening kits offer maximum contact time for even, bright results across your entire smile. Plus, they’re more cost-effective than purchasing (and re-purchasing) over-the-counter kits every few months. The hydrogen peroxide or gel will be stronger and more concentrated than anything you can buy from a commercial retailer. 

There are many different ways to whiten , here is the best teeth whitening system I recommend all the time. 


6. Use Whitening Toothpaste

So, whitening toothpaste doesn’t really get your teeth whiter, but it does help you prevent new stain accumulation between bleaching sessions. For best results, use it after your dental cleaning and whitening sessions to help maintain results. As a side note, whitening toothpaste is a major cause of sensitive teeth, so consider alternating it with a sensitivity toothpaste. They even make whitening toothpastes for sensitivity. 

7. Use An Electric Toothbrush

Electric brushes just clean your teeth better, because you’re getting hundreds to thousands of more bristle strokes than with a manual brush. That means less buildup and fewer stains across your smile. Some models even have built-in whitening modes to help reduce surface stains.

8. Whitening Strips

Products like Crest Whitening Strips or Burst Whitening Strips are convenient and affordable. Plus, they work when used as directed. Just make sure you form them around your teeth as closely as possible.

9. Baking Soda Toothpaste

Making a baking soda paste for whitening teeth is not my thing, but using baking soda toothpaste in your oral hygiene routine can help with buildup and to remove surface stains. Consider using it 1-2 times a week.  

Warning: Blogs online recommend mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide as a daily toothpaste for whiter teeth. I wouldn't mess with tooth enamel.  

6 Natural Teeth Whitening Options 

1. Brush Your Tongue  

About 90% of bad breath bacteria, along with plenty of food debris, hang out on your tongue. Cleaning your tongue reduces stain particles in your mouth. While most people use a toothbrush, I highly recommend a tongue scraper! As long as you’re cleaning your tongue twice a day, that’s the key.

2. Cut Sugar

Sugar (and processed carbs) feed bacteria, quickly allowing plaque buildup to multiply, making your teeth even dirtier than before.

3. Quit Smoking And Vaping

NOW is the time to put together a cessation plan. Tobacco products and vaping pull stains straight into your mouth, coating your smile over time. Most of those stains are going to be on your front teeth, making it an even bigger issue.

4. Try Oil Pulling

Listen, I’m not a big fan of the oil-pulling bandwagon, but it’s not bad or dangerous for your teeth. It doesn’t hurt to try (at least if it doesn’t bother your TMJ swishing that long.)

5. Eat Natural Teeth-Whitening Foods

Fibrous fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, are naturally stimulating and “clean” your teeth while you’re chewing them. No, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush and floss, but it does mean less stain in your diet on an overall basis.

6. Ditch Coffee, Soda, And Wine

Teeth staining foods and drinks cause dark color in the tiny tubules (pores) across your enamel’s surface. The less you eat/drink them, the less stain you’ll have, and will naturally whiten your teeth. If you do want to indulge, drink through a straw!

Avoid These Teeth Whitening Methods 

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is abrasive. Any abrasive can scratch off surface stains, but it will also cause permanent physical damage to your tooth enamel.

Whitening Mouthwash

Some whitening mouthwash brands actually cause tooth stains in certain people. But even if they don’t, trying to whiten with a rinse isn’t going to be anywhere near as effective as a product that’s placed directly against your teeth.

Kaolin Clay

Found in skincare products, this ingredient is another micro-abrasive that, like charcoal, can create surface scratches in enamel. Over time, that could mean more staining, not whitening teeth.

Fruit Peels

Sites like Pinterest have loads of recommendations for DIY teeth whitening with fruits (such as strawberries, lemons, etc.) The bad news is that rubbing fruit or acidic fruit peels against your enamel will cause irreversible enamel erosion. And when the tooth enamel is thinner, more of the yellow dentin becomes visible. I'm not sure how this even became a teeth whitening method. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

A lot of people like to use apple cider vinegar for its holistic properties. But it’s acidic on teeth, which can lead to enamel erosion and permanent tooth damage if you’re rinsing with it regularly.

Quick Teeth Whitening Recap

Want to know how to get white teeth? Start with a trip to your dentist’s office, plan a cleaning, brush/floss your teeth, and ask which tooth whitening product is best for you and your oral healh. It might be that you just need to modify your diet or oral hygiene routine to achieve whiter teeth. But if you do need to whiten your teeth, your dentist can let you know which product (and what strength) will be best for your situation.

 Whitney DiFoggio MA, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio MA, RDH"Teeth Talk Girl," is a registered dental hygienist. She started her dental health journey on YouTube, educating the public through videos.
Last updated onOctober 26, 2023Here is our process

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