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 A smile is naturally infectious. As joy sweeps across a person’s face it is likely to spread onto the face of others. But a smile donned by beautifully white teeth stands out even more. Wearing a bright smile builds confidence, and confidence only adds to joy. 
So, how can you achieve the white smile you desire while promoting good oral health? And how can you maintain lasting results? Read on to find out!

What Causes Discoloration?


Before making decisions on how to best whiten your teeth, it is important to understand the cause of your discoloration. 
You may be blaming the mug of coffee or tea you drink every morning for stains and discoloration and, if so, you are right. The American Dental Hygienists Association suggests that most stains are caused by age, tobacco, coffee, or tea. 
So how can you prevent staining without foregoing that ever-so-essential morning cup? 
Rather than simply drinking your daily dose through a straw, you can help prevent staining by using an everyday whitening toothpaste.
We recommend a gently balanced toothpaste that removes stains and has invigorating flavor. Twice’s Science + Wellness Whitening toothpaste helps combat staining from food and drinks early-on, and refreshes your mouth with cooling wintergreen and peppermint. Plus, its anticavity and sensitivity relief effects are an added bonus!
If you are struggling with major or imbalanced tooth discoloration, it’s important to note that reasons for discoloration can go beyond everyday staining, like root damage and side effects of taking certain antibiotics and medications. These types of stains exist below the enamel and are known as intrinsic stains. 
If you think any of these issues may be causing your whitening woes, speak to your dentist for corrective options. Otherwise, hang with us for the best options for whitening your teeth!
How Much Whiter Can Teeth Get? 
This is a great question and one likely on the minds of everyone seeking to get a whiter smile. 
Like working out or getting a sunkissed glow, consistency is important. Muscles grow as you use them daily. Skin darkens overtime with a safe and healthy amount of sun exposure. And those who find the right whitening routing and stick to it are more likely to see the results they desire over time. 
Popular Whitening Options
Feel like it’s too late to prevent staining and ready to whiten? Before you schedule that bleaching session or start your own treatment plan, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. For starters, safety issues have been raised regarding the effects of bleaching on the tooth structure, pulp tissues, and the mucosal tissues of the mouth, as well as systemic ingestion.
With this in mind, here are a few popular options as well as a few things you should know:
In-Office Bleaching 
Also known as chairside bleaching, this treatment often requires an appointment with a dental professional. In addition to scheduling, these treatments must be paired with protection for the tissue surrounding your teeth, such as a protective gel or rubber gum shield. The reason for the protective precautions is the gum damage that may occur from the harsh whitening agents used to perform this kind of treatment.
Average Cost: $300-650 per visit

Take-Home Bleach 

If you don’t have the time or money to undergo an in-office whitening session, you may be offered a take-home bleaching treatment. At an often lower cost than the chairside bleaching, this treatment provides a similar whitening solution for use with dental trays over a few days or weeks, as directed by a dental professional.
This route takes longer to whiten than the previous, and while it is more cost efficient, it poses the same risks to gum and enamel integrity.
Average Cost: $200-$400 per kit

Over-the-Counter Home Kits 

Do you love a good DIY project? You are not alone, and so a trip to the store will likely yield an army of whitening products waiting on shelves for consumers, promising a sparkling outcome. Some of these products include rapid whitening strips, light-activated gel kits, and overnight trays. 
Though these at-home products may give you the aesthetic changes you are looking for, many contain the same harsh whitening agents provided by in-office and take-home treatments, but without the needed gum protection. 
Before going this route, note that one common side effect of these options is tooth sensitivity, which makes your teeth susceptible to pain when eating foods of certain temperatures or higher acidity. This sensation generally only lasts a few days after each whitening treatment, but if maintained, may require treatment by a dental professional. 
Average Cost: $20-$70 per package

Brushing with Baking Soda 

This whitening technique has been used for many years by those looking to whiten naturally, without the use of chemicals. Brushing with baking soda is a simple process of combining water and baking soda and brushing as usual. Baking soda is easy and cost-effective to purchase, though the downfall here is that there is yet to be scientific evidence supporting claims that the use of baking soda and water to brush actually improves the color of teeth.
Average Cost: This option is one of the least expensive at less than $1 for a box!

Whitening Toothpaste

Unlike the bleach-based products above, a whitening toothpaste may improve your smile while taking a more gentle and steady approach, without the risk. On the contrary, a good toothpaste will not only improve the brightness of your smile, but also strengthen your enamel and protect against cavities, all while keeping your wallet intact. A daily whitening toothpaste brings the peace of mind that baking soda users enjoy, while providing more hygienic benefits.
You may not see the immediate or drastic whitening effects achieved by bleach, but you will notice improvement over time, while also skipping out on the damage and risks of these other options.
Average Cost: $7 per box
Damaging your teeth for the sake of a brighter smile doesn’t sound ideal. So before you reach for the bleach or head to bed with a tray in your mouth, we suggest ending your day with a safer whitening option like Science + Wellness  whitening toothpaste from Twice. In addition to brightening your teeth, this protective toothpaste is an anticavity formula, and also calms you with the taste of peppermint, smooth vanilla, and a touch of lavender. We trust you will sleep better without the bleach tray, knowing your teeth are becoming brighter and healthier each day with use!
How Long Will Results Last?  
The length of your whitening results may vary, depending on the type of whitening you have chosen, but the overall best way to ensure whiter teeth is by keeping your tooth enamel healthy and strong. Of the more invasive options we’ve discussed, professional whitening boasts the longest results, lasting a year or beyond, while its at-home companions need to be done a minimum of once or twice a year.
These results may sound tempting, but remember that the use of bleach and peroxide for whitening can wear down your tooth enamel and expose the darker dentin layer hiding underneath. This means the more frequently you undergo treatments containing high bleach amounts or abrasion, the greater the risk to both your oral health and the brightness of your teeth. 
So, while you might be pleased with a few years of whiter-looking teeth, you may be stuck with a bigger dental issue in the future. 
Conversely, building a ritual of using a safe whitening toothpaste will help keep your enamel remaining healthy and bright for the long-haul. 
Keep in mind that intrinsic stains are caused by underlying issues, which will not likely be affected with the treatments above. These types of discoloration will require treatment by a professional. 
Get More From Your Whitening
As you grow more informed on the benefits, risks, and results of various whitening options, there may be more to consider. In addition to showing off an exceptional smile, the right whitening plan can help you feel exceptional, as well!
Yes, a radiant smile can certainly gain notice from those around you, which feels great, but using Twice to whiten and take care of your teeth allows you to take that feeling one step further. Beyond simply providing you with an outstanding toothpaste, we’re delivering smiles with each purchase by helping provide dentistry to communities in need. Check out our website to read our story, and try out two mini tubes of our responsibly made, completely vegan toothpaste for only $5

Hopefully you now feel equipped with all the knowledge necessary to not only get the radiant teeth everyone desires, but to also be able to partner in helping those in need!