Beauty Buzz: Best products for whitening teeth?

Dear Andi,

What’s the best toothpaste to quickly and safely whiten teeth?

A: Let me review my morning schedule: wake up, wake three more little people up, dress self in fresh sweatpants, dress three more little people, put on kids shoes, put them on again because someone took them off for no reason, brush everyone’s hair and construct two perfect ponytails, redo my messy bun, spend 30 seconds brushing teeth and run for the door.

Nope, no room for a leisurely teeth whitening treatment while I apply my makeup and  catch up on correspondence (and this is a seriously Reader’s Digest version of what has to get done everyday).

But I do always squeeze in brushing my teeth, every single day, mostly so I don’t have to hear a super honest 5-year-old tell me my breath is stinky. Thanks, kid. And I spend more time before bed because brushing for two minutes straight and flossing is as close to a spa treatment as I’m getting anytime soon.

Alas, my teeth continue to yellow with age, especially compared to those brand new dazzlers of my little darlings.

For busy moms, I recommend  whitening toothpastes. They really do make a difference as a daily maintenance routine to brighten your smile and help keep them from continuing to yellow.

arm and hammerOne of the most popular and effective brands is Arm & Hammer Advanced Whitening Toothpaste. Although it does contain a small amount of peroxide, the baking soda is the magic ingredient.

If the idea of chemicals, like peroxide, concern you, Tom’s of Maine Clean Mint Simply White Toothpaste, is an effective, all-natural toothpaste that uses silica, an ingredient derived from sand, as a surface stain eraser. No worries, the paste is smooth, not gritty.

Some people are prone to sensitive teeth. This can be genetic or brought on by habit, but no matter how gentle your whitening toothpaste is, it may increase your sensitivity. Try Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste to not only whiten but protect your teeth against future enamel wear.

If you were wanting a drastic and immediate change, like say for upcoming holiday card photos, an at-home whitening treatment is the way to go, whereas toothpaste is better for maintenance and a gradual whitening.

The pricey kits and seemingly endless options can be a little daunting when you are in a rush at the store. But at-home teeth whitening has come a long way and is not as scary as when it first hit the market.

 As long as you follow the directions and times on the package, home whitening kits are very safe. On that note, SET A TIMER. Set two timers. Appoint a Time Captain to watch the clock for you. Do what you gotta do to remember to remove the solution at the right time. A prolonged treatment isn’t necessarily dangerous, but can cause sensitive gums and teeth for a couple of weeks.

And no one wants to end up like Ross in “The One With Ross’ Teeth”. And now I can’t stop laughing when I picture it.

ross white teeth

whitening traysAnyway, every six months or so, invest a little time and money and do a full whitening treatment. Aquafresh White Trays have a prefilled, flexible tray that is user friendly and particularly effective on stains between your teeth.

I, personally, cannot make myself use the trays even though they are supposed to be great. I must have PTSD from wearing braces or something but I fear them like my kids fear green vegetables.

Rembrandt Advanced Whitening Strips take a few more days but also have noticeable results in only a few days and are not slimy feeling like other brands of strips.

Now you should be able to post tons of awesome holiday selfies without having to use a questionable Instagram filter to disguise your not-quite-pearly whites. So long, Sepia!

Hello, #nofilter. (Did I do that right? Am I like the cool kids now?)

AndiHave a question for Andi Douglas, a mama of three who loves hair, make-up and researching fashion trends? Email her at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. She loves to review products and write about them in a way that always makes us smile.