Your smile is one of the things that shapes your first impression, so we completely understand the desire to make sure it shines bright. We also understand that teeth whitening can be overwhelming. With so many options out there, how do you know where to start? And once you start, how do you know how often to continue your routine?
With so many different types of teeth whitening (with very different active ingredients) the truth is, these questions don’t have simple answers. On one hand, you have conventional peroxide-based teeth whitening products that are so harsh, your teeth and gums can feel sensitive after one single use. On the other hand, you have emerging PAP teeth whitening products that take a more natural approach, whitening and remineralizing without releasing any damaging free radicals in the process.
These two types of whitening have very different care instructions. And within each type, there are so many different modes and concentrations of each product! No wonder there’s so much confusion about how often you should whiten your teeth.
To clear up some confusion, we’re exploring some popular teeth whitening products and how often you should use them. We’re also diving into why these products have such specific guardrails around usage....an important thing to explore for products you might use several times throughout the year!
how often should you whiten your teeth with gel?
First, it’s important to discuss why there are so many guardrails around teeth whitening, especially with concentrated gels. The majority of teeth whitening gels are formulated with some mix of hydrogen peroxide and/or carbamide peroxide, chemical bleaching agents that release free radicals (damaging atoms) while they work. While these chemicals are very effective at removing stains, they’re also very harsh. If you’ve ever used them, you’re probably familiar with the sensitivity, burning, itching, redness, and even bleeding that often come with them.
In order to effectively whiten, the peroxide must penetrate your tooth’s surface and treat stains that exist in the dentin layer (the layer that contains tubules that lead to your tooth’s center nerve). This is why most people feel sensitivity when they whiten, even with perfectly healthy teeth. The burning, redness, and bleeding occur when the peroxide comes in contact with your tender gum tissue, which leads to even more pain and discomfort.
These are just a few reasons why teeth whitening with peroxides requires very specific instructions, and we’ve included some general rules of thumb below.
- at-home gel strips & molded trays: because these formulas are weaker than professional whitenings, many manufacturers will say you can use them for up to 14 consecutive days for 30+ minutes each time. However, if you feel tooth sensitivity, we recommend listening to your body and stopping when you receive signs of discomfort. With these at-home applications, it’s really important to make sure the gel isn’t touching your gums. When you let these chemical formulas marinate on your tender gum tissue, it can cause extreme discomfort.
- professional gel whitening: your dentist should be able to tell you how often you can receive professional whitening based on the health of your teeth and the strength of your enamel. Generally, professional whitenings should not exceed 1-2 times per year.
Remember, the frequency of whitening will always depend on the concentration of the whitening agent (in this case, peroxide), the product’s specific instructions, and your dental health/history. We recommend consulting with your dentist before you start a new whitening routine!
PAP teeth whitening
PAP teeth whitening is revolutionizing the teeth whitening world. Unlike peroxides, PAP does not release free radicals as it color corrects. On top of this, PAP+ formulas contain hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring, remineralizing agent that works to strengthen your enamel as it whitens, not damage it like peroxides! This is why many PAP+ whitening products do not cause gum irritation or tooth sensitivity.
Just like peroxide-based whitening products, there are many different types of PAP+ whitening products each with their own set of instructions. We’ve summarized a few below.
- PAP whitening kits: These kits usually come with PAP+ gel, an application tray, and blue light to enhance the product’s penetration. You should notice a whiter smile after 1-2 applications (10 minutes long), but you’ll see that many products are labeled for up to 6 consecutive days of use.
- PAP whitening strips: you’ll find that many PAP+ whitening strips instruct you to wear them for 30 minutes at a time....as often as you want! You’ll be delighted to find out that these strips don’t burn your gums the way peroxide-based whitening strips do.
- PAP whitening powder: these powders can be used daily in tandem with your toothpaste for an extra boost of whitening.
- natural mouthwash: You can also consider adding a natural PAP+ mouthwash to your daily routine to nourish a bright white, healthy smile over time. We recommend a formula that contains PAP, hydroxyapatite, xylitol, and naturally derived mint oils.
Speaking of whitening products that are safe for daily use, let's dive into the whitening powers of Davids nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste.
natural whitening with our hydroxyapatite toothpaste
Always remember, it’s essential to keep up with your regular dental hygiene routine to maintain a bright white smile! You can add our sensitive+whitening hydroxyapatite toothpaste to your daily routine to brighten your smile without worrying about damaging your enamel or causing discomfort in your teeth and gums.
In fact, our hydroxyapatite toothpaste works to reverse and prevent tooth sensitivity, remineralizing your enamel from the inside out while correcting stains at the source. Many of our customers report whiter, less sensitive teeth after just a few days of brushing with our hydroxyapatite toothpaste....why not jumpstart your whitening routine in a healthy way?