The Best Whitening Mouthwash: What to Look For

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Teeth whitening is incredibly popular. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that most respondents would like to improve their smile by brightening and whitening their teeth.

From an in-office bleaching treatment to using whitening toothpaste, there are a number of ways you can brighten and whiten your smile. Another option is whitening mouthwash, which often contains bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide. What is the best whitening mouthwash out there and is using it going to help you get a brighter smile?

How Do You Whiten Teeth?

As the American Dental Association (ADA) notes, there are generally two ways to whiten teeth. One option is to actually bleach the teeth using hydrogen peroxide. Bleaching agents work on the exterior of the teeth and the interior. In-office treatments and at-home whitening gels are two examples of products that bleach the teeth.

The other option is to scrub stains off of the teeth using either abrasives or ingredients, such as peroxide. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes don't provide the deep-down bleaching of an in-office whitening treatments. Instead, these products remove surface stains.

What's in Whitening Mouthwash?

Not all mouthwashes are created equally. For example, mouthwashes such as Optic White WhiteSeal mouthwash's 2% hydrogen peroxide formula whitens teeth as it freshens breath. Those that contain hydrogen peroxide may have a concentration of about 2 percent. As the ADA notes, the bleaching products used by your dentist typically contain hydrogen peroxide concentrations between 25 and 40 percent. As you can see, an at-home mouthwash isn't as effective as getting a professional whitening treatment.

The best whitening mouthwash will contain ingredients that do more than whiten your teeth. Since many people use mouthwash to fight bad breath, mouthwashes usually contain odor neutralizers or astringents that mask or eliminate unpleasant odors. Some mouthwashes also contain fluoride to help protect against cavities. The ADA classifies these mouthwashes as therapeutic, since they do more than simply cover bad breath or improve the appearance of teeth.

How to Get the Best Results

Even a mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide won't provide you with noticeable results if you don't use it regularly. So, if you want to see any change in your teeth's color, it's best to swish with the mouthwash daily.

It's also important to take care of your teeth and gums all around. Mouthwash isn't a substitute for brushing or flossing. Using a whitening toothpaste when you brush can help improve your whitening results and protect your teeth from cavities and decay.

To achieve the most dramatic whitening, ask your dentist about an in-office treatment or about using over-the-counter whitening products. Since it's possible to go overboard when it comes to whitening, it's always a good idea to check with your dentist before you start using a new whitening product, whether it's a gel, toothpaste or mouthwash.

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