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Fact or fiction - does whitening mouthwash actually work?

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    There are several ways to try and whiten your teeth at home. Some people opt for whitening strips that can be ordered online, while others use toothpaste with whitening properties.

    But what about whitening mouthwash? Does it work? And what results can you expect if you use it consistently over a long period of time.

    Here, we take a closer look at what you can expect by using whitening mouthwash and introduce you to some tips that will help you get the most out of whitening products.

    What is whitening mouthwash? And Does it really work?

    A mouthwash that claims to whiten your teeth typically consists of ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, potassium pyrophosphate, and sodium citrate, which can whiten your teeth by removing stains.

    [See also: Best alcohol-free mouthwash]

    [See also: Best mouthwash for gums]

    You might have come across hydrogen peroxide before, as it is commonly found in most teeth whitening products that you can buy over the counter and is responsible for bleaching your teeth.

    An interesting study into the efficacy of whitening mouthwashes found that while they can help to remove stains and whiten your teeth, they aren't as effective as other methods, including the use of at-home bleaching gel.

    The key thing to realize when looking for a whitening mouthwash is that not all products work equally. You need to make sure that the product has sufficient hydrogen peroxide for it to work well.

    We recommend buying whitening mouthwash from trusted, ADA-recommended brands. If you're unsure which to go for, visit your local pharmacist and ask for a recommendation.

    So, whitening mouthwashes can work, but the way that you use them and several other factors also contribute to their efficacy, as we explain below.

    How to use whitening mouthwash for the best results

    If you're going to rely on any over-the-counter teeth whitening product, you need to manage your expectations. Whitening products that contain hydrogen peroxide can improve the brightness of your teeth by removing stains, but they can't necessarily make your pearly whites sparkle.

    In fact, the best way to look at a whitening mouthwash is that it can help to remove some of the stains from your teeth, but it is unlikely to make your teeth significantly whiter, something that is validated by the aforementioned study.

    So, to get the best out of whitening mouthwash, here are some things you need to know and do:

    1. Make sure the mouthwash contains hydrogen peroxide, as it is the best chemical for bleaching your teeth. Avoid DIY hydrogen peroxide solutions, as it isn't easy to get the balance right when diluting it with water.

    2. You need to use the mouthwash 2-3 times per day for a period of at least six weeks to start seeing results. When you swill the mouthwash, keep it in your mouth for 20-30 seconds and don't rinse your teeth immediately after.

    3. Be sure to clean your teeth 2-3 times per day with an electric toothbrush - like the Laifen Wave - to complement the use of a whitening mouthwash. You should also floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

    4. Limit the amount of tea and coffee that you drink while using a whitening mouthwash, as they both contain tannins, which stain your teeth. You should also avoid smoking and vaping when using a whitening mouthwash.

    5. Consider using mouthwash alongside whitening strips for the best results.

    Teeth whitening methods that achieve the best results

    It's fair to describe the impact that mouthwash has on the whiteness of your teeth as limited. While it can help to brighten your teeth and remove some stains, using mouthwash alone isn't necessarily going to have the long-term results that you desire.

    If you're serious about whitening your teeth, the best approach is to visit your dentist. Though it's expensive, your dentist will professionally whiten your teeth using high-strength hydrogen peroxide in the form of a whitening gel.

    You may require several trips to the dentist to achieve the shade of white that you desire, and this is something your dentist will discuss with you during an initial consultation.

    The verdict: Whitening mouthwash - does it work?

    The bottom line is that whitening mouthwash can help to improve the whiteness and brightness of your teeth. While it may not be as effective as having your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist, using the mouthwash 2-3 times per day, alongside other positive dental habits, can make your teeth whiter.

    Just remember to be consistent when using the dental mouthwash, and if you want to see excellent, long-term results, book a consultation with your dentist and discuss the professional teeth whitening options available to you.

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