Sometimes an important event comes up that you need to look your very best for, and you may be wondering about the different options for brightening your smile in a hurry.
And for anyone who finds themselves in a similar position, in this post, we look at how to whiten teeth in one day.
If you want some other tips about whitening teeth, you can check out this video before reading on.
How to Whiten Teeth in One Day
Two types of whitening
Before we talk about how to whiten teeth, we need to mention something about the whitening process – and specifically, that there are two types of teeth whitening.
The first is chemical whitening, which is used to change the intrinsic color of your teeth. Your teeth may be a less-than-perfect non-white color due to genetics, trauma or as a side effect of medication, and chemical whitening is required to correct this.
The most common chemical whitener is hydrogen peroxide (or a derivative called carbamide peroxide). This is used by dentists but is also available in lower concentrations in over-the-counter whitening products.
Mechanical whitening, on the other hand, is used to remove stains from your teeth – the most common causes of stains are things like coffee, tea, red wine and smoking, and to remove them, abrasive whitening techniques can help.
The most common product for this kind of whitening is whitening toothpaste.
The best option – professional whitening
We’ll come to the whitening methods you can try at home in a moment, but if you want the quickest and most effective treatment, the best option is to visit your dentist for professional whitening.
This is because dentists are licensed to use chemical treatments with a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide than you can buy at your local drugstore – the hydrogen peroxide content is usually around 35% whereas home treatments usually contain 7-10% hydrogen peroxide.
As a result, you can expect visibly whiter teeth after just one 90-minute treatment, making this the best option if you need noticeable results in a hurry.
If you want to whiten your teeth at home, whitening strips are among the most effective methods.
Like the kind of professional treatments used by dentists, whitening strips also contain hydrogen peroxide, so they can be used for correcting intrinsic discoloration.
Whitening strips vary, but generally speaking, they require you to place the strips on your teeth and leave them there for around 30 minutes, repeating the treatment twice a day.
You may be able to see a difference after just one treatment, but for noticeable results, you’ll need a bit longer.
After using the strips for a few days, you should begin to see a change in the color of your teeth – but for the full effect, you may need to use the strips for up to 30 days, so this might not be the best solution if you need instant one-day results.
Another option is whitening trays, an over-the-counter product that involves placing a flexible material in your mouth that molds to your teeth.
Whitening trays contain hydrogen peroxide that bleaches your teeth, and once in place, the barely-visible tray is left in while you go about your day – with some brands, you can even continue to eat and drink as normal with the tray in your mouth.
Usually with whitening trays, you use the tray once and then discard it – and then you use another one the next day.
An alternative to wearing trays during the day is to fit them into your mouth at night and then wear them while you sleep.
However, this kind of treatment won’t usually produce results in one day – you’ll need to expect to use the treatment for about two weeks for the full effect. That said, you may notice some change in the color of your teeth after just a few days.
The most common way to remove stains from things like red wine or tobacco is using whitening toothpaste.
Whitening toothpaste contains tiny abrasive particles, and this helps remove stains from your teeth as you brush.
The key to choosing a good whitening toothpaste is to find one that is abrasive enough to remove stains while not being so harsh that it damages the enamel on your teeth.
Unfortunately, this is not an instant solution, and you’ll have to expect to use the toothpaste for at least a month before all the stains disappear.
Home remedies to Whiten Teeth Fast
Although professional treatments and things like strips, trays and whitening toothpastes are the most conventional methods for tooth whitening, there are also a few home remedies you might like to try, some of which can yield fast results – so let’s have a look at some now.
Apple cider vinegar
One inexpensive yet effective home treatment is to mix up a mouthwash consisting of apple cider vinegar and water – with about equal amounts of each.
You can then use this to swill around your mouth for around four minutes before spitting it out and rinsing.
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which works as a natural antibacterial rinse while also dissolving and removing any stains on your teeth from things like red wine or coffee, producing instant results.
The only thing to bear in mind here is that vinegar is quite potent, so you shouldn’t use this method too often or you may end up removing the enamel from your teeth, causing permanent damage.
However, as an occasional solution for brightening up your smile quickly, it’s an option to consider.
Something you might find a little more unusual to try is banana peel – but strangely enough, it contains some of the same ingredients as whitening treatments and can supposedly help remove stains.
All you need to do is take the banana peel and rub it over your teeth. You then leave it on there for around 10 minutes to allow it to do its work breaking down the stains, after which you clean it off by brushing with toothpaste.
Lemon juice and baking soda
Like vinegar, lemon juice also contains acid – in this case, citric acid – and this can be effective at removing stains from teeth. For even better results, you can mix it with baking soda.
Simply sprinkle some baking soda on your toothbrush and then squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto it. You can then use this to brush your teeth like toothpaste.
To make the treatment even more potent, you could start with the banana peel method – and then use this instead of regular toothpaste to wash it off.
Lemon juice and sea salt
An alternative to using baking soda is to use some sea salt instead. Sprinkle it onto your toothbrush and add lemon juice before brushing to instantly remove stains.
Lemon juice and water
Instead of using lemon juice to make a kind of homemade whitening toothpaste, you can mix it with water to make a whitening mouthwash.
Use one part water and one part lemon juice and swish it around your mouth for several minutes. The lemon juice will help kill any bacteria in your mouth while also dissolving stains from your teeth.
Something else to try as a home remedy for whitening teeth is lemon peel. The method is the same as for banana peel, and it works due to the acetic acid content of lemon.
Rub the lemon peel on your teeth and leave it there for a few minutes to act before brushing it off with toothpaste.
With lemon peel, it’s important not to leave it on for too long and to make sure you brush it off properly afterwards because otherwise, the acetic acid may begin to break down your tooth enamel.
Lemon juice, baking soda, sea salt and toothpaste
As a more potent mixture to try for instant results, you can also combine some of these methods to make a stain-busting toothpaste.
Mix up a paste of baking soda, sea salt, lemon juice and regular toothpaste and use it to brush your teeth. After just one treatment, you should be able to see the difference.
With this method, you shouldn’t use it more than once a month because otherwise, you may end up damaging your teeth.
If you don’t like bananas or lemons, you can try strawberries instead – because their natural acidity will also help whiten teeth. Simply mash up some strawberries, apply the paste to your teeth and leave it there for up to 10 minutes – and then wash it off.
You may notice some results after just one application, but if not, you can continue the treatment for a few days to see if it helps remove the stains from your teeth.
Professional is best – but home remedies can work well too
If you want instant results, there’s no substitute for professional whitening carried out by a dentist.
However, this can be expensive, and if you’re in a hurry, you might not be able to get an appointment – in which case, one of the home remedies we’ve mentioned might be a more practical option to try.