Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Never Too Late for Tooth Whitening: 3 Last Minute Tooth Whitening Tips for Those With Little Time to Spare

by Brett Clark

Did you know that 28 percent of people refuse to show their teeth for the camera when they know the picture will be viewed on social media? That's probably because photos have an irritating knack of highlighting flaws, meaning chipped, missing or yellow teeth stand out like dandelions in a field of daisies. Furthermore, during a social event, such as a wedding, graduation ceremony, corporate function or leaving party, it is almost impossible to hide from the revealing glare of the spotlight.

But what if you've left it until the last minute to do something about your yellowed teeth? Is it too late to get them whitened?

Whether you have minutes, hours or days to spare, you'll be glad to know that there is something you can do to ensure that your smile stands out for the right reasons.

When You Have Minutes to Spare

If you're at home and have just realized that you thought of beautifying everything but your teeth and you only have minutes left before you need to leave, try this method:

  1. Grab some baking soda and a lemon (or lime) from the kitchen. Water will do if you don't have any lemons.
  2. Now, add a tablespoon of baking soda to a bowl, followed by the juice of half a lemon.
  3. Once the mixture has finished fizzing, take your toothbrush and stir the mixture into a thick paste.
  4. Brush your teeth as you normally would.
  5. In order to wash away the citric acid of the lemon so that it doesn't erode your tooth enamel, and then rinse your mouth out with water and you're done.

While not as effective as the following methods, this is still better than nothing and will leave your teeth brighter and slightly whiter than before.

When You Have Hours to Spare

You might not always be able to book a last minute dental cleaning, but if you have known your dentist for a long time and you excel at pleading, they may be able to squeeze you into their busy schedule on the day you call.

A dental cleaning is used to remove the natural film that builds up on the surface of teeth over time. Referred to by dentists as the "pellicle", this film can leave teeth looking a dull shade of yellow. Removing it, then, will give your teeth a whiter, shinier look that looks great on and off camera.

When You Have a Few Days to Spare

This is the most effective method of the three, but it requires about a week of your time. First, call your dentist and book an in-office teeth whitening session as soon as you can. The earlier you book the appointment the better because you will need two 30-minute whitening sessions which will be separated by about 3-4 days. The 35% carbamide peroxide gel that is usually used for this procedure should leave your teeth a brilliant shade of white that will last long after your upcoming social event.