A dramatic improvement in your appearance can be achieved just by brightening your smile. Stains and discolorations that have occurred over the years may be erased through various whitening methods. Depending on your goals and level of commitment, you can decide which process is best for you.
Your main alternatives for teeth whitening include over-the-counter products, take-home whitening kits available through your dentist, or in-office whitening. Products that you may purchase at the drugstore include items like toothpaste, bleaching strips, or gel pens. Each of these have varying levels of effectiveness and all of them require consistent or extended use to achieve results.
Whitening trays that your dentist provides are usually custom-fitted for you to wear at home after inserting bleaching gel into the tray. Results usually take two weeks and some patients experience gum sensitivity while wearing the trays.
The most effective option is in-office whitening, typically involving the use of a laser. This method can provide fast and dramatic results, with the entire session lasting only an hour and achieving 6 to 10 shades of whiter teeth. A special gel is applied to the gums before the process begins to help prevent discomfort during treatment. The whitening bleach used during in-office treatments is more concentrated than those available through other methods, which is another reason whitening at a dental office is usually more effective.
Some patients have teeth that are too badly stained to whiten to the desired level. Multiple whitening treatments may be necessary, and some types of stains like those from medications may not be erased. If you are interested in brightening your smile, consult your dentist for recommendations. Whitening treatments are not advisable for patients with poor oral health, so problems should be addressed prior to undergoing any type of teeth whitening. Then your dentist can suggest the ideal way for you to achieve your smile brightness goals.