Do you have the dazzling smile you desire? You can get the picture-perfect pearly whites you dream of in two ways:
At the dentist: A professional cleaning is the only way to remove calculus and tartar
At home: All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. Whitening toothpastes have additional polishing agents to remove stains on the surface of teeth.
This process uses either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen infiltrates the tooth’s enamel, lightening its color.
At the dentist: After protecting your gums with a gel or shield, your dentist will apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray that fits like a mouthguard. The total treatment can require two or three visits to the dentist.
There is also laser whitening where a rubber dam is put over your teeth to protect the gums, and a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth. Then a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and can make teeth up to five or six shades lighter.
The effects of professional dental whitening are thought to last up to three years; but will vary from person to person.
At home: Products for whitening teeth at home include bleaching strips, bleaching pens and gels. How effective these methods are depends on the amount of whitening agent. Be aware that home products may contain mild acids and abrasives that could damage teeth and gums.
Some people may find their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after treatment. Others may experience discomfort in the gums, a sore throat, or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms should disappear within a few days of completing treatment. If any of these side effects continue, see your dentist.
You can help keep your teeth white by: