We all want whiter smiles. Years of drinking coffee and eating teeth-staining foods, combined with aging, have made our smiles yellow, gray, or even a little brown. That coloring can make us all feel a little more self-conscious of how our teeth look.
Plus, if you need to take photos for an important life event or make a good impression at a job interview, you want to feel confident in your smile.
If you’re like many people in the above situations, you want to whiten your teeth. But with so many options available, you might not know which methods will work best for you. Below, we’ll discuss three of the best whitening methods you can use and how you can benefit from them.
1. Over-the-Counter Strips
Perhaps the easiest whitening option available, over-the-counter strips are the one of the most affordable and convenient options people use to brighten their smiles. You can choose from several different brands and types of strips, and each whitening kit comes with strips you’ll use for 10 to 20 days.
Once you purchase the kit, you’ll use one treatment pack a day. Each treatment pack comes with a top and bottom strip. You’ll place the strips on your unbrushed teeth and fold the strips around them. Then, you’ll wear the strips for 30 to 60 minutes before you remove them.
These strips have a bleaching gel on the surface you place on your teeth. As you wear the strips, the bleach lifts any stains you have.
This method is incredibly convenient because you can whiten at home and on your own schedule. You also only wear these strips for a short amount of time each day, so you don’t have to specifically set aside time to achieve a whiter smile. You can simply make this whitening method part of your morning or evening dental care routine.
2. At-Home Whitening Trays
Whitening trays provide you with a convenient and beneficial way to enhance your smile, and they work much more effectively than whitening strips. To use this method, you’ll have to visit your dentist. During your appointment, your dentist will clean your teeth and check your mouth for any dental issues.
Then, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth. He or she will use that mold to make custom trays you’ll use to whiten your teeth. Your dentist will give you a whitening gel that you’ll fill the custom trays with once you’re at home.
Depending on your dentist’s instructions, you’ll wear the gel-filled trays at home for up to four hours daily for one or two weeks. You may notice some sensitivity after you use this whitening method, but if you experience sensitivity, your dentist can prescribe you with another gel that can reduce this side effect.
3. In-Office Gel Whitening
In-office whitening treatments are the most effective whitening methods you can use. This is the most expensive of all whitening methods, but it will lift stains from your teeth better than cheaper methods like whitening strips.
When you visit your dentist for this appointment, he or she will clean your teeth and treat any dental issues you have. Once your teeth and mouth are ready for the whitening treatment, your dentist will place a light-activated gel on your upper and lower teeth. He or she will also cover your gums with a protective gel.
Next, your dentist will shine a light (or laser) inside your mouth to activate the bleaching gel. The light reflects through the gel to break up stains. This whitening method penetrates deeper in your teeth so you can achieve a whiter smile.
In-office whitening costs you less time than the two other options mentioned above. You can whiten your teeth several shades in the span of just one short visit.
To maintain your newly whitened smile, you should take a few additional steps. First, continue with your twice-daily brushing routines. You may want to use whitening toothpaste so your teeth can stay white.
Second, try to avoid eating and drinking teeth-staining foods and drinks. These items include:
- Tomato-based sauces
As you consider which teeth-whitening method to use, keep the information above in mind. Consider the pros and cons of each method and determine which method you’d like to try.
Note, however, that the best whitening methods are those performed by a dental professional. Though overthe-counter strips whiten your teeth relatively quickly, professional methods are more effective in giving you a whiter smile that lasts longer.
Additionally, as you work with a dental professional to whiten your smile, he or she can take extra measures to reduce any sensitivity you may feel after a whitening procedure.
Don’t wait to achieve the white smile you want or need. Contact your dentist today and schedule an appointment for a whitening procedure.