Ways to Brighten Your Smile
Many questions we get concern getting whiter teeth. There are many options available, and knowing where to start can really be confusing. Here are some quick suggestions for brightening your choppers.
- In-office: your dentist applies a protective gel or shield to your gums, then uses a bleaching agent on your teeth. Special lights and lasers are sometimes used to boost the effect. This method usually takes only one sesssion, lasting about an hour. The result is noticibly whiter teeth.
- Do it yourself: over the counter whiteners, available at most pharmacies and grocery stores, are applied to your teeth at home. They work by bleaching tooth enamel and can cause gum irritation or increased tooth sensitivity. They also take several days or weeks to make a difference.
- Whitening toothpastes: many toothpastes claim to whiten, but their polishing agents don't penetrate the tooth's enamel. That means they can only remove surface stains without really whitening teeth. Any benefit is temporary.
Remember that caps, veneers, crowns or fillings can't be whitened. If tooth discoloration is caused by disease or injury, whitening won't be effective. Whichever method you choose to get a brighter smile, talk to your dentist before starting.