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How to Effectively Whiten Teeth

Updated on November 20, 2010

Showing off a bright smile is not longer reserve for those blessed with naturally white teeth. With the advances in cosmetic dentistry along with some good dental habits there are more than a few things that you can do to whiten your teeth effectively. This article will help you identify what is causing the problem and also help you to improve your smile.

What Is Causing The Problem?

We start off with nice and shiny teeth when we are children and as we get older there are a number of things that alter their colour. The most common culprits are Coffee, Tea and Tobacco also as we age our teeth will gradually discolour and cavities will also play a role in changing their shade. If you are a smoker simply stopping will prevent your teeth from getting darker.

Whitening treatments can be extremely effective in lightening your teeth by a number of shades and depending on the stains the results can be exceptionally shiny. To whiten teeth effectively you need both a combination of a good whitening treatment and good dental habits. In addition to the best teeth whitening solutions, some of the more popular treatments can be found below.

Whiten Teeth
Whiten Teeth

Whiten Teeth at Home

There are a number of simple at home teeth whitening solutions to help you achieve your desired smile, these range from simple homemade solutions to milder versions of professional teeth whitening treatments that are safe to use on your own.

Whitening Toothpaste and Whitening Strips

A good teeth whitening paste will help clear up stains if used regularly. A simple natural teeth whitening paste can be made at home using baking soda but should be followed with regular brushing. A proper whitening toothpaste will not be too harsh on your teeth and will contain a lesser amount of the active ingredient in professional solutions. The pastes may include a combination of a light abrasive and also a hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening bleach to help take off the stained layer of your teeth.

Whitening Strips are a convenient option as they are relatively unobtrusive and can be worn when you are doing other tasks. The strips however are only made to cover the front portion of your teeth and though you won’t really be able to see them when you smile, there will be parts of your mouth that aren’t treated.

Whitening Trays and Teeth Whitening Gels

Trays and Gels are two more popular methods that can be undertaken at home. These tend to work much faster than the use of toothpaste as the gels commonly contain a stronger bleaching agent then toothpastes and the combination of a tray means that your teeth are subjected to the treatment for longer than conventional brushing. These methods do have their limitations as the trays that you commonly use are not custom made to fit you hence the whitening may turn out unevenly.

Professional Teeth Whitening Procedures

If you aren’t satisfied with the results that you can achieve at home or are after a more immediate result then professional teeth whitening will likely be the option for you. There will be a considerable difference in the expenses paid however many consider it worth the money. The following options are available for professional treatment.

Laser Teeth Whitening

This form of whitening will involve a specialized light or laser that works in conjunction with a whitening solution that is placed on the teeth beforehand. The light will then activate the bleaching agent. The advantage of this is that there is a greater level of control over exactly what shade you want your teeth. There is a level of guess work that is present in some of the home treatments that the professional whitening can avoid though of course this comes with a cost. No matter how many whitening treatments that you undergo it is important to note that although you will be able to see at some success from both at home and professional whitening, not everyone can achieve a perfectly white colour.

Teeth Veneers
Teeth Veneers

Teeth Veneers

This is the most extreme end of options to whiten teeth. In fact veneers actually change your teeth by removing a small part of them at then bonding the veneer to your tooth. Veneers are commonly reserved for people with major dental problems and as a cosmetic procedure with instant effect. Not only is this the most expensive option but it is also the most invasive. Not only does this option allow you to choose the exact color that you want but you can also choose the shape of your teeth to some extent. Needless to say that you should consider all the above options first before you decide on veneers and look for an appropriately qualified cosmetic dentist to perform the procedure.

Whitening your teeth can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be; of course the results will differ with each whitening treatment so it’s best not to rush into any approach. You should start by talking to your dentist about the treatments that are most suitable for you and also stay on top of your dental hygiene before and after your treatments. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with other teeth whitening tips so that you can start improving your smile right away.


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      Eddie Storms 7 years ago

      My teeth were really yellow before, and I didn't know why. When my dentist in Buckhead asked me if I were a smoker, I said no. I really wasn't; that's why I was confused. When he asked me if I were a coffee drinker, my "yes" got cut midway. Ting! Light bulb moment for me. That was it, the culprit got caught. That made me lessen my consumption of coffee. It was hard at first, but I got used to it.