The fastest way to instantly boost your smile is by whitening your teeth. Professional teeth whitening can be done from the privacy of your own home, or at your dentist’s office in about an hour. Your dentist can help you decide if whitening is right for you and which method will best suit your needs.

How Whitening Works

Years of drinking liquids such as coffee and tea, and even smoking, can stain and discolor your teeth. The enamel on your teeth is porous which allows stains to settle in beneath the reach of brushing and cleaning.

Teeth whitening works by applying a carbamide or hydrogen peroxide solution to your teeth and allowing it to soak into the enamel. A chemical reaction then occurs below the surface of the enamel, which eliminates the stains. Whitening is completely safe, and when done under the supervision of a professional can result in teeth up to 10 shades lighter.

Who Is A Good Candidate?

A good candidate for teeth whitening is someone who has stained or discolored teeth from normal day-to-day habits such as drinking coffee or smoking. The patient should be in good oral health with no cavities, inflamed gums, tooth sensitivity or pocked teeth. Your dentist will probably clean your teeth and fill any cavities before proceeding with whitening.

Remember that dental work such as crowns, bridges and fillings cannot be whitened. If you have any of these on your front teeth, you may not be a good candidate for whitening; or, you may want to consider only whitening to the shade of the existing dental work.

At-Home Whitening Trays

At-home, professional teeth whitening is an easy way to whiten your teeth at your leisure. You can whiten while you do house chores, watch television or read a book.

The first step is to visit your dentist who will take an impression of your teeth to make custom-fitted trays for your mouth. They will then create a custom whitening solution based on your desired (and achievable) results. Once home, the whitening solution is poured into the trays, placed in the mouth, and allowed to set for 15-20 minutes. Your dentist will tell you how often you should complete the at-home process.

In-Office Laser Whitening

The advantage of in-office teeth whitening is that you achieve results instantly. After about an hour, your teeth can be up to 10 shades whiter.

In-office whitening typically uses a laser to intensify the whitening process. A professional will first clean your teeth, and then apply a peroxide gel solution to your teeth. The gel acts as a conduit for the laser to help penetrate the enamel.

Both processes are safe, painless and non-invasive when supervised by a dentist. So if you want a radiant smile, talk to your dental practitioner about professional teeth whitening to decide which method is right for you.