At some point, you may consider tooth whitening to help brighten your smile. Before using whitening products, talk to your dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment for you and if your teeth and gums are healthy enough to undergo a whitening procedure. This is especially important if you have fillings, crowns and/or extremely dark stains on your teeth.
Some popular whitening methods include:
- In-office bleaching. A bleaching agent is applied to teeth and a light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. In-office bleaching products typically contain a higher percentage of peroxide than at-home formulations. The procedure is usually completed in less than two hours.
- At-home bleaching. Peroxide-containing whiteners that bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a custom mouth tray. The bleaching trays are worn for short periods of time over a few days to gradually whiten the teeth.
- Whitening toothpastes. Although all toothpastes help remove surface stains “whitening” toothpastes that carry the CDA Seal of Approval have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. They do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth like bleaching agents do.
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