What Tooth Whitening Method Is Best for Me?

Have you ever thought about tooth whitening? The orphans in "Annie" sing, "You're never fully dressed without a smile." A smile is your best accessory, and it always matches your outfit and the occasion. Your smile will have even more of an impact on the people around you when your teeth are pearly white.

There are several whitening products available for people who want to whiten their teeth. The cost, duration of treatment and results vary. Some of the top choices are products that can be easily used at home.

Whitening Toothpastes

Colgate has several toothpastes to brighten your smile, including Colgate® 2in1 Whitening and Oxygen Whitening, which contains mouthwash and other ingredients to whiten your teeth. Colgate® Sparkling White with Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening Bubbles contains baking soda and peroxide to help remove external stains on teeth.The latest in whitening - Colgate® Optic White® toothpaste polishes teeth for a shinier smile and whitens teeth more than 3 shades improvement in just one week. Some great options to optimize your beautiful smile.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Trays and Strips

Kits are an option for people who need to get rid of more than light stains and are widely available in most major drug stores. There are two types of tooth whitening kits: Trays and strips. Strips contain a whitening solution and can be applied directly to your teeth. Tray treatments are filled with a bleaching gel and then inserted on your teeth. It is important to follow the directions in the package to prevent damage to your teeth and gums.

Professional Cleaning and Whitening Services

Most dental offices offer professional whitening. Prior to whitening, an examination and professional cleaning should be completed. Any cavities (decay) are treated first in order to prevent the bleaching solution from further damaging sensitive teeth and gums.

The dentist usually uses bleaching trays similar to the over-the-counter versions that you can purchase. The main difference here is that trays at the dentist's office will be customized for your unique dental needs and fitted to your mouth by the dental hygienist and/or dental assistant, who will also monitor your teeth and gums for any irritation.

After the trays have been inserted in your mouth, the dental professional will advise you to the length of time they will be placed on your teeth. The exact time may vary and the number of times applied will depend on the brand and formulation. Some offices have televisions available so that you can relax while you wait. Many practices also allow you to take the trays home to perform the procedure by yourself in the comfort of your own home.

While professional bleaching gives the quickest and most dramatic results, it is often the most expensive method. Inquire with your dental insurance provider whether it is covered. To maintain your new smile, follow up with a whitening toothpaste after using either professional or over-the-counter bleaching products.

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