You probably see an advert for some kind of teeth whitening treatment or toothpaste every day. It can be confusing to know whether or not you are a good candidate for teeth whitening and whether or not you can do it at home or should go to your dentist. A brighter smile can be a confidence booster, so you might want to explore your teeth whitening options with your dentist, who will talk to you about at-home products and the possibility of getting a procedure done.
Most people whose permanent teeth have come in can be a candidate for teeth whitening. Your dentist can help you determine how your teeth will respond and the best teeth whitening options for you. However, they are unlikely to recommend at-home whitening with over-the-counter kits as these products can carry risks. If you have dental work such as veneers, crowns or implants, certain teeth whitening options, both products and procedures, may not be available to you as they do not work on porcelain or bonding materials. But if your natural teeth are stained for whatever reason, there are some options available to you.
- Have your teeth cleaned by a dental professional to remove external staining caused by food, drinks or smoking.
- You can use a whitening toothpaste that can help remove surface stains between dental visits.
- To go a step beyond basic cleaning, you can use a whitening gel or whitening strips, if recommended by your dentist.
- You can choose to bleach. While mild products are available over-the-counter (OTC), visit your dental professional, who might suggest a bleaching gel to work on more stubborn stains or yellowing.
- They can create a custom mouthpiece for at-home bleaching. Whatever teeth whitening option you both decide on, use as instructed to achieve the best results.
- If you have more permanently stained or damaged teeth, your dentist may recommend veneers or bonding to fix irregular or damaged teeth or to achieve specific results.