You probably see a commercial 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 to whiten your teeth, and whether or not you can do it at home or should go to your dentist. Whiter teeth can be a confidence booster, so you might want to explore your options, both with in-home products and by talking to your dentist about getting a teeth whitening 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 option for you. If they recommend at-home whitening, make sure you look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and then use as directed. If you have dental work such as veneers, crowns or implants, you may not be able to use whitening products, or do a whitening procedure as the teeth whitening products 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.
What teeth whitening treatments are available?
- 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.
- You can choose to bleach. These products are available over-the-counter (OTC) or by visiting your dental professional who will suggest a bleaching gel to work on more stubborn stains or yellowing.
- Your dentist can create a custom mouthpiece for at-home bleaching. There are different kits available, so 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.