1-Start by Talking to Your Dentist
If you are seeking ways to whiten your teeth, start by having a conversation with your dentist. They can help you find the best teeth whitening treatment and point out any risk factors. For example, you may need to address tooth decay or gum disease first so that you can limit tooth sensitivity and gum irritation while whitening. Any whitening treatment will work best on healthy teeth.
2-Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening Methods
If brightening your smile from the comfort of your own home sounds appealing, you can start with over-the-counter (OTC) methods to whiten teeth.
Whitening toothpaste uses mild abrasives to scrub your tooth's surface and remove extrinsic stains. Though some formulas may contain baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, they rely primarily on polishing instead of bleaching to change the tooth's appearance. Because of this, it may take longer to see results.
TO USE: Replace your regular toothpaste with the whitening toothpaste and brush teeth twice daily for two minutes.
Whitening strips apply a thin layer of bleaching agent directly to teeth using a flexible plastic strip. Hydrogen peroxide is usually the active ingredient. Though strips are convenient and cost-effective, they may be difficult to adhere directly to the enamel if your teeth are out of alignment.
TO USE: Whitening strips are typically applied directly to teeth for 30 minutes to an hour. Carefully follow the directions on the label. Incorrect use can lead to tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and enamel erosion.
5-In-Office Whitening Solutions
If you desire faster, more dramatic results, you can visit your dentist for more whitening options.
6-At-Home Whitening Trays
At-home whitening trays use a gel with a range of peroxide concentrations — usually between 10 to 38 percent carbamide peroxide — to gradually bleach your teeth. Your dentist will make a customized tray for the gel to fit comfortably over your teeth. The tray will minimize the amount of contact the gel has with your gums and help prevent irritation.