What's The Best Teeth Whitening Option For You?

Ready for a brighter smile? Feel like your teeth aren't as white as they used to be? It's natural for teeth to fade or even become yellow as you get older. They can be impacted by food, coffee, and even natural aging. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to bring the shine back to your teeth and give yourself a more radiant smile.

There are a wide range of whitening options at your disposal. Some options cost more than others and some are more time consuming. Your decision should be based on your unique budget and your tolerance for discomfort. Below are a few popular teeth whitening methods along with guidance on which might be right for you.

Whitening toothpaste. There are many different brands of whitening toothpaste available. These types of toothpaste contain special agents that are designed to remove external stains from the surface of your teeth. They often must be used consistently over a long period of time before you see results. Also, the whitening may be gradual so you shouldn't expect immediate, dramatic improvement. However, this option is low-cost and simply requires you to brush your teeth regularly.

Whitening strips. Want something more powerful than toothpaste but also something you can use at home? Consider whitening strips. These are strips you wear on your teeth at home for several minutes every day. The strips apply whitening compound to your teeth and can be effective at removing deep stains. You may have to wear the strips daily for several weeks before you see improvement.

Bleaching. If you want something with more immediate results, consider bleaching in your dentist's office. This can usually be done in one visit. The dentist applies a bleach compound to your teeth and then shines an activating light into your mouth. The procedure can be uncomfortable as your lips have to be held open throughout the process. Also, your insurance may not cover a bleaching procedure so you should be prepared to pay for the visit out of pocket.

Veneers. Finally, if you want something permanent, you may want to consider porcelain veneers. These are essentially custom tooth exteriors placed over your existing teeth. They are custom-made to fit your teeth. The process usually involves two appointments. The first is to size and fit your teeth, and the second appointment is to install the veneers. The procedure may be uncomfortable and usually isn't covered by insurance. However, the veneers will likely last for several decades so they could be worth the investment.

Ready to brighten your smile? Talk to your dentist about your options. They can recommend the best approach based on your needs and budget.