If you want to whiten your teeth, you have several options:
- In-office whitening: Fastest and strongest effects with 10 shades lighter, but costs $500 to $1,200.
- Brush-ons: Best over-the-counter method. You can see results four shades lighter. These get the back teeth better than the strips.
- Strips: You can get four to six shades lighter, but only on front six teeth.
- Tray-and-gels (in-office or OTC): It's an older technology and has potential for gum irritation, so it's best to do with a doctor. At home, there's the temptation to abuse it, which can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Whitening Toothpastes: An everyday experience, these toothpastes remove stains from teeth by polishing or chemical removal.
- The ideal combo: If you can afford it, use an in-office whitening, then follow up with brush-ons, and toothpastes. Studies have shown that repetitive whitening at safe, low concentrations of the active ingredients gives longer-lasting results. Just be sure not to do it more than once every two weeks or you'll thin the enamel (home whitening strips don't appear to harm enamel). A simple five-minute fluoride treatment before bleaching will allow the teeth to fully recover by two weeks.
Find out more about this book:YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty