What teeth whitening options are best?

I recommend dentist supervised tooth whitening systems that are dispensed and monitored by your dentist. The process can involve an in office whitening treatment (laser tooth whitening) followed up with custom made trays with whitening gels to use for a week or so at home. Good results can also be obtained with the custom made trays and whitening gel alone.
There are several good teeth whitening options to consider, including:
  • Whitening done at your dentist's office. This type of bleaching takes around 30 to 60 minutes. Plan on several trips to the dentist to get your teeth the whitest. Sometimes the dentist will use a whitener gel on the teeth followed by a laser to make the whitener work well. If you have crowns or cosmetic bonding, the bleaching will not lighten the color.
  • Whitening done at home. There a few good whitening products available over-the-counter (OTC). In order to bleach the enamel of the teeth, these OTC products (usually gels) contain chemicals such as peroxide. You might have to use a plastic tray that goes around your teeth during the bleaching process. For safety and reliability, try to find a product with the American Dental Association's seal of approval.
  • Whitening with toothpastes. Special whitening toothpastes are available over-the-counter. These pastes are used when brushing the teeth and contain special chemicals and abrasives that help remove stains from the surface of the teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.