If you've ever wondered about having your teeth whitened, you've probably come across a host of online advertisements promising an easy route to a brighter smile, but most of these offers are best taken with a pinch of salt. For truly effective and risk-free whitening, a visit to your dentist is highly recommended, and in the long run will be kinder to both your dental health and your pocket.
The Problems With Online Teeth Whitening Ads
The many online promotions of teeth whitening kits have several problems. While there may indeed be some worthwhile products out there, it's difficult to know which are reliable and which are basically scams. The methods they claim to use are usually unregulated, unproven, and often not even clearly spelled out -- and if they do actually work as promised, there is usually no guarantee of safety or details of who will take responsibility if something goes wrong. Add to this the often wildly unrealistic claims of speedy results and dubious before-and-after photographs, and its clear that buying teeth whitening kits from unknown online sources is a gamble to say the least.
What Your Dentist Can Do For You Instead
Your dental surgeon can also offer tooth whitening procedures, but with the crucial difference that the treatments on offer are safe, proven, and will provide results that meet realistic expectations. Your dentist can also advise on how to stop staining from happening again, and resolve any underlying problems or lifestyle habits that may be leading to discoloration and other dental problems.
Professional Whitening Treatments
There are two main ways in which your dentist can treat discolored teeth. The first involves making a plastic shield that fits over your teeth to protect your gums during the treatment. A mild bleaching agent is then applied to your teeth, and left in place for around an hour before being washed off. This procedure needs to be continued daily at home, and results will normally be seen in between a fortnight and a month. While this won't normally lead to the brilliant, dazzling smile shown in the more optimistic online adverts, it is highly effective at lightening your teeth by at least few shades to give a natural and attractive result.
The other method is a more recent development, and is known as either 'power whitening' or 'laser whitening'. During this treatment, an active whitening agent is spread over the teeth, and this is then stimulated into action with a laser beam. The laser results in much quicker whitening, and the whole procedure can take as little as an hour from start to finish. This is not suitable for everyone though, and your dentist will need to conduct a thorough check-up to make sure your teeth are in suitable condition for this more powerful procedure.
Whether your teeth are severely stained or just a shade or two further from white than you'd like, your dentist can work with you to brighten your smile safely and efficiently, without the risk and uncertainty involved in buying unproven whitening kits from unknown suppliers.