4 Options For Brightening Your Teeth

Posted on: 30 December 2015

White teeth can make your smile look healthier and more attractive. However, many people suffer from teeth that are discolored. Your cosmetic dentist may suggest multiple options to brighten your teeth. Here are a few:

Over-the-counter Whiteners

Over-the-counter kits offer a variety of application options. There are whitening pens available that allow you to control the placement of the whitening solution. There are also plastic strips that are coated with a whitening gel that holds the strips against the teeth during the bleaching process. In addition, some kits include a tray that can be filled with a prescribed gel and held in your mouth like a mouth guard for a period.

Most over-the-counter whitening products are effective at removing some of the surface stains from your teeth. However, the concentration of the whitener, which is typically peroxide-based, is usually less than that of professional kits. In addition, overuse can result in dental sensitivity.

Professional Take-home Whiteners

Some whitening applications that your cosmetic dentist may offer are designed for home use. These kits are generally more effective than over-the-counter applications but less potent than an in-office treatment. 

An at-home kit may be prescribed if your discoloration is not severe. In addition, it may be used to maintain the whiteness achieved through an in-office treatment.

In-office Whitening

In-office whitening is performed by a dental professional and provides the safest, most effective solution-based whitening. To intensify the effect of the treatment, your cosmetic dentist may use an ultraviolet light.

Results are often immediate, and full whitening generally takes fewer applications than other types of whitening applications.


Even though peroxide-based solutions can effectively bleach surface stains, such as those from food, drink or tobacco, from the teeth, some discoloration does not respond to a bleaching treatment. Staining that is related to a congenital defect, oral medication or dental trauma cannot be bleached away. In such cases, your cosmetic dentist may suggest veneers.

Veneers are thin slivers of resin or porcelain that are shaped like the outline of a tooth. A veneer can be affixed to the front of a tooth to give it a perfectly white, aligned appearance. 

If you are thinking of whitening your teeth, there are many different options available. It is best to consult with a cosmetic dentist to determine the best option for you. Some applications may not be suitable because of dental work or deep-lying stains. Schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in your area.