Teeth whitening is one of the most popular modern-day beauty trends. It is an effective, safe, and affordable cosmetic dentistry treatment that can significantly improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence. A radiant smile also positively affects your relationships and professional life.

However, tooth discoloration is a common concern that can be caused by a variety of factors that you may or may not be able to control. Some of the most common causes are tobacco use, pigmented foods and drinks, and the natural aging process. Fortunately, there are many teeth whitening options that can restore your smile to its original brilliance.

Teeth whitening can be done by using over-the-counter OTC products such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, whitening strips, paint-on films, and trays with gels or bleaching agents. These products typically contain low concentrations of bleaching agents and offer quick, but temporary, results. Professional bleaching procedures are usually performed in the dentist’s office with a special mouthpiece tray or a laser or light device.

A dental professional teeth whitening guide can offer the most personalized advice about your specific discoloration issues and recommended treatments after a thorough oral examination. You should discuss your goals and budget before deciding on any type of bleaching treatment. In addition to cost, you should also consider the duration of a particular whitening method and whether it will address your specific type of staining.

Generally, the most common side effects from bleaching are tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the soft tissues in the mouth and gums. This is usually temporary and disappears within 1 to 3 days of stopping or completing the bleaching treatment. The sensitivity usually occurs because the tooth enamel has been exposed to the bleaching agent. This happens because the accumulated plaque that was covering the enamel is dissolved and then the dentin beneath it is exposed.

After a tooth whitening treatment, you should be sure to follow a rigorous oral hygiene routine and avoid foods that are known to cause staining. In addition, you should use touch-up whitening products as needed to maintain your radiant smile.

Keep in mind that a teeth whitening treatment is not permanent and will need to be repeated at regular intervals over the years to retain its bright appearance. If you are unable to maintain your desired whiteness, there are other types of cosmetic dentistry treatments that can restore the color and shape of your teeth. Some examples include veneers, composite bonding, and crowns. However, these restorations require a longer time to complete and are more expensive than a teeth whitening procedure. In addition, they are not as effective as a teeth whitening procedure at completely removing stubborn, deep stains. So if you are looking to achieve the whitest smile possible, a teeth whitening procedure is the best option for you.