Option 1: Take-Home Kits. Take-home teeth whitening kits, which you can get from your dentist, include whitening gel and custom mouth trays. These offer the convenience of professional whitening at your own leisure, but they take longer than in-office whitening to achieve the same results.
Option 2: In-Office Whitening. In-office whitening procedures are simple and non-invasive. A dentist will apply a whitening gel to your teeth, and then point a special light toward your teeth to activate the ingredients. Altogether, the process can take between one to two hours, and your teeth will lighten anywhere from two to eight shades. Sometimes, a dentist will have patients follow up with a take-home kit.
One advantage of in-office whitening is that your dentist will use a higher-concentration bleaching agent, so the results will be immediate. Your dentist will monitor the conditions to make sure the procedure is safe, controlled, and pain-free.
Option 3: Veneers. Veneers are another way to get a brighter, whiter smile. These thin shells fit over your teeth, making them a great option for people who want to correct cosmetic issues (e.g., gaps, rough or crooked edges, etc.) in addition to getting a whiter smile.
Porcelain veneers are the best option for whiter teeth because their color is imbedded within the porcelain and then fired at over 1,800 degrees for a glazed surface. The procedure involves removing a minimal amount of tooth structure to make way for a thin layer of porcelain permanently affixed to the patient’s tooth.