With new technologies and cheaper alternatives available, sparkling white teeth are no longer just for Hollywood stars or the super rich. Here's a guide to the different ways you can whiten your teeth:

The Knowhow

There are numerous technologies that claim to give us dazzling white teeth from expensive laser dental procedures to whitening tooth paste.

Whatever method you choose it's a good idea to check with your dentist before going ahead with any procedure.

The different whitening methods:

At the dentist

Most dentists these days offer teeth whitening services which are very effective, although they can be expensive. This usually involves your dentist making moulds of your upper and lower teeth and then applying a controlled use of a fairly high concentration peroxide gel. You'll then usually be supplied with a bleaching kit to carry on the treatment at home.

Laser teeth whitening

Laser whitening is an effective but expensive way to whiten teeth and is most often carried out at specialist clinics and cosmetic dental surgeries. Unlike regular bleaching, laser whitening produces results in one session, without the discomfort of wearing moulds for hours at a time. Research carefully and read reviews before going ahead.

Home whitening kits

A much cheaper alternative is to use a home whitening kit. Typically you need to create a mould of your teeth by warming up the mouth trays and pressing them onto your teeth. You then coat the trays with whitening gel and then wear it regularly for a number of days. Criticisms of these kits are that it's difficult to make a close-fitting mould to your teeth so the gel could possibly leak causing irritation to your gums, and that the concentration of peroxide gel is significantly weaker than that of which you would find at a dentist.

Tooth powder/whitening toothpaste

The general view is that tooth powders and whitening toothpastes are not very different from normal toothpaste. Some can be abrasive to the tooth enamel and expensive. The view is that regular brushing with a good technique is more important for keeping teeth stain-free than the toothpaste or powder you use.

Tooth Whitening Wands

These work by painting a solution onto your teeth and are normally seen as a more temporary fix.


In summary, it's a good idea to carry out research and reviews and speak to your dentist before you go ahead with any procedure. Other options such as toothpastes, wands, mouthwashes etc might remove stains but probably won't give you the super white smile you're after.

Updated On:

Nov 04, 2011

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