With the advent of inexpensive, effective new teeth whitening procedures and products, it’s never been easier to claim the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. Talk to your local dentist about these five painless teeth whitening strategies .

1. Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpaste use gentle abrasives or polishing agents like hydrogen peroxide to scrub surface stains from the enamel. While whitening toothpaste don’t deliver dramatic results – they’re capable of whitening teeth one to two shades – they’re safe, affordable and available over the counter.

2. Whitening Trays

Whitening trays require a bit more effort than toothpaste, but they deliver powerful results: Over the course of a few weeks or months, tray-based whiteners can brighten teeth by three to five shades. The secret lies in a gentle, yet effective peroxide-bleaching solution that releases over time. It’s safe to wear most whitening trays during the overnight hours for up to 30 consecutive days. For particularly tough stains, your dentist may recommend an even longer treatment period.

3. Mouthwash-Style Whitening Rinses

Gentle whitening rinse can be used in conjunction with whitening toothpaste as part of your daily cleaning routine. Most brands must be swished for one to two minutes and are capable of whitening teeth by one to two shades. The effects may be magnified by the concurrent use of whitening toothpastes, but results vary by brand.

4. Whitening Strips

Like tray-based whiteners, whitening strips are form-fitting products that can be worn for longer periods of time. Most strips are clear and contain concentrated doses of a gentle peroxide solution that scrubs away surface stains and brightens the underlying enamel. Dentists in your area may recommend an initial treatment period of two weeks with an optional follow-up cycle.

5. Office-Based Whitening Procedures

Although it’s a bit pricier than most over-the-counter products, in-office whitening produces dramatic, sustained results after just one or two visits. The procedure begins with an initial application of a bleach-based or peroxide-based whitening agent and continues with the targeted delivery of heat and light via a carefully calibrated laser. Since in-office whitening agents are subject to rigorous testing procedures that have been approved by the American Dental Association, you won’t have to worry about being exposed to unproven or unhelpful chemicals during a visit with your local cosmetic dentist. Each treatment takes less than an hour.

Don’t resign yourself to another season of unsightly teeth. Talk to your dentist about setting up a personalized teeth whitening plan that makes you proud of your smile again.

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