It's not unusual for teeth to get darker with age and for stains from smoking and drinking coffee to accumulate with time, but yellow or stained teeth are not considered attractive by society, so they may bother you. You might want whiter teeth to make you look younger or because you want a prettier smile. While you can buy kits from the drugstore, you'll probably have better results from teeth whitening procedures offered by a dentist. Here are some options.
Laser Whitening Can Be Fast
One advantage of laser whitening treatments is that they can whiten your teeth a few shades after just one treatment. Laser whitening costs more than using gel trays, but if you want results in a hurry, the cost may be worth it to you. Your dentist will probably start by cleaning your teeth and filling cavities you have. Then, your teeth are ready to be whitened. This process will involve multiple visits to your dentist; you may even need more than one laser session. Laser treatments use peroxide on your enamel to bleach it. The gel is exposed to the laser to make it work more effectively and more quickly.
Laser treatments are effective at removing surface stains, but you have to be careful with smoking and drinking wine and coffee or the discoloration may come back. However, when you notice your teeth looking dull or yellow again, you can repeat the laser whitening treatment.
Professional Whitening Gel
The whitening gel that your dentist supplies is stronger than whitening products you buy at the store. If you've tried whitening kits from the grocery store and not had good results, then you may have much better luck with the kit you get from your dentist. In addition to stronger bleaching gel, you get custom treatment trays that hold the gel against your teeth and away from your gums. The tray method of whitening is less expensive than laser whitening, but it doesn't work as fast. You'll use the trays daily until you get the results you want which could take a few weeks. One benefit of this method of teeth whitening is that you can keep the trays and reuse them once your teeth start to get yellow again, so it's easy to keep your teeth bright.
It's important to know that these whitening procedures only work on real enamel. If you have a crown, bleaching won't make it whiter. Also, certain types of dental stains don't respond to bleaching. Your dentist even has options for teeth whitening on teeth that can't be bleached, such as veneers or replacing a crown. So, no matter what shape your teeth are in, if you want them to be whiter, talk to your dentist and find out what solutions are available to you.