From whitening toothpaste to professional teeth whitening, there are many ways to change the colour of your smile. However, many people don't realise that not all dentist-provided whitening treatments are the same. Here are some options that your dentist might offer you if you ask them to whiten your teeth.

In-Office Whitening

In-office teeth whitening gives the fastest and most dramatic results of any kind of whitening treatment. While you lie back in the dentist's chair, the dentist applies a potent bleaching gel to your teeth. They then give you a pair of glasses to wear to protect your eyes and switch on an ultraviolet light to activate the chemicals in the gel. In as little as an hour, the treatment is over and you can walk out of the office with a gleaming bright smile.

Home Whitening

If you prefer not to spend an hour in the dentist's chair, you can instead opt for a home whitening treatment. For this kind of treatment, a dentist must take an impression of your teeth and use it to make a custom mouthguard that fits perfectly over them. At home, you fill this mouthguard with bleaching gel and wear it for a specified period of time to allow the gel to work on the stains in your teeth. You might need to repeat the process multiple times to get the results you desire.

It is important not to confuse dentist-provided home whitening kits with whitening products that you can buy from a store. Kits provided by dentists contain much higher concentrations of bleaching gel and therefore give much more dramatic results. However, they can be dangerous if you do not use them according to your dentist's instructions. Always keep an eye on the clock when using a dentist-provided whitening kit to be sure that you do not leave the gel in contact with your teeth and gums for too long, as overexposure can lead to sensitivity.

Mixed Whitening

If you have stubborn stains on your teeth, your dentist might recommend a mixture of in-office and home treatments. The initial in-office whitening session removes the worst of the staining, while the home treatments work over a period of time to loosen stubborn stains and prevent discolouration from creeping back in. If your teeth are badly stained and you are looking to drastically change their colour, a mixed approach might be the right solution for you.

For more information about teeth whitening, talk to your dentist today.