Tooth whitening has become very popular and there is a whole range of products out there that promise you a whiter smile in no time at all. However, some of these products aren't particularly effective and can also be abrasive, which can damage your tooth enamel over time. Damaged tooth enamel leads to tooth discolouration and can also allow bacteria to enter your tooth and cause an abscess. So, instead of opting for an off-the-shelf tooth whitening product that may do your teeth more harm than good, consider professional tooth whitening. There are a few options available, and your dentist will recommend an approach for you based on the health of your teeth and gums. Read on to learn about two professional tooth whitening methods.

The Bleaching Method

The bleaching method for whitening teeth is carried out in your dentist's office. It involves having a gel applied to your teeth for a short period, and the gel is effective against even dark stains, such as those caused by coffee and tobacco. The active ingredient in the gel is carbamide peroxide, which is a powerful whitening agent, so some people only need one treatment session to obtain the results they're looking for, but those with significant staining may require a couple of sessions. The results of the bleaching method can last up to a year if you follow your dentist's oral hygiene recommendations.

The Tray Method

The tray method for whitening teeth is carried out mostly in the comfort of your own home. It involves your dentist taking impressions of your teeth to have custom whitening trays made that are the perfect fit for your mouth. You then take the trays home and fill them with a whitening gel and wear them for a couple of hours each day for a week or so. The custom-made trays ensure even coverage, and you'll be able to use the same trays whenever you want to whiten your teeth again in the future. The gel used for this method is milder than the gel used for the bleaching method and can be a good option for those with sensitive teeth or gums who may find the bleaching gel to be a little irritating.

There are many reasons people chose to whiten their teeth, but it's often associated with boosting self-esteem and feeling confident when smiling in public. If you're considering tooth whitening, ask your dentist to recommend a method based on their knowledge of your oral health.