The Smart Side of Beautiful

Fast Teeth Whitening Options When You're in a Pinch

by Nicole C. Bridge
Bride and groom on wedding day
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If a big event has snuck up on you, you may be scrambling to find a fast teeth whitening solution that works for you. Check out the two types of whitening: professional whitening and over-the-counter whitening and determine how you can best brighten your smile and look your best for any event.

Professional Teeth Whitening

A Professional Whitening treatment will give the most dramatic results in the shortest period of time. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in-office whitening targets the front eight teeth and can be an effective start to an at-home whitening regimen. Although sometimes expensive, in-office whitening usually only takes about an hour and can brighten your teeth by several shades.

If you have a little extra time to spare, ask your dentist about a take-home professional whitening system. The Colgate® Optic White® Professional Take-home Kit includes a set of trays and bleaching gel. Fill the trays with the gel and place them on your teeth for 30 minutes once a day for a week.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

A reasonable price and convenience make over-the-counter products an attractive option. The bleaching agents are a lower concentration than those used by the professionals, so that's why it'll take a little longer to see results. If used as directed, the Colgate® Optic White® Toothbrush and Whitening Pen can make your teeth five shades whiter (when using twice daily for three weeks). The brush is engineered with polishing bristles to help remove stains from the surface. The pen, which fits right into the toothbrush, is simple to use. Apply the gel right onto your teeth and go! You don't have to wait for the gel to dry, so you can go about your busy day.

Whitening toothpaste is effective on its own, but can also work well when used together with other whitening solutions. Colgate® Optic White® High Impact White® toothpaste is formulated with 2 percent hydrogen peroxide. If used as directed, it can lighten teeth about four shades in six weeks. Even if you decide on a professional solution, consider using a whitening toothpaste to maintain that dazzle between treatments.

Whitening Routine

Here's something you should know about all whitening methods: they don't last forever. It helps to combine professional whitening with over-the-counter whitening products to maintain the brightness. Before trying any whitening treatments, you should talk to your dentist about the condition of your teeth. Make sure your teeth are free of decay, that you don't have hypersensitivity, and your crowns and fillings are in tip-top shape. Once you have the all-clear, go ahead and brighten that beautiful smile!

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