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 It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Braces as an adult? No way. At least, that was what I thought when my dentist told me that I was going to have to see an orthodontist about my crooked teeth. But my teeth were so misaligned that they were causing me pain when I chewed, so I decided to at least look into it. Turns out braces today are nothing like the ones my friends had when I was a kid. Mine were practically invisible, and I didn't need to wear them that long. I started this blog to encourage other people like me who are nervous about the prospect of wearing braces as an adult. My straight smile is so worth the trips to the orthodontist, and wearing braces was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Read on to find out more about how you can straighten your smile.

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It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Tooth Whitening Options

by Jacqueline Byrd

A whiter smile can help improve your confidence, especially if you have dark stains or uneven discoloration. When it comes to whitening, you have several choices. The following guide can help you choose the best method for your teeth.

At-Home Whitening

There are a variety of products on the market that allow you to whiten your teeth on your own. All of them consist of a whitening gel, which usually contains peroxide, which is applied to the teeth and left in place for several minutes.

Some home kits use plastic strips, which have the gel smeared upon them. Others use a tray system that holds the gel and fits over the teeth.

Generally, these kits are safe, but they are not as powerful as dentist office treatments. This means they may not whiten your teeth as much. Overall, opt for the home kit to touch up between office visits or if your teeth only have slight discoloration.

Office treatments

Dentists can mix their own gel to a strength that is suitable for your teeth, which means that it has more whitening power. They also custom fit the trays to ensure the gel has better coverage.

Most important, perhaps, is the cleaning performed before the whitening treatment. This removes any plaque or surface stains on the teeth so the whitening treatment can work more effectively. The dentist will also be able to assess the cause of the discoloration and provide advice on minimizing future stains. They can also identify stains that are permanent and offer other solutions, such as veneers, to fix these problem spots.

Opt for an office treatment if you have badly stained teeth or if you are in need of an overall cleaning. An office treatment is also a good idea if you need a professional assessment to understand why your teeth are discoloring.

Hybrid option

A hybrid option allows you to take advantage of the better quality of dental office whitening preparations, but you do the maintenance work at home.

You still go in for your regular six-month checkups and cleanings. Your dentist then prepares a gel for you and gives you the custom trays to take home. You can then perform your maintenance whitening treatments at home when necessary, so you won't need to go into the office as often to keep your smile white.

For more information on teeth whitening services, talk to a dentist in your area.