White, attractive teeth can be important for your self-esteem. You may feel more comfortable in social and work settings when your teeth are white when compared to how stained and yellow teeth make you feel self-conscious.

Professional teeth-whitening services may be the best way to get your teeth shades whiter even though you can buy over-the-counter whitening products to use at home. Here's why professional teeth-whitening services are better than home kits and how a dentist can help you get whiter teeth. 

Why Professional Teeth Whitening Is Best

You get much better results with whitening your teeth when it's done by a dentist because a dentist can supply you with stronger bleach. At the same time, they can protect your gums so you don't get gum irritation. You can leave the dentist's office with whiter teeth the same day, while it could take a long time to get white teeth from a home kit. Plus, a dentist can probably get your teeth whiter and give you results that last longer.

Another important reason to see a dentist about tooth whitening is so the health of your mouth can be assessed. You may need your teeth cleaned first to get the best results. You might need other dental work besides bleaching if the stains on your teeth are caused by something other than smoking, food, or beverages. A dentist can make sure the teeth-whitening procedures are right for you.

How A Dentist Whitens Your Teeth

A dentist can provide treatments in the office that give same-day results or they can send you home with a kit that contains a stronger form of bleach and a custom mouth tray that protects your gums.

In-office teeth-whitening services are often called laser whitening because a laser enhances the effects of the bleach. Your gums are protected with gel, so the procedure is safe. Bleach is applied and then the laser shines on your teeth to make the bleach work faster and better. After several minutes, your teeth could be several shades whiter.

You might prefer using custom dental trays supplied by your dentist instead since these are less expensive than dental whitening. They are similar to the whitening kits you buy at a drugstore except the bleach is stronger and the dentist makes a custom mouth tray that fits your teeth precisely.

You start by having an impression made of your teeth so the tray can be made for you in a dental lab. Once your trays are ready, which could take a couple of weeks, you return to the dentist to learn how to use the trays at home. You might wear the trays daily or overnight for several days and then return to your dentist for an evaluation. Once your teeth have been whitened, the same trays can be used periodically to help maintain your white color.

Contact your dentist to learn more about teeth-whitening services