A stunning, white smile is always in style. While some are fortunate enough to have naturally white teeth, the majority will need to look to teeth whitening methods. There are two primary options for whitening teeth: doing it at home or visiting the dentist. To determine which method is best for individual situations, a consideration of the pros and cons of each option is important.

Do It Yourself

There are many ways to whiten teeth at home from easy concoctions with household ingredients to store-bought products. These methods will cost less than going to the dentist but may not necessarily be as effective. For example, a common teeth whitening recipe found online is a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide that gets brushed on to the teeth and then rinsed away. Another option is using apple cider vinegar to gargle with or brushing in combination with baking soda. Both of these homemade solutions can take a number of weeks before showing signs of improvement, but they have been shown to remove stains and whiten teeth. As a bonus, it would cost very little to make these.

There are other products that cost more but may have more noticeable or immediate results. These products can be purchased in shops or online. One of the most popular choices is whitening strips as they are fairly affordable. The best strips are quite effective at removing stains and whitening teeth and can have lasting effects. Some cons associated with strips are increased tooth sensitivity, discomfort after use and difficulty applying strips. Another common product is teeth whitening gel which comes in a kit with trays that mold to the user's teeth. While it is easy to use, the gel is often known to cause pain and sensitivity in the teeth. A final product that is currently receiving a lot of attention is activated charcoal. This product is popular because it's all-natural, flavourless and only requires brushing the teeth with the charcoal to notice a difference. Despite its popularity, there are some warnings that the charcoal may not be a healthy for teeth. It is important to consider all aspects of a product before using it at home.

Visit the Dentist

Not everyone enjoys a trip to the dentist, but sometimes the end result is worthwhile. Whitening procedures by a dentist undoubtedly cost so much because they are the most effective and usually take the least amount of time. It can also be argued that when a procedure is performed by a professional it's actually safer and pain-free because they have access to the best products. However, there are some disadvantages to whitening procedures at the dentist. The most obvious is the cost as procedures can cost hundreds of pounds, compared to do-it-yourself methods. Furthermore, these products have a higher concentration of tooth whitening chemicals, so those patients with hyper-sensitive teeth or tooth stains that are not caused by food, wine, coffee or tobacco are not proper candidates. Lastly, patients may need to continue to use similar at-home products mentioned above so it may be better to just avoid the dentist altogether in order to save money.

When it comes to choosing which whitening method works best, it is important to consider how much effort, time and money should be invested into this endeavour.