A set of pearly whites is the ultimate A-list accessory - we all want that Hollywood smile! There are lots of different teeth-whitening options on the market, but which one is right for you? We speak to Dr Kay, director of Harley Street Dental Clinic, to bring you the lowdown...
1. The dentist is best
Despite an arsenal of whitening toothpastes, home kits and 'hacks', if you want to invest in a brighter, whiter smile, a trip to the dentist will provide the best results. "Home kits may help the surface stains, they are more a maintenance measure," says Dr Kay. "To get the most effective, safe, legal and long-lasting results, stick to what is scientifically proven to work - dental whitening procedures with a dental professional."
2. Steer clear of 'hacks'
"Home remedies may help to reduce a certain amount of surface stains, but will not change the colour of your teeth," says Dr Kay. "In fact, they can actually be damaging to teeth, especially bicarbonate of soda, as it is very abrasive and can wear at your tooth enamel. The best course of action is to visit a dental practice who will use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth."
3. What IS laser teeth whitening?
There is some confusion around the term and it can actually be offputting for some, but what is laser teeth whitening? "It's a light-activated system which uses a propriety LED light to accelerate whitening for maximum results in minimal time," explains Dr Kay. "It takes around one hour."
4. If you don't want to go into a clinic...
If you don't like the sound of laser whitening at a clinic, you have another safe option. "Home whitening trays, used over night at home for a period of approx. two weeks, can be just as effective," says Dr Kay. "We take an impression of your teeth, the impressions are then sent to a lab to create whitening trays that are an exact replica of your teeth to ensure the perfect fit for safety, comfort and therefore ensure maximum results."
5. Focus on maintenance
To help maintain the whiteness of your teeth after your whitening, Dr Kay advises regular sessions with a dental hygienist, and using a whitening toothpaste to help reduce surface stains.