Get a sparkling smile!

The quest for beauty has never been so fashionable. Suddenly plastic surgery isn?t a taboo, but is growing increasingly common. Television shows such as Extreme Makeover are giving ordinary citizens an introduction to the difference plastic surgery can make in someone?s life. While body augmentation is expensive and reasonably drastic, there is one cosmetic procedure that is being embraced by the Australian public. Teeth whitening. Suddenly we all want a smile like Tom Cruise and are going to varying lengths to get it.

But what is the best way to get sparkling white teeth? What?s the difference between dentist treatments and the home whitening kits? As August is World Dental Month, SheSaid thought we?d look at a few take home tests and find out the best way to take care of your teeth.

What causes teeth discolouration?
There are two types of causes for teeth discolouration. Surface stains from substances such as tea, coffee, wine and tobacco change the colour of the outermost layer of the tooth. Deeper stains that affect the enamel is caused from certain medications, aging, natural defects or trauma. Although we could drink less coffee, things such as aging and important medicines are unavoidable. So how can you fix teeth that are already staining?

Available methods
There are various teeth whitening methods available which provide varying results. For minor stains, take home whitening kits bleach the teeth and promise to whiten teeth up to 4 shades lighter.

Colgate Simply White Advanced
This is a once a day gel formula that guarantees to whiten teeth by three or four shades in only two weeks. The clear solution is applied with an applicator brush and absorbs into the teeth quickly and effectively. At $29.99, it is the most cost effective whitening treatment and although the results aren?t as dramatic as professional treatments, it?s a perfect and safe way to lighten minor stains.
Plus if you don?t notice visibly whiter teeth, Colgate have a money back guarantee!
RRP $29.99 from major retail outlets and pharmacies nationally.

Macleans Brilliant White Dental Whitening Strips
Macleans Brilliant White Dental Whitening Strips are soft, thing mouldable strips that are to be affixed to your teeth for 30 minutes, twice a day for the period of two weeks. It also uses the same ingredient dentists use so is safe on teeth, but promises up to whiten teeth up to five shades lighter. It hugs the contours of your teeth providing secure coverage of the ingredients, and at $35.50 is still cheaper than heading to the dentist.

Professional take home whitening kits
For more effective bleaching, try getting your teeth whitened in the dentist surgery. The latest in whitening technology is the one hour in-office whitening treatment which can be further improved by taking home a custom made whitening trays and a special bleaching gel that will seep into the enamel and dentine (the outer and middle layers of your teeth). The only negative symptoms usually encountered in such a whitening process is increased sensitivity to hot and cold substances, however this feeling will usually end when treatment is completed. Professional whitening is perfect for minor, to medium staining and can get your smile ?movie star white.?
Costs between $700 and $1,200.