Roadtest: Teeth Whitening Treatments

Having a blindingly bright grin is one of the easiest ways to appear that much healthier and happier. But our love of coffee and red wine means we don't all have naturally bleach-white pearlers. The good news is there's a raft of professional at-home and in-office whitening treatments.

If you're keen for a mega-watt smile, laser whitening promises to instantly pump up pegs by up to nine shades. Although the procedure is straightforward - a hydrogen peroxide-based solution is painted onto the teeth before a blue light is applied - anyone who tells you laser doesn't hurt is lying through their, well ... teeth. "Temporary sensitivity is the main side effect of teeth whitening, but it tends to settle within 24 hours and can be managed with the use of a tooth mousse designed to de-sensitise the teeth before and after the treatment," explains Dr Fadi Yassmin, a cosmetic dentist from Sydney's Broadway Dental Centre.

At $600 to $1500, laser isn't cheap, but on the upside, you'll not only be able to rock bright lipstick seven ways from Sunday, but it also makes the whites of the eyes look brighter. And the best bit? Since getting the treatment I've been flossing and brushing like a bandit, so I'm confident I'll make up the money I splurged on whitening in trips saved to the dentist.

That's definitely something to smile about.

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