The issue: Our teeth are starting to resemble our Great Aunt Doris who smoked a ten pack for a decade and had a particular penchant for red wine mixed with diet coke. In short, they're not looking so hot.
The aim: To get teeth so pearly white they basically glow in the dark.
The solution: Go to the pros.
Which is why we've gathered not one, but three experts in the field to answer your questions on how to whiten teeth.
First up, celebrity dentist Dr Richard Marques, or The King Of Smiles to his friends.
Next, bringing the pro teeth whitening panel to a grand total of three, are professional dentists and sisters Dr Lisa and Vanessa Creaven.
Let's get this teeth whitening show on the road!
'Yellow teeth can be something you are genetically born with, or it can develop over time,' says Dr Richard.
'The main thing that causes yellowing of teeth is staining from smoking, black tea, black coffee and red wine. Yellowing can also be caused by the wearing of the enamel, which is generally whiter, and is caused by acids (such as those in fizzy drinks), teeth grinding and brushing the teeth too hard.'
Put simply, according to Dr Vanessa and Lisa there's two ways your teeth can darken in colour.
1. Loss of enamel
This exposes the darker dentine layer through acidic erosion, over brushing, or brushing with abrasive toothpastes.
2. Pigmented food in your diet
1. Change Up Your Diet
'Try to eat whiter foods, such as chicken, rice and fish, and also drink clear or white fluids such as water and milk,' says Dr Richard.
2. Drink Through A Straw
'Drink through a straw to bypass your teeth if you are drinking something like a berry smoothie.'
3. Use A Whitening Toothpaste And Electric Toothbrush
'A good electric toothbrush can be great to maintain or enhance the whitening process.'
4. Attend A Hygienist Regularly
According to Dr Lisa and Vanessa, 'Attend your hygienist regularly to remove plaque and calculus, this will keep your teeth and gums healthy.'
8 At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits That Actually Work
When your at-home teeth whitening strips are formulated by actual dentists, you know you're in safe hands. Spotlight's strips dissolve over the space of an hour (take them off after that) to safely and effectively remove stains and whiten using the most powerful teeth whitening ingredient: hydrogen peroxide. Repeat everyday for two weeks and you'll have perfect pearly whites with minimum effort.
Not only for detox face masks, Curaprox's whitening toothpaste also harnesses the purifying properties of charcoal to keep stains from settling. Even though the texture is slightly gritty, it's definitely not gag-worthy like some charcoal-infused products. Brush for two minutes, rinse your mouth out thoroughly, et voila.
If you're going to put your trust in any teeth whitening product, make it dentist-led! Dr. Richard Marques' Natural Whitening Paste is free from a whole host of potential irritants and, instead, boasts ingredients like calcium carbonate, silica and Tea tree oil to brighten and freshen. We feel so nostalgic for the strawberry flavour.
A pea-sized amount of the BlanX treatment in place of your regular toothpaste is capable of blurring yellow stains into oblivion, all without subjecting your teeth to any abrasive ingredients which so often sensitise - ouch. Using the LED might seem like a bit of a faff when all you want to do is fall into bed at the end of the day, but you only need a minute each time; the key is consistency.
Totally peroxide-free, Mr. Blanc's whitening strips get to work after just one use - and we can vouch for that. Simply mould each strip to your teeth (don't forget to tuck underneath), go about your daily business for thirty minutes, whip them off and marvel over the difference. Simple!
It may look like you need a degree to use this kit but it couldn't be more simple. Inject the all-natural gel (which doesn't damage gums) into the mouth guards and position them over your teeth before biting down on the snazzy-looking LED light for thirty minutes. The result is a polished, pearly look that you'll want to show off at every opportunity.
The Pearl Drops whitening kit is amazing at diminishing discolouration left behind by the main stain culprits tea, coffee, tobacco and red wine. Saying that, the 3-step routine requires a little bit of patience over ten days. It comes complete with a brush-on Brightening and Activator serum which you need to slick on to your teeth before going in with the polish. Commit to the routine and you'll be saying 'Hello, dazzling smile' in no time.
Forget both the humble price-tag and old-school packaging - this toothpaste has the ability to eradicate stains for a brighter smile in just a couple of weeks. The added Pentasodium Triphosphate works like an apron against food particles so that they don't collect on your teeth, and, unlike most whitening toothpastes, it lathers up a treat so it even feels like it's working. Top marks.
Dr Richard's advice? 'Consult a professional dentist before getting this procedure done.'
Sounds obvious but it's kind of key. 'Teeth whitening is a complicated process that can damage teeth enamel permanently if not carried out properly using high-quality materials,' continues Dr Richard.
Pro Teeth Whitening Options
Dr Richard is all about , 'It really works for getting your smile looking in tip top condition. is another great teeth whitening treatment that was developed by dentists, and uses home whitening gels with highly-customised trays and is really effective for whitening teeth.'
Dr Lisa and Vanessa say it's all about the hydrogen peroxide: 'You can have professional whitening provided at your dentist but this is not designed to be used too frequently. There are adjunctive treatments such as lasers and lights which enhance the process but it is the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide which achieves the best result.'
'Hygdrogen peroxide breaks down surfaces stains and penetrates the very outer layer of enamel to lighten to overall shade of the tooth. It comes in gel or strip form like our kit you can do at home.'
Yes, and no. Well more no...
'Teeth whitening is never 100% permanent, however when done properly, it can last 2-4 years,' says Dr Richard. 'You will generally have top-up trays even if you do laser teeth whitening so you can always do a bit of extra whitening when you need in order to maintain the teeth.'
As mother always said, everything in moderation.
'Using high concentration treatments too frequently can absolutely damage your teeth. We do not recommend this as dentists,' explains Dr Vanessa and Lisa.
The bad news?
'Using high concentration gels or strips without proper protection can indeed cause significant sensitivity and irritation to the gums which can put a lot of people off whitening their teeth', says Dr Lisa and Vanessa.
The good news?
Dr Richard is a little more positive: 'There can be very slight sensitivity from teeth whitening but this will always fade after the treatment.' Huzzah!