Teeth whitening has long been a cosmetic dental procedure that many people want because it provides beautiful, clean, bright teeth and an amazing smile. While teeth whitening is generally a very simple procedure that gives you instant results for a brighter, whiter smile, it’s not going to be the right choice for everyone. Here’s how you can determine if whitening is the best choice for your teeth (and what other options might be available if it’s not).
Why Teeth Need Whitening
We all start out with bright white teeth, but over time the protective layer on the top of your teeth—the enamel—is exposed to a lot of things that can affect how white your teeth look. Things like coffee, wine, acid from foods and drinks like soda can permanently stain your teeth. Smoking, using tobacco, or taking other drugs can cause teeth to look yellow or gray. In addition, as you age the layer of protective enamel that makes teeth look white gets thinner, exposing the root area underneath and making your teeth look a pale gray color.
Fortunately teeth whitening is one of the easiest dental procedures to have done, and in many cases it can remove years of discoloration and stains to reveal a whiter, brighter smile underneath.
When Teeth Whitening is the Best Choice
Teeth whitening is a great choice for almost every patient. It is a very safe procedure that doesn’t involve any drilling, surgery, or other invasive actions. You will see the most benefit if you have mild to moderate stains and not deep discoloration that is a result of another underlying dental issue. This procedure is also very affordable, so it’s a good choice for most patients.
When Teeth Whitening Might Not Be Right
It’s important to understand that while it is a safe and effective procedure, it’s not going to be the best choice for everyone. Your teeth may not respond well to whitening if they:
- Have dark brown or gray stains
- Are discolored as a result of too much fluoride
- Are discolored from exposure to tetracycline antibiotics
- Have fillings, crowns, caps or bonding, especially along your front teeth (bleach won’t work on these materials, so they will stand out from your other white teeth)
Additionally, it’s not a good idea to get teeth whitening if you have periodontal disease (gum disease) or you have very sensitive teeth. The whitening process uses hydrogen peroxide, which can make tooth sensitivity worse.
Why Go to the Dentist for Teeth Whitening
There are a lot of products you can purchase over the counter that claim to whiten teeth, but in many cases the whitening power of the products at the dentist’s office are stronger and more effective. Having your teeth whitened at the dentist’s office also ensures that you will do it correctly to get the best results, and helps you avoid any safety concerns with do-it-yourself whitening that could lead to tooth damage.
Find out more about teeth whitening procedures at Young Family Dental by contacting us for a consultation today.