No matter how much brushing and flossing you do, or how good you are about visiting the dentist for regular professional cleanings, your teeth will still develop minor stains that dull your smile. When stains and discoloration start to dull your smile, it may be time to consider dental whitening.
What is Dental Whitening?
Dental whitening is a general term that is used to describe a number of different dental services and products that are designed to brighten and whiten your teeth. There are two options available for people who are considering dental whitening: over-the-counter teeth whitening products and professional teeth whitening products or services.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are the items that you find in the dental aisle at the grocery store or drug store. These are the whitening pens, strips, kinds of toothpaste, trays, and mouthwashes that promise to whiten your teeth over a period of time.
While over-the-counter teeth whitening products may seem like the easiest solution to help you whiten and brighten your teeth, they aren’t. Over-the-counter whitening products usually do one of two things. They either are so weak that they do not whiten and brighten your teeth, or they are so powerful that they can cause extensive damage to your teeth.
In order to avoid problems and get the best results, it is recommended that you choose not to use over-the-counter teeth whitening products and instead choose professional teeth whitening.
Professional teeth whitening products and services are offered by your dentist. Unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening products, professional teeth whitening products are customized to give you the best results. Everything from the type of dental bleach used, to the shape and size of the mouthguard or tray is customized to give you the best results.
Who is a Good Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening?
Even though everyone wants whiter and brighter teeth, not everyone will be a good candidate for professional teeth whitening. A good candidate for professional teeth whitening is someone with the following qualities:
- Good oral health – flosses and schedules regular routine professional cleanings
- No periodontal disease
- Few, if any, dental restorations such as fillings or dental crowns on the teeth
- No teeth with exposed roots
- No one who is pregnant or nursing
- No one who has extensive tooth decay or cavities
- Extremely sensitive teeth – there are some options for professional teeth whitening for sensitive teeth, but if your teeth are extremely sensitive another cosmetic dental procedure may be better for you
A dentist can help you determine if you are a good candidate for dental whitening. If you aren’t a good candidate, your dentist may be able to provide you with alternative treatment options that can improve your smile.
Can Severely Stained or Discolored Teeth Still be Whitened?
Even teeth that are severely stained and discolored can be whitened and brightened with professional teeth whitening. However, there are limits to how white and bright your smile can get with teeth whitening services offered by your dentist.
The specialized dental bleach that is used with professional teeth whitening is extremely successful at removing minor yellow and brown stains. Unfortunately, it is not powerful enough to remove severe stains. If you were to choose to undergo professional dental whitening with severely stained teeth, you will still see a slight improvement in your smile, but your teeth might not be your desired shade of white. Luckily, there are other options available to you.
For severely stained teeth, you may need to go with another cosmetic dental procedure in order to get your teeth to the shade of white you want. Cosmetic dental procedures, such as dental crowns and porcelain veneers, are commonly used when professional teeth whitening is unable to remove stains and discoloration.
Schedule a Consultation to See if You are a Good Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening
Interested in seeing if professional dental whitening is right for you? Call Artistic Touch Dentistry to schedule a consultation. Our dentist, Dr. Maryam Brazdo, will help you explore treatment options that will help you quickly, safely, and effectively whiten and brighten your teeth.