Looking for a brighter, whiter smile? Before whitening your teeth, discuss the process with your dentist. There are certain risks associated with at-home teeth whitening that should be addressed prior to whitening to avoid any permanent damage to the teeth or gums. Such risks include damage to the roots of the teeth and tooth sensitivity. If your dentist suspects that you will incur sensitivity issues while or after whitening, then he may be able to recommend specific procedures or products that will lessen the discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. Not only that, but your dentist can check for signs of root damage prior to whitening and recommend the best route to take to avoid further root damage if it exists prior to whitening.
Should I Bleach My Teeth or Not?
Teeth whitening is a popular demand among dental patients. After all, who does not want a pristine sparkling smile? Over time, diet and lifestyle choices can take a toll on the color of the teeth, resulting in stains to the surface. Regular cleanings at your routine dental checkups will often remove the majority of external stains; however, in some cases, stains may remain. Hence, you might get the itch to whiten your teeth.
In general, discolored or yellow teeth will respond well to teeth whitening attempts. However, teeth that are stained more of a brownish hue may not respond so well to whitening; and teeth that are stained grey as a result of taking tetracycline, that are caused by smoking or fluorosis (too much fluoride), will most likely not dramatically change in color regardless of tooth whitening attempts. Additionally, if you have tooth-colored fillings or have had tooth bonding, then tooth whitening may not produce dramatic results in terms of whitening.
For these reasons, if you can relate to any of the above scenarios then you may want to discuss alternatives to whitening with your dentist, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers. If you decide to move forward with whitening and have discussed it with your dentist, remember that daily oral habits such as flossing and brushing as well as regular dental checkups, will keep your smile looking brighter and whiter, longer.