Making your smile appear white and brighter is an increasingly popular dental treatment for people who have stained or discolored teeth due to drinking, eating or smoking habits. Teeth whitening can improve the color and shade of your teeth. There are different types of teeth whitening procedures, yet none of them are permanent and so require maintenance and follow-ups to ensure lasting results. Below, find out if you are a candidate for teeth whitening treatment and which procedure or whitening product works best for you.
Are You a Candidate ?:
Not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening treatment. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the condition of your teeth, while yellowish colored teeth or those with stains caused by age, food or drinks will benefit from teeth whitening, darker, grayish teeth may not bleach at all. If you have tooth-colored fillings or bonding materials on your teeth, they will not be affected by whitening treatment and may not match the color of the rest of your smile. Recessed gums that reveal the yellow roots will not bleach well, and pregnant or nursing women should avoid whitening altogether.
Types of Treatment:
Teeth whitening can be done at the dentist's office or at home.
Professional in-office whitening:
These procedures are generally the most effective treatments and can require multiple appointments. Your dentist will use a protective gel or rubber shield to keep your gums and oral tissues protected, and then apply a bleaching agent to your teeth. Special lights or lasers can be used to enhance the whitening agent.
Professional take-home kits:
These are an effective solution for individuals who wish to whiten their teeth on their own. The kits use peroxide gel that has a lower concentration of peroxide that must be kept on the teeth for an hour or even overnight.
Over-the-counter whitening products:
These products can include anything from toothpastes to store-bought kits, which have bleaching agents with the lowest concentration levels. However, they are the least expensive and most convenient options for people who wish to temporarily improve or maintain their smile.
Maintaining Your Smile:
Because teeth whitening treatments are not permanent, it's important to maintain your bright new smile by touching up your teeth every so often. You can also prevent your teeth from staining further by watching what you eat and drink. As always, brushing and flossing on a regularly basis is the most effective way to keeping your teeth clean and healthy.