A beautiful smile is a great social and professional asset. Unfortunately, many people aren’t happy with their smile. The most common complaint is about discolored teeth. If this is your problem, you might think the best choice is get a teeth whitening kit at the store.
But there are many reasons why you should talk to your dentist first before trying any over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitener.
Find out If Whitening Will Work for You
Most of the teeth whitening kits you find at the store work with a very simple mechanism. Chemicals, most commonly some form or peroxide, are used to break down stains in your tooth enamel. These can effectively combat most types of stains if they’re related to surface stains.
But there are many types of tooth discoloration that won’t respond to teeth whitening. If the tooth is discolored from within by chemical stains from tetracycline antibiotics, this kind of tooth whitening is less likely to work. And teeth whitening absolutely will not work if your teeth are discolored by trauma or enamel defects.
It’d be good to know whether whitening will work for you before you waste time and money on OTC whiteners. And if it won’t work, you can understand which options, such as porcelain veneers, might be right for you.
Avoid Tooth Damage
Most teeth whitening products are safe for your teeth when used according to directions. But not all of them are. Some tooth whiteners are designed to work using abrasive particles that scrape away stains. Unfortunately, this means they’re also scraping away the outer layers of your teeth.
This will damage your teeth and in the end it will make your teeth more discolored. Only the outer part of your tooth is white: underneath it’s yellow, and if the outer layer goes away, the tooth as a whole will turn yellowish.
Your dentist can supply you with safe products or guide you to OTC products that are also safe.
One of the unpleasant side effects some people get with teeth whitening is sensitivity. That’s because removing stains also opens up little tubes in the teeth that expose the interior of the tooth to forces that can hurt it, such as acids or changes in temperature.
But when your dentist performs teeth whitening, the whitener can be reformulated to block tubules and reduce sensitivity.
Get Better Results
OTC whiteners work, but maybe not as well as you want. Dentists have access to more powerful whiteners than are available in OTC kits. The low strength of whiteners in OTC kits limits their effectiveness.
But with professional whitening, you have access to the best whiteners so you can get the best results.
Another problem with OTC whitening is that you have to get it right without the help of a dentist. Improperly used whteners can give uneven results. This will leave discolored sections on your teeth.
Get Faster Results
The stronger teeth whitening compounds that professionals use can not only make your teeth whiter, they can achieve results faster. You can sometimes get great results with just a single visit to the dentist.
The Best Whitening Is at Your Dentist
Are you ready to have the bright, beautiful smile of your dreams? If you are, then you should seek out treatment by your dentist, not try to do it yourself.