A bright smile is often the first thing people notice. If your smile has faded due to age, medication, or lifestyle choices, professional tooth whitening could restore it to its former glory. But are you a good candidate for the procedure?
There is a lot of misinformation about tooth whitening. You may have heard that it’s painful, that it doesn’t work, or that it’s unaffordable. In fact, even patients with sensitive teeth can undergo tooth whitening with little or no discomfort.
The best candidates for tooth whitening are people who have discolored teeth. This discoloration is sometimes due to genetics or the natural aging process. Some drugs, such as tetracycline, can cause teeth to darken. Of course, smoking and frequent coffee-drinking can also stain the teeth. Whatever the cause, tooth whitening can reverse discoloration and leave teeth up to 10 shades brighter than before.
Good candidates for tooth whitening enjoy good oral health. If you suffer from gingivitis or severe tooth decay, you will need to correct those problems before proceeding with the tooth whitening.
If you’ve had oral cancer or ever received radiation therapy in your month, tell your cosmetic dentist before you begin the tooth whitening process. Also, if you have a disease that compromises your healing ability or immune system, your dentist needs to know.
Patients with sensitive teeth should tell the dentist in advance. That way, a milder gel can be used to whiten their teeth. Comfort is important, and the dentist will do everything possible to make the procedure painless. Also, if you have crowns or bonding, be aware that the artificial surfaces will not get whiter. Your dentist will be able to advise you of the best course of action.
Finally, for long-lasting results, patients are advised not to continue habits that lead to tooth discoloration. Stop smoking to enjoy better health and brighter teeth, and cut back on the dark coffee and tea. Simple changes can make your smile last a lifetime.
For more information about tooth whitening, Freehold cosmetic dentist Dr. Sternberg can answer all of your questions today.