If you want a whiter smile, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening has become a common procedure now that it’s affordable and accessible for average folks. But before taking your smile up a few shades, make sure it’s right for you. Here are a few things that might make whitening the wrong choice for your teeth.
Do You Smoke, or Drink a Lot of Coffee?
Smoking and drinking coffee, tea, or red wine can create superficial yellow or brown stains on teeth — exactly the kind of stains that whitening treatments are designed to fix. However, just like those habits created stains in the first place, your whitening results aren’t likely to last long if you keep them up. Change staining habits before whitening to improve your results. Otherwise, you may find your bright new smile gets discolored pretty quickly.
Do You Have Dental Restorations?
If you have crowns, bridges, veneers, or even tooth-colored fillings, those restorations were carefully matched to the color of your actual teeth. While whitening treatments will lighten your natural teeth, it won’t affect your restorations, which could result in a color mismatch. Whitening teeth before restorations lets your dentist match the restorations to whiter teeth. If you really want a whiter smile and already have restorations, veneers or lumineers may be a better solution for you.
Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?
Whitening can be abrasive, so if you have sensitive teeth or gums, a whitening treatment could exacerbate that sensitivity. If you struggle with sensitive teeth or gums, that doesn’t necessarily mean that whitening is off the table — but you should speak with your dentist about it before scheduling the procedure. Some treatments are better for sensitive teeth. Your dentist may be able to use a whitening approach that’s easier on teeth. Or she may recommend other procedures that could deliver similar results through a different technique.
You Have Poor Oral Health
If you suffer from gum disease or have untreated cavities, those things need to be treated before you can undergo a whitening procedure. Otherwise, you may end up dealing with pain or discomfort after the procedure. Plus, whitening may not be as effective as it could be on healthy teeth. Instead, make sure your oral health is tip top before you start looking at cosmetic treatments. A healthy smile should come first, and a beautiful smile second!
Whitening is a common procedure, and a quick one, but don’t let that fool you into taking it lightly. Just like any other dental procedure, it’s important that you have a dental exam beforehand and discuss your options with your dentist to ensure that whitening is the right choice for you, and will deliver the results you want.