Professional teeth whitening can seem like a miracle solution for stubborn stains and yellowing teeth, but is it the best option for your smile? With a professional whitening treatment, teeth are bleached in the office or at home to whiten teeth. Not everyone, however, is an ideal candidate. Factors such as poor gum health and previous dental work may make other methods better for your smile. There are alternative options to professional bleaching, allowing everyone a way to address tooth discoloration.
Who Is Professional Whitening For?
Professional whitening is right for most people with permanent teeth and good oral health. If you do not have problems like tender gums or a receding gumline, then you are not likely to be as sensitive to the chemicals in bleaching treatments. It works well for anyone with stubborn, yellowish stains. According to the American Dental Association, brownish and grayish stains do not always whiten well. Bleaching treatments are right for people without previous work to front teeth; tooth-colored fillings, crowns, and caps are not to be whitened like the rest of your teeth. Your dentist can tell you if you are a good candidate and what other options are available for whitening. Make an appointment with your dentist and find out if professional teeth whitening is right for you.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, then your dentist will probably give you the okay for a professional whitening treatment. People who have gum disease may be told to avoid bleaching treatments; the chemicals involved can irritate your gums and increase tooth sensitivity. You can discuss your dental care routine to help improve the health of your gums. Good brushing and flossing habits and regular dental checkups can often improve gum disease. Even if you cannot get a professional bleaching treatment, you can enjoy the whitening benefits of a professional cleaning.
As mentioned above, people who have crowns, caps and other restorative work to the front teeth, professional teeth whitening is not a good option, but there are excellent alternatives. Fortunately, your dentist can still improve the appearance of your teeth. Veneers or bonding can help you to get the look that you want so you can be proud of a brilliant smile.
Professional bleaching may also not be your best option simply because there may be easier and less expensive ways to remove your stains. For minor discoloration, a professional cleaning and the use of a whitening toothpaste in between office visits may be all that you need to keep your sparkling smile. You can also talk to your dentist about over-the-counter whitening kits like strips and gels. These products are not as intense as professional treatments, but they are a less expensive alternative.