If you are not happy with your smile due to the color of your teeth, you may be considering whitening them. You can choose to do it yourself with over-the-counter kits or have it done by your dentist. However, before you make a decision on which treatment to use, you should consider the following to determine which treatment to use, or if you should do it at all.
Over-the-counter vs Professional Whitening
There are toothpastes, strips, and trays that you can purchase and use to make your teeth whiter. These treatments will work if your teeth are healthy, but may take time and numerous applications to make your teeth as white as you want. The biggest issue with how white they become is how stained they are to begin with. When you have a dentist do the work, your teeth will be whiter faster. Of course, if they are badly stained, it will still take a few visits to reach your goal.
Caps, Crowns, Veneers, and Implants
The porcelain or composite materials that are used to fix or replace your natural teeth are not affected by the whitening processes. Hopefully, you had your teeth whitened to the shade you want before the restorative pieces are placed in your mouth. This way, you can have them made to match your whitened teeth. If not, then you will have to try to match your natural teeth to the restorations. This will mean that you have to take things slower and go shade-by-shade or your teeth color will be uneven. Of course, if the false teeth are only in the back of your mouth, this will not be a big deal.
If you have cavities, chips, or broken teeth, or if you have periodontal disease, you should have them taken care of before doing any whitening. The bleach and chemicals in the treatments can get inside your teeth and gums if they are not healthy. Not only will this be irritating to your mouth but the treatment will not work on areas where there is no enamel.
Drinking tea and coffee, smoking, and eating foods that stain will all affect the color of your teeth. It is important that you brush them regularly and frequently to reduce any staining. It is also important to see your dentist and hygienist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned and repaired if there is any decay. Teeth whitening is great to get your smile to where you want it, but you will need to take good care of them after the treatment is done. It should not be used as a way to keep your smile nice when you don't take the time to care for it yourself.