What's Really Happening With Tooth Whitening

Are you thinking about whitening your teeth? Perhaps you have a special event coming up such as a wedding, retirement, vacation, or graduation. You likely know that there are several options for tooth whitening. For example, there are personal hygiene options such as toothpaste, at-home whitening kits, and professional tooth whitening services. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of important things pertaining to tooth whitening. The following are a few you should know before you proceed. 

Condition of Your Teeth 

If your teeth are not in good condition, it is possible that you may experience pain from whitening treatments. This is because many people with unhealthy teeth have sensitivity issues that are caused by breakdowns in their enamel or decay. Whitening treatments may make sensitivity issues more pronounced. This is why it is a good idea to have a dental exam before considering whitening treatments. Your dentist may not recommend you for a whitening procedure if the exam reveals compromised tooth enamel or decay.

Even if you practice good oral hygiene, your enamel can become damaged if you regularly consume acidic foods and beverages. Some whitening toothpaste is available for people with sensitive teeth, and your dentist might recommend those instead of a whitening procedure. Toothpaste may not give you the desired white shade because they are surfactants and may not remove deeply embedded stains. Veneers which are tooth coverings are another option you could discuss with your dentist if you cannot get the degree of whiteness you desire. 

Type of Whitening Procedure

There are two options for professional tooth whitening. The procedure can be done in the office in an expedited manner. You can also buy trays and whitening solution from your dentist and do the procedure at home. Doing the procedure at home will take more time, but you can fit the process into things that you normally do such as watching television or studying.If you are thinking about buying an over-the-counter whitening kit, keep in mind that most kits come with one standard tray size. This means that you may find the trays uncomfortable because they may be too small or too large for your teeth. This may also impact the evenness of the whitening procedure on your teeth.

Preserving the Color

Unfortunately, whitening procedures are not permanent. You can ensure that yours lasts longer by not eating foods and beverages that can stain your teeth. Examples of foods are tomato-based soups and pasta sauces, coffee, tea, and strawberries. If your diet is composed of many stain prone foods and beverages, you may want to consider opting for veneers which can thwart staining. You can also drink dark beverages through a straw to protect your natural teeth.