Clean and healthy looking teeth give you a confident and radiant smile. On the other hand, yellowish teeth can make you hide your smile in public. So, if you have discolored teeth and are thinking about teeth whitening treatments, it’s important to do your research.
So, let’s jump in and learn about each vital question that you need to ask yourself before making an appointment with your dentist.
Q: What causes the discoloration?
Teeth can change color due to many reasons like:
- Eating certain foods or drinking lots of wine and coffee
- An underlying dental issue
To find out the exact reason for discoloration, speak to your dentist. If it’s a result of your diet, like drinking red wine regularly, they may suggest cutting down on certain food and drink. But if it’s because of other issues, then those are addressed first before proceeding to any cosmetic treatment.
Also, whitening procedures work better on yellow-stained teeth rather than black, brown or greyish teeth. So, you must know the exact reason before booking appointments for whitening treatments.
Q: Are there any risks involved?
Whitening treatments are non-invasive, which means you don’t require surgery to whiten your teeth. However, if particular instructions and regulations are not followed, there may be some risks.
A professional dentist uses high concentrations of bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide (10%) and carbamide peroxide (35%) and allows them to sit on your teeth for at least an hour. They make sure that your teeth are not damaged by these chemicals.
On the other hand, over-the-counter products have only 6% of hydrogen peroxide and 18% of carbamide peroxide, which means you have to put the paste on for a longer time and it can take multiple sessions.
Though over-the-counter products have lower concentrations of these chemicals, if you are not aware of the process or how long you should apply the paste, the whitening effect may not last for a long period. You can also damage your teeth by improperly using an over-the-counter teeth whitening product. So, it’s best to rely on professionals always.
Q: Are there any side effects?
Whether you are getting treatment from a professional or doing it yourself, it’s common to experience chemical burns, gum irritation and hyper-sensitive teeth. However, these problems should disappear after a few days, and, in the meantime, you should avoid eating and drinking any hot or cold food and drinks.
Additionally, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should refrain from having your teeth whitened as the chemicals can impact your child’s health. Also, to know about the Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
Q: Should I do it myself or see a dentist?
It is best to have your teeth whitened by a professional, particularly if it’s your first time. They can help with any side effects and minimize potential risks.
Whitening your teeth at home can also leave you with uneven results if you’re not careful.
Q: How long does it take to see results?
Many people get teeth whitening treatments and other cosmetic dentistry for when a big occasion, like a wedding, is coming. This is why it’s important to be informed and plan ahead.
Over-the-counter products need two weeks to achieve your desired results. If you are using a whitening toothpaste, then four weeks is essential, but you may not see much change in your teeth.
However, if you are being treated by a dentist, you need only one sitting to achieve whiter teeth and should see results quickly.
Q: What kind of results can I expect to see?
It’s always best to have realistic expectations with whitening treatments as the end result depends on how stained your teeth are.
Highly stained teeth will not become as white as less-stained teeth. Also, the effectiveness of the treatment varies from person to person.
Speak with your dentist before getting your teeth whitened to get a professional opinion. They may be able to recommend other things to help whiten your teeth.
Q: How long does it last?
Tooth whitening treatments aren’t permanent. Usually, the results last from six months to two years.
It also depends on what kind of treatment you have and how well you are looking after your teeth afterwards.
Proper brushing and staying away from food and drink that stains, like tea, beetroot, and coffee, will keep your teeth whiter for longer.
Q: Does it work with crowns, veneers or braces?
The chemicals used in whitening treatments have a direct effect on the tooth enamel. Crowns and veneers don’t have enamel, so they will not be affected in the same way.
If you have braces, your dentist will recommend to wait until your braces are off before whitening your teeth. It is still possible to have whitening treatments with braces but you just have to book for touch-up treatments after your braces come off to get a uniform whiteness.
Q: Do I need whitening treatments?
Cosmetic dentistry, like teeth whitening can help you get a beautiful smile. If you feel like your teeth are yellow, or you want to feel confident when you smile, whitening treatments are a great option. You just need to know the ins and outs of the treatment so that you know what you are getting into.