It seems everyone wants a mouth full of pearly whites. White teeth are a sign of good oral health. As we age, though, our teeth are exposed to a multitude of things – and few of them are good for your teeth. Cigarettes and coffee, for example, may help you get through the day, but they’re not good for your teeth. Even if you have perfect dental health, you still may be plagued by yellowed teeth. Getting your teeth professionally whitened can help take care of that.
Professional Teeth Whitening
You’ve seen them every time you go down the dental care aisle at your local grocery store: do-it-yourself-whitening kits. With so many home-whitening kits on the market, you’re probably wondering why you should have your teeth professionally whitened. There are several reasons. First and foremost, home whitening kits aren’t as strong as what you’ll get with professional whitening, so the results won’t be as good or last as long. Also, you could harm your teeth by using a home whitening kit if you don’t follow the directions properly. Finally, home kits don’t address potential dental problems you may have that should be taken care of before whitening. Professional teeth whitening is an easy process that may require a couple of visits to the dentist office.
How Teeth Whitening is Done
Whitening your teeth starts with clean and healthy teeth. The dentist will apply special solution or gel. Then, a strong light is applied to the teeth for a short period of time (typically under an hour). The light causes a reaction with the gel that whitens the teeth quickly and easily. Teeth can be whitened by several shades. It typically takes one or more visits to get your teeth to the shade you desire. This depends on the current status of your teeth when you begin treatments. The dentist may provide you with prescription-strength whitening solution to use at home between visits. The gel is applied to a plastic tray that is shaped to fit your teeth. You then apply the gel for a period of time before rinsing it off.
Why Have Teeth Professionally Whitened
If you want to upgrade your smile and have the cleanest, whitest teeth possible, have them professionally whitened. Avoid at-home treatments because they can actually remove too much enamel from the teeth. Enamel is a tooth’s protective covering, and once it’s gone, it will never grow back. Professional cleaning whitens the top layer of the teeth and under layers. These layers can become discolored over time, just as the top layer does.
But teeth whitening should only be performed once all dental problems have been resolved. This ensures that the solution used for whitening won’t damage your teeth or gums. Keep in mind, too, that not all discolorations can be fixed through teeth whitening. Some stains or graying may need to be covered with veneers rather than treated with whitening. A consultation with your dentist will help determine the best action to take in your specific case.