Over time teeth wear down and begin to appear dull. While this can cause you to hide your smile you should know that there are options to help brighten it back up. Here, our Delta dentists talk about teeth whitening options as well as discuss the possible side effects of this cosmetic treatment.
Why would you consider professional teeth whitening?
If you are feeling like your teeth have become dull and stained over the years then you may be looking for a way to brighten them up again. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic service that can help you achieve this. Once your teeth are whiter and brighter you may also have the added benefit of an improved oral hygiene routine. This is because once your teeth are white you generally try harder to keep them looking this way through more consistent brushing and flossing.
Some of the common reasons why your teeth may change colour is due to your drinking or eating habits, smoking cigarettes or taking certain medications. You can also experience damaged or discoloured teeth due to tooth decay.
One of the reasons that teeth whitening is a common choice is that it allows you to alter your smile and make it brighter and healthier looking without the need for an invasive procedure.
Can you only have teeth whitening done at the dentist's office?
If you have finally decided to seek treatment for whiter teeth you may need to consider which option will work best for you. The two main options for teeth whitening are:
- Professional at-home bleaching kits, which we offer here at Surdel Dental Centre.
- Teeth whitening products are available over the counter, without supervision from your dentist.
Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?
While there aren't usually any serious concerns that arise with the use of teeth whitening options, you may experience some minor side effects. Luckily, these aren't usually serious and should pass fairly quickly. Some of these include:
You may experience some sensitivity.
Some patients notice that they have an increased sensitivity to temperature in the time following their teeth whitening treatment. This should gradually decrease over the first week or two after whitening. In the meantime, ask your dentist about products that can help. They recommend products containing potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride to treat sensitivity.
There might be some gum irritation.
This treatment can be great at changing the appearance of your teeth but the solution can also be minorly irritating if it comes into contact with your gums. While your dentist will do what they can to help keep the solution on your teeth and off your gums a little may combine into contact. If this happens then minor irritation may occur. This side effect should not last very long once the treatment is complete and the solution is no longer in contact with your gums.
What else should you know about teeth whitening?
If you choose to undergo teeth whitening it is important to be aware that this is not permanent and you will need to continue with touch-ups in order to keep new stains from forming. Also remember that teeth whitening will not work on restorations such as crowns, bridges, implants and dentures, it is meant to be used on your natural teeth.
If you have any questions about the teeth whitening process and what to expect you can always ask your dentist. They will also provide you with any important information prior to completing the service. If you have certain dental work in progress or active cavities are an issue, your dentist may recommend against this procedure.
Teeth whitening methods approved by your dentist are considered safe. Before doing any treatment, always discuss with your dentist and pick the one that matches your needs. It is important to remember to follow your dentist's instructions closely and contact your dentist right away if you have questions, concerns or side effects.