Teeth yellowing is a common consequence of normal eating and drinking habits as well as aging and tobacco use. If you’re living with yellow teeth, your confidence and self-image may be taking a hit. While discoloration is somewhat natural, you can still take steps toward a whiter smile. Thankfully, both at-home and professional teeth whitening are safe and effective methods to reverse yellowing.
Both at-home and professional treatments have unique advantages and drawbacks. For example, professional teeth whitening may cost more than you’re willing to spend; however, teeth whitening performed by a dentist will last months or years longer than an at-home treatment.
Here are some common types of teeth whitening:
- Over-the-counter. Many different brands and methods of teeth whitening can be bought at the store from strips to gels to whitening toothpastes. However, their effectiveness may vary considerably.
- Homemade. Many teeth whiteners are variations of a common combination of baking soda and peroxide. It is possible to create your own at-home tooth whitener.
- At-home professional treatments. Perhaps the best at-home treatments come directly from your dentist. They may use treatments similar to those you can find over the counter, but these are typically stronger and more effective.
- Professional whitening. Your dentist may use professional tools or technology to create a more effective whitening treatment. These may include lights, trays, gels, or a combination of techniques.
The potential risk of each type of teeth whitening depends on the application and frequency of use.
Teeth whitening is widely regarded as safe and painless. Still, frequent treatments can cause sensitivity and irritation in the gums that usually resolves within several days. While teeth whitening is unlikely to cause any long-term problems with your teeth, there are some risk factors that could increase the risk of negative side effects. Per the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), these include:
- The concentration of peroxide bleach
- Duration of treatment
- Aggressive regimens
Some treatments, if administered recklessly, can cause tooth erosion and damage to the pulp of the tooth. However, your dentist should craft a teeth whitening regimen that doesn’t put your health and the health of your teeth at risk.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a great candidate for teeth whitening services. Some people with existing dental problems may have to opt for a different kind of cosmetic dentistry, such as veneers.
Those who may not be a great fit for teeth whitening include:
- People with receding gums
- People with extensive, persistent stains
- People with a lot of fillings or crowns
- People under the age of 16
- Pregnant and lactating women
- People with sensitive teeth
If you fit into these categories, don’t lose hope! Your dentist can tell you whether teeth whitening will be safe and effective for you, or they will help you find a more suitable treatment.
If you’re unhappy with your teeth, it can affect every aspect of your life from your relationships to your career. You shouldn’t have to live with a smile you aren’t completely happy with–at Smile Lounge, we aim to help you feel more confident. Call 469-778-4091 or contact us online to book an appointment.