Going for a routine dental cleaning and exam is the perfect time to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for whitening and recommend the type of whitening that will be best for you. There are many teeth whitening products out there, both professional products and over-the-counter products, and your dentist will be able to advise you about your next steps to whiter teeth.
There are some real advantages to professional teeth whitening that occurs at your dentist’s office:
- The conditions are monitored.
- It is faster and safer than doing it yourself.
- If you have gum or tooth sensitivity, you can be protected from it getting worse.
Professional teeth whitening is more expensive, of course. Your age, genetics and the type of staining you have can affect results. Any teeth whitening is not permanent either. You may experience new staining or yellowing as time goes on. Certain stains are more easily removed, including those caused by age, tobacco, and certain foods like coffee and red wine. There are stains that do not respond to teeth whitening. Your dentist may be able to identify these before you spend money on teeth whitening. Other options in these cases would include dental veneers or crowns.
If your staining is not severe, your dentist may even recommend at-home teeth whitening methods like rinses, toothpastes, strips or trays. These may also serve as a follow-up treatment and maintenance routine after professional teeth whitening to prevent new stains from forming.