When it comes to teeth whitening there are many questions and misconceptions being thrown around. So how do you really know if whitening is for you?
The first question that is often asked is does whitening really work? In short the answer is yes….. for most people. Results however vary from individual to individual so no guarantee can be made about how much whiter you will actually go, as different types of enamel react to the chemical solution differently. In saying this however whitening alone may not work for some people. This may be the case if you have in restorations on your teeth such as crowns, fillings, etc. This is because any non-natural tooth structure cannot whiten. In this case options include mixing whitening and updating old restorations to match your new whiter shade or using crowns, veneers or even fillings to achieve the bright smile you’ve been dreaming of.
The next question that is often asked is which whitening option is best for me? There are two main kinds being home whitening and in chair whitening. Both have their pros and cons. First let’s talk about in chair (Zoom!) whitening. This option is often the most popular as the results achieved are instant and you walk out of the practice already close to your optimal lightened shade. Aside from the slightly more expensive cost of the in chair whitening the main reason it isn’t always the best option is the unpredictable sensitivity different people may experience. If sensitive teeth is something you experience, take home whitening kits may be the better option for you. Take home whitening requires a longer commitment to reach your optimal shade of white as the solution we are allowed to send you home with is not as strong as the one we can use when you visit us at our practice. This option is good for people with more sensitive teeth as you can control how often and long you whiten for and take it as slowly as your teeth may require.
But what about other whitening options you might ask? Whitening toothpastes and over the counter “whitening” remedies are very abrasive and work by scrubbing away stains and enamel to remove superficial staining. Even though this may work to remove some of the stains left by coffee, tea, etc. it doesn’t actually whiten your teeth and can cause permanent and irreversible damage and sensitivity by scrubbing away the protective outside layer of your tooth.
Although both of the above options work for most people it is still best to see your dentist to find out which will work best for you.