When you think about the perfect Hollywood smile, the first thing that comes to mind is dazzlingly shiny, white teeth. Getting your teeth whitened used to be a special and expensive procedure that not many people could get. Nowadays, however, teeth whitening is getting more and more accessible and affordable. There are many ways you can get brighter teeth – from at-home teeth whitening kits to a professional procedure at your family dentist’s office. Whichever option you decide to go for, here are 7 things you must know before you get your teeth whitened.
Having white teeth feels great but the most important thing is having healthy teeth. If you have cavities, cracked or sensitive teeth, gum problems or some kind of infection or mouth sore, any tooth whitening procedure can aggravate these issues and you can experience some serious discomfort. The whitening process can be stressful for your teeth, so you need to make sure you treat any problem before committing to it. This is why you should make an appointment with your Albuquerque dentist for a thorough dental check-up. Besides that, your dentist can decide which teeth whitening option is best for you and your teeth and give you recommendations.
No matter what teeth whitening option you choose, bear in mind that there is always a chance of sensitivity afterward, especially within 24 hours after the procedure. Experiencing sensitivity is a lot more likely if you already suffer from sensitive teeth. If you feel like you’re in too much pain you can take a pain reliever and use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. It’s impossible to predict the degree of pain and sensitivity you might experience as some people are more sensitive than others but it’s best to be mentally prepared for this possibility.
Teeth whitening gel can only change the shade of your natural teeth. So, it’s important to know that if you have any veneers, crowns, tooth-colored fillings or bridges because they will remain unchanged. In some cases, these can be changed after your procedure and can be matched to your natural brighter teeth. However, this is usually done if you have crowns or fillings on the front of your teeth because they’re visible when you smile and talk. If they’re at the back of your mouth, you wouldn’t need to worry.
Teeth are inevitably getting yellowish and darker with age. They can also get easily stained if you smoke or by different foods and drinks like coffee, red wine and tea. Bear in mind that no matter how you whiten your teeth, the effect won’t last forever. Most results last from 6 months up to 2 years but you have to be mindful of the foods and drinks you consume. You should also take good care of your oral hygiene, use good toothpaste and mouthwash and go for a professional dental cleaning once every six months to maintain a beautiful and healthy bright smile.
A lot of people are scared of teeth whitening because they think that’s harmful to their teeth. However, there’s evidence of damage of the enamel or teeth as long as you follow the instructions of the whitener and you don’t leave it for longer than recommended. Just like aggressive brushing or flossing can aggravate your teeth and gums, if you abuse with your teeth whitener, you can be left with some damage of the soft and hard tissues in your mouth. But if you whiten your teeth the way you should, it’s incredibly safe and you have no reason to be worried.
Just like every person is different, everyone’s teeth are different too. It’s good to have in mind that the whitening treatment someone had may not have the same effect on your smile, or at least not for the period. Some people see noticeable results right away and some after a few procedures. The natural color of an individual’s teeth vary and it reacts differently to the teeth whitening. The results also depend on your diet, age and whether you smoke or not. In all cases, your smile will be better looking and brighter after the procedure, just don’t compare your progress to other people’s.
Even though whitening systems are pretty safe, they may not be right for you, so you need to make your research before deciding to go for it. Teeth whitening are not recommended to pregnant or breastfeeding women, or to adolescents who still have baby teeth. People with sensitive teeth or gum disease may want to skip whitening as well because it can aggravate their problems and can cause complications.
Other factors that may be warning you not to get your teeth whitened are if you have gum recession or white spot decalcifications because these spots will become even whiter and more noticeable afterward. However, your dentist will examine all these things and advise you what the best option for you is, so try to not make any conclusions before your dental check-up.
If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth in order to take your smile to the next level and to boost your self-esteem, make sure you do your research beforehand and that you see your family dentist in Albuquerque for examination and advise. Dr. Gallegos can give you a thorough exam and an honest recommendation about the best options for you depending on your dental condition. He and his team can also help you with anything that needs to be done before the procedure, such as tooth filling or tooth replacement. Remember that, while a bright white smile is a great thing, the most important thing and the beautiful thing is a healthy mouth, so don’t skip the check-up.