Teeth Looking A Little Discolored? 4 Things You Should Know About Whitening Treatments

Posted on: 17 December 2014

If you're like most people, you've probably looked at your teeth and wished they were a shade or two whiter. You might not know that as you age, you're teeth lose a lot of their shine. In fact, teeth can dull a full shade every ten years. Before you start whitening your teeth, there are some things you should know.

Not Everyone Should Whiten Their Teeth

While whitening your teeth is a safe procedure, it shouldn't be done by everyone. If you're a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding you shouldn't whiten your teeth. You should also avoid whitening your teeth if you have gum disease or sensitive teeth. Before you begin a whitening treatment, you should talk to your cosmetic dentist.

Some Teeth Can't Be Whitened

Whitening treatments are useful at removing stains from your teeth. They can also whiten your teeth several shades. However, there are some teeth that can't be whitened. Dead teeth, tooth colored fillings, and teeth stained by dental procedures or medications, can't be whitened using external whitening procedures, like toothpastes or whitening gels.

If you have discoloration due to medication or dental procedures such as root canals, you should discuss internal whitening procedures with your dentist. With internal whitening treatments, the whitening gel is injected directly into the center of the tooth, which whitens the tooth from the inside out.

Some Stains Can Be Avoided

There are some stains that you can avoid, altogether. Stains caused by foods such as wine, and blueberries can be avoided with proper oral hygiene. Keep a travel size toothbrush and dental floss on you at all times. When you consume foods or drinks that can cause stains, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as you're done with your meal. Removing the foods from the surface of your teeth as soon as possible can prevent most food related stains.

Whitening Isn't Permanent

Just because all the stains and discoloration have been removed from your teeth, doesn't mean they're gone for good. You'll need to continue with the whitening treatments to keep your teeth white. Most whitening treatments will last for several months. For best results, you should repeat the whitening treatments about every six months.

You want your teeth to look their very best. That means getting them as white as they can possibly be. Whether you try over-the-counter whitening products, or you go to your dentist for professional whitening treatments, you should choose the treatment that's best for you. Be sure to discuss your options with your dentist.