For most people, a smile that is not white enough is not attractive. And, while some people don’t consider an attractive smile to be a big issue, several studies have established that a white smile plays a pivotal role in alleged success and self-esteem.
However, when teeth get discolored, particularly if they become darker, most people who are more concerned about their smile end up spending a lot of money and time improving the appearance of their teeth.
The following are different ways used to make teeth look whiter. Please note that these methods are in the order of cost and time. These ways are:
Surface stain removal by a professional dentist
Teeth whitening procedures, mostly recommended by dentists after evaluating your teeth
Dental restorations—these procedures (veneers and crowns) are designed to correct the shape and color of the teeth
What’s the success rate of teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening or teeth bleaching has high success rates, according to numerous studies conducted for it. Besides, teeth bleaching is not costly and takes less time compared to other teeth whitening methods. Studies reveal that teeth whitening has a success rate of 90%.
Factors affecting the success of teeth whitening
These are the factors that can affect the success of teeth whitening:
- Type of bleaching – research shows that carbamide peroxide-based products can stay active for a longer period than hydrogen peroxide-based whitening products.
- Age – people with a younger age experience a better reduction in yellowness soon after teeth bleaching.
- The concentration of the whitening agent used – if the whitening agent is highly concentrated, there’s a higher chance of the patient developing side effects. However, this will lead to faster results.
- The degree of discoloration on your teeth, as well the main cause of the discoloration.
- The time you commit to whiten your teeth at home—if you do it once or twice every month, it will take longer for you to see any changes.
- The design of the whitening tray that you use.
- The total number of bleaching procedures done, as well as the time taken for each procedure.
Contraindications for teeth whitening
While most people are curious about how teeth whitening works, dentists emphasize the importance of understanding the ideal candidate for teeth whitening, as well as how and when to include whitening in their treatment plan. Before any teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will conduct a full oral examination, which includes a review of your medical history, checking if you have potential allergies, history of tooth sensitivity, and checking for signs of possible oral disease or infection.
With that said, here are the possible contraindications of teeth whitening.
According to the professional dentists from the San Diego teeth whitening clinic Bajars Dental, people with sensitive gums and teeth, defective restorations, or receding gums shouldn’t attempt any teeth whitening procedure without consulting their dentist. Besides, if you are allergic to peroxide, which is the main whitening agent, you shouldn’t use any whitening product.
Teeth whitening can cause temporary sensitivity, which disappears after you’ve completed your treatment. However, teeth bleaching isn’t recommended for people with pre-existing tooth sensitivity because it can make the problem worse. However, consulting your dentist first can ensure that you get the necessary treatment to prevent any issues that might arise during or after your treatment.
Pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis because of the increased hormone. Gingivitis caused by pregnancy causes inflammation and swelling on the gums. Now, if a bleaching agent comes into contact with such gums, it can lead to a lot of discomforts and short-term gum damage.
Crowns and fillings
The resin composite materials and tooth-colored filling used in dental restorations like veneers, crowns, bridges, and bonding don’t whiten. Therefore, trying to whiten your teeth if you have dental restorations can lead to uneven restorations. Mostly, your natural teeth will appear whiter than those with restorations. So, if you need to undergo a teeth whitening procedure, it should be before your restorations are installed.
Teeth whitening doesn’t work for discoloration and stains caused by tooth decay. In fact, trying to whiten your teeth can lead to more damage. Please note that whitening can irritate a healthy tooth. So with that in mind, having a tooth with a cavity or an unhealthy one can lead to increased irritation if it comes into contact with the whitening agent. Also, it’s important to note that teeth whitening procedures don’t work for teeth with exposed roots, since roots don’t have an enamel layer. Also, if you have a cavity, it should be treated before you undergo any whitening treatment.
If you have gum disease, your dentist might advise you to delay your teeth whitening treatment. As said earlier, the whitening products used by dentists can irritate the gums and teeth. Therefore, if you have gum disease, there’s a chance that your teeth and gums are irritated, and if they come into contact with the whitening agent, it can become extremely painful.
If you expect your teeth to be blinding white after undergoing a whitening procedure, you are likely to be disappointed with the results. Besides, smokers should understand that their results won’t last if they don’t quit smoking, especially during the bleaching process. The thing is, you should aim to achieve a slightly whiter shade than what you have at the moment.