Teeth can become discolored due to a number of causes such as consuming too many teeth staining foods (e.g. coffee, wine, cola), smoking, bad dental hygiene, disease or genetics. If your teeth are discolored you have a number of options to have them whitened, from different over the counter whitening methods to professional whitening procedures at your dentist’s office. As with anything in life there are pros and cons to having your teeth whitened.
Let’s have a look at some positives and negatives so you can decide for yourself whether teeth whitening is a good idea for you or not.
Pro – More Beautiful Smile
White teeth are perceived as more beautiful in our society. Having white teeth will give you a more attractive smile that may help improve your dating and social life and even your professional life. People with a good-looking smile tend to smile more often because they are not afraid of showing their teeth. Smiling has been shown to improve a person’s mood and even health. People who smile more also generally move up faster in their careers.
Pro – Look Younger
Getting your teeth whitened can make you look several years younger (up to five years according to one study). Who doesn’t want to look younger than they are, right?
Pro – Easy
Having your teeth whitened these days is relatively easy. You can either try an over the counter teeth whitening solution, though if your discoloration is severe these may not be strong enough to really get your teeth looking white again. In that case you may want to consider having your teeth whitened professionally. There are different types of professional teeth whitening procedures, most of which are very effective and only require one or a few short appointments. Talk to your dentist about what kind of whitening he or she offers or recommends.
Cons – Bleaching May Irritate and Bleach Gums
Teeth whitening procedures that use hydrogen peroxide to bleach teeth can cause irritation to gums and bleach them as well if the bleaching solution is not properly applied to the teeth. If you choose to use a bleaching product for your teeth, you should have this performed by your dentist to avoid wrong application.
Cons – You May Not Get Rid of All Stains
Some stains, like those that are caused by certain medicines, cannot be removed by conventional teeth whitening procedures because they affect the enamel of the tooth itself and not just the outer layer. Laser whitening can in some cases remove these types of stains, but more often than not they can’t. Make sure that you know what kinds of stains you actually have before you go and pay a lot of money for a procedure that may not be effective.
If you are considering having your teeth whitened, whether you want to use an over the counter product or have a professional whitening procedure performed, you should always talk to your dentist. He or she can give you advice on the types of stains you have and how they could be removed or lightened.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe, a Sugar Land dental office. Zane enjoys using whitening strips every so often.