Diet, medication, tobacco and lifestyle can all lead to stained, non-white teeth which in turn make people turn to teeth whitening to get back the dazzling smile they’ve lost.
Sales of teeth-whitening toothpaste and mouth wash have skyrocketed recently as everyone tries to brighten their smile.
Many people are also turning to their family dentist for professional teeth whitening procedures (click here to read more). But what are the pros and cons of getting back your pearly whites with teeth whitening?
Advantages of Teeth Whitening
Renewed confidence! Most people have their teeth whitened to improve their smile and their appearance as whiter teeth are often associated with a healthier lifestyle, self-confidence and beauty.
When people are ashamed of their teeth they tend to smile less and are often more self-conscious.
Healthy, white teeth look livelier and tend to distract people’s attention from any wrinkles on your face, thus it’s a great age reducer.
Disadvantages of Teeth Whitening
Studies have shown that teeth bleaching may only be completely effective in 78% of people.
In some cases, if your teeth are severely discolored due to staining, teeth whitening may not be the best choice for you and you may want to explore crowns or porcelain veneers.
If you’ve previously had dental work done such as crowns or fillings, the bleach won’t be effective on the amalgam or porcelain used. You risk either only being able to bleach your teeth to match the fillings or crowns, or having different shades on your teeth.
The bleach used in many teeth whitening procedures can be very harsh. If you have sensitive teeth or gums there could be pain and discomfort while using the product.
If you have a history of sensitivity, discuss this with your dentist before the procedure so that you can be tested and avoid the pain.
The effects aren’t permanent. After a period of time your teeth will regain their discolored appearance, especially if your diet and lifestyle hasn’t changed. To prolong the whitening you should avoid such staining foods a red wine, coffee and tea and berries. And if you smoke, you should quit – smokers aren’t known for their pearly whites.
Teeth whitening can brighten your smile, appearance and mood but it can also have its downside. Discuss any treatment with your oral care professional beforehand to make sure you choose the procedure that’s right for you.