One of the most commonly discussed ways of improving the appearance of your smile is through teeth whitening. While it is considered very safe you may still have some questions and concerns. Today, our 100 Mile House dentists discuss the options for teeth whitening and the potential side effects of this procedure.
Why consider teeth whitening?
The teeth whitening procedure is used for cosmetic alterations to your smile, therefore it has no positive impact on the state of your oral health. However, many people find they feel more confident when smiling if their teeth are white, and having a sparkling white smile can encourage you to keep up with an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine.
Over time, our teeth begin to become discoloured. This is caused by a variety of reasons, such as consuming food and beverages that can stain your teeth, taking certain medications or smoking cigarettes. It is possible for some patients to also have damage or decay occur.
One way to minimize the appearance of discolouration is by whitening your teeth. The procedure is minimally invasive, safe and effective.
What are the options for teeth whitening?
When it comes to teeth whitening you can either see your dentist for professional whitening treatments or purchase over-the-counter whitening products from your local pharmacy.
The three primary whitening methods are:
- Professional bleaching is provided in-office by your dentist
- Professional at-home bleaching kits offered by your dentist
- Teeth whitening products are available over the counter, without supervision from your dentist
Are there any possible side effects from teeth whitening?
While side effects will not occur for everyone, some of the most common side effects include:
The teeth whitening solution may irritate your gums temporarily if it comes into contact with them. This side effect will probably fade away shortly after your treatment.
You may notice that your teeth are more sensitive in the days following your teeth whitening treatment. This sensitivity will likely not last more than a week or two. In the meantime, your dentist may be able to recommend products containing sodium fluoride and potassium nitrate to treat the sensitivity.
It is important to keep in mind that teeth whitening is not permanent, you will need to periodically repeat the process in order to keep your teeth looking white and bright. You should also be aware that teeth whitening does not work on restorations such as bridges, crowns, dentures and implants.
Talk to your dentist about whether teeth whitening is right for you. If you have certain dental work in progress or active cavities are an issue, your dentist may recommend against this procedure.
Dentist-approved teeth whitening methods are considered safe. Make sure to discuss your options with your dentist and choose the one that matches your needs. Always follow the instructions for the product and contact your dentist if you experience any side effects.