The condition of your teeth can significantly impact your overall appearance. As a result, people are often self-conscious about their smiles.
Teeth whitening is a non-invasive procedure to address teeth discoloration and regain your winning smile. The procedure involves the application of bleach, such as hydrogen peroxide, to make your teeth lighter, and it is generally effective with long-term results.
But when is the best time for teeth whitening and other dental hygiene services? In this post, we explore the reasons to consider teeth whitening.
You Have Visible Teeth Discoloration
When you look in the mirror, is teeth discoloration the first thing you notice? If your teeth no longer look as bright and white as they did a year or two ago, you are a candidate for teeth whitening.
Start by using an over-the-counter whitening agent. These products are generally effective in removing mild yellowing and are easy to use at home.
Also, make sure that you practice proper dental hygiene. Flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily will go a long way to maintaining your teeth’s appearance and preventing cavities.
You Are Self-Conscious About Your Appearance
When in public, do you smile with your mouth closed? Severe yellowing, staining, or discoloration is enough to make anyone self-conscious about their smiles. This self-awareness can even affect your confidence, affecting how you talk and interact with others.
A few in-office teeth whitening sessions should be sufficient to restore your teeth’s appearance. Consult your dentist to learn which teeth whitening option is right for you.
You Are a Smoker
Contrary to popular belief, nicotine in cigarette smoke doesn’t cause yellowing. When you smoke, chemical residues, including tar, build up on your teeth’s enamel, causing a distinctive yellow color.
You can prevent this chemical build-up on your teeth by quitting smoking. However, consider teeth whitening if you have been smoking for years or don’t want to give up the habit.
Additionally, you should brush and floss regularly and schedule a dental examination and cleaning at least twice yearly. Ideally, you should use a fluoride mouthwash after every cigarette to prevent the chemical build-up on your teeth.
You Are an Avid Coffee or Wine Drinker
Wine, coffee, and tea are rich in tannins, which are phenolic acids. These complex substances cling to plaque, causing a build-up on your teeth’s enamel. Unlike chemicals from cigarette smoke that cause uniform yellowing, these drinks form localized and visible stains.
Drinking a glass of water after every cup of coffee or glass of wine can help to prevent tooth discoloration. However, these stains can be stubborn and may still be visible after extensive brushing and dental cleaning. Ultimately, teeth whitening is the most effective way to hide the evidence of your caffeine addiction.
You Are Over 40
As you age, your tooth enamel wears down and becomes more transparent, revealing the underlying dentin (intrinsic staining). The dentin is your tooth’s support structure, and it has a pale yellow color. Over time, the dentin becomes darker, making your tooth discoloration more apparent. Grinding your teeth will also wear the enamel down and give your teeth a yellow appearance.
Stains and yellowing are more visible on worn enamel. If you are over 40 and notice teeth discoloration, consider teeth whitening. If you have extensive enamel wear, your dentist may recommend dental veneers or crowns to restore your teeth’s structure and appearance.
You Didn’t Always Practice Proper Dental Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is among the most common causes of tooth discolorations and yellowing. Dentists recommend brushing and flossing twice daily and scheduling dental cleanings every six months.
If you have neglected your dental health for a few years, you may notice a yellow tinge forming on your teeth. Even if you start maintaining a healthy dental care routine, you may struggle to restore your teeth’s appearance.
An at-home or in-office teeth whitening treatment is ideal for reversing the effects of dental neglect. With ongoing care, you can maintain your teeth’s appearance for years.
Your Dentist Recommends Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can worsen some dental conditions, and you should consult your dentist before undergoing this cosmetic treatment. You are not a good candidate for a whitening treatment if you are under 16 or have exposed roots, periodontal disease, or tooth decay. If you have materials, such as fillings, in your mouth, ask your dentist if you can safely undergo teeth whitening.
However, if you are a candidate for teeth whitening, this life-changing procedure can restore your smile and give you back your confidence.