Teeth whitening is a very popular way to beautify the smile. Having a brighter, whiter smile can greatly boost a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Teeth whitening can be performed in a dental office, with take-home kits from the dental office, or with over-the-counter kits. Regardless of the method you choose, your teeth and gums need to be in good shape for you to get the beautiful, sparkling results you desire. Before you whiten your teeth, be aware of the following:
Plaque can mar the results of teeth whitening. If there is a buildup of plaque on the teeth, teeth whitening will not be as successful. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, it can stain the teeth. Whitening the teeth when there is plaque buildup will not allow the product to reach the teeth properly. Because of this, whitening where there is plaque can result in uneven color instead of the uniform, sparking smile you are reaching for.
Teeth whitening with inflamed gums is uncomfortable. Teeth whitening, whether at home or at the dentist’s office, may irritate the gums a little because of the bleach in the whitening solution. Inflamed gums cause much more discomfort during the whitening process, especially in the days after the procedure. Healthy gums are much more resistant to irritation caused by bleach.
Broken, leaking fillings or cavities can make the experience painful. The bleach in the whitening solution can cause a very painful reaction if it comes in contact with exposed inner tooth structure. The discomfort will be even worse if bleach comes in contact with an exposed, or nearly exposed, dental nerve. If you suspect that you have a cavity or if you have not had a dental exam recently, wait to have your teeth whitened until you’re given the OK by our dentist.
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