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Candidates for Teeth Whitening

If you have stubborn stains that won’t seem to go away and you want a brighter, whiter smile, teeth whitening may be the solution you are looking for. The process is simple. The whitening treatment is either done in office or at home and it only takes a short time. The result will be a healthier, brighter, whiter smile.

What is the process?

Teeth bleaching is a simple process. Whether it is in a dental office or at home, a whitening agent (using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) is applied to the teeth using a strip or tray. This bleaching agent penetrates the tooth enamel and eliminates the discolored molecules. Depending on how stained your teeth are, one session may be enough. The important thing is to consult your dentist first to see if you are a good candidate.

Who is a good candidate?

In general, the majority of people are good candidates for professional teeth bleaching. If you have permanent teeth and your oral health is generally good, you are more than likely a good candidate for the procedure. Some additional factors to keep in mind when considering the treatment are tender gums, receding gumline, and general tooth sensitivity. People with gum disease should, in most cases, avoid the bleaching treatments. The chemicals involved in the treatments react with these conditions and can cause increased tooth sensitivity and in some cases gum irritation.

Ideal candidates have yellowish stains that won’t come clean through regular, general cleanings. Grayish or brown stains do not have as much success with the cleanings. It is also important to consider any previous dental work that you’ve had when thinking about undergoing the procedure. If you have had previous work done on your front teeth such as tooth-colored fillings, caps, and crowns you may not be an ideal candidate for the bleaching treatment. The best thing to do is talk with your dentist and see if you are an ideal candidate. If you aren’t, your dentist can recommend alternative options for you.

What are the alternative options?

If, after speaking with your dentist, you find out that you are not an ideal candidate for teeth whitening, you may be given some alternative options to choose from. The first thing you should do is talk to your dentist about your dental care routine. Your dentist can analyze your oral care routine and offer suggestions about how to improve it in order to improve the whiteness of your teeth and the health of your gums. If you work to improve your gum health, you may become an ideal candidate for teeth bleaching. Simple things like, regular flossing, brushing, and dental checkups can improve your gum health and eventually lead to having healthy enough gums for the treatment to move forward.

If you are a candidate that has caps, crowns, and other restorative dental work, your dentist can offer you alternatives to the whitening treatment. These include veneers and bonding. There may also be less expensive and easier solutions to your discoloration problems. In some cases, professional cleaning and whitening toothpaste can do the trick.

Talk to your dentist to find out what treatment option is best for you.

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