Over time, teeth can start turning a yellowish color or stain. If this is happening to you, you may be trying to decide if you want to use an over-the-counter, teeth-whitening product or see your dentist to whiten your teeth. Below are two reasons why you should let your dentist do this.
The main reason you should ask your dentist to whiten your teeth is because what they use is much more effective when compared to over the counter products. In most cases, it will only take one visit to get your teeth as white as you want them. At-home products generally take more time to get your teeth white.
If you have very bad stains on your teeth, such as from smoking, chewing tobacco, or drinking coffee, the over-the-counter products will not work well for you. They may take some of the stains off but not all of them.
Before the dentist will whiten your teeth, they will give you a standard cleaning to remove any plaque. Once your teeth are cleaned, the dentist will apply a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel on your teeth. The gel stays on for a certain amount of time. The dentist may use a laser, light device, or heat during the whitening process to increase the bleaching action.
If you would rather whiten your teeth at home, your dentist can give you a custom-made whitening mouth tray. This tray is made of thin, flexible plastic. You fill the tray with whitening gel and then leave the tray on your teeth for a certain amount of time. How many times you have to do this depends on how stained your teeth are.
Your dentist can go over each of these with you in much more detail to help you decide what would work best for you.
If the stains on your teeth will not come off, your dentist may suggest porcelain veneers. The veneers are made of a thin layer of porcelain, and they are bonded to the exterior surface of each stained tooth. Once applied, your teeth will look completely white.
Once your teeth are white, your dentist will likely have you use a whitening toothpaste at home to keep your teeth from getting stained again. You should also quit smoking or chewing because your teeth will get stained again. This will prevent you from having to go back to the dentist to whiten your teeth over and over.