Do you ever see someone else flash a beautiful white smile and think, “I want my teeth to look like that”? If so, you’re in good company — teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure, and surveys show that as many as 80% of Americans wish they had whiter teeth.
But if you’re thinking about taking your teeth up a few shades with a professional whitening treatment, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first.
Is Whitening Enough?
Maybe you’re completely happy with your teeth in all other ways, and all they need is a little more pop. If that’s true, whitening might be the best option for you. But if your teeth have other cosmetic imperfections that bother you, you may want to consider a treatment that tackles more of your concerns.
For example, if you also have teeth that are poorly shaped, chipped, undersized, or crooked, you could kill two birds with one stone by making the leap to porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin but durable facades of advanced ceramics that can easily change the appearance of your teeth. When you see that a celebrity got a full smile makeover, porcelain veneers are usually the culprit. They can solve nearly any cosmetic problem — and best of all, they can solve multiple at once!
Will Whitening Work?
If your teeth are stained from things like drinking red wine, having a coffee habit, or using nicotine products, whitening can wipe away the resultant discoloration, leaving your teeth nice and bright. But if your discoloration is a result of other causes, teeth whitening may have little to no effect. For example, if you’ve always had darker teeth thanks to thin or defective enamel or unusually dark dentin, whitening the outer surface of your teeth won’t do anything. Your dentist can help you pinpoint the cause of your discoloration and the best possible solution for it.
Can I Maintain It?
If your discoloration is a result of habits like wine, coffee, or smoking, whitening might present a temporary solution, but that discoloration will return over time if you keep those habits up. If you want your bright new smile to stick around, it’s important to also address the causes of staining. If making coffee into a once-a-week treat instead of a daily staple sounds like an impossible undertaking, you can still whiten away those stains — just be prepared to be back in the dentist’s chair in a few months, once your morning joe has yellowed your teeth again. Or talk about maintenance treatments.
Where Should I Go?
Despite the dozens of at-home whitening products on the shelves at your local drugstore, your best bet for an effective, safe, and long-lasting whitening job is to visit a cosmetic dentist. Not only do DIY whitening treatments offer lackluster results in most cases, they can also result in uneven whitening if misapplied, and can even cause damage to your teeth and gums if you’re not careful.
Instead, visit an experienced dentist who can deliver the results you want, quickly and safely. If you’re ready for teeth whitening in San Diego, call (619) 299-5925 or contact us online to make an appointment.