Let’s face it, for many of us, our pearly whites have become more of a faint yellow. Age, our eating and drinking habits, and tobacco usage could easily be the culprits. Even among those who take very special care of their teeth, it’s impossible to keep that white colour we all had when we were kids. As such many opt for teeth whitening, hoping to revitalize their smile. Some of the questions one might have in the process include:
- Is it safe?
- Is it bad for you?
- Is it covered by insurance?
- Is it permanent; how long does it stay?
If you have been wondering the same thing, you’ve come to the right place. We frequently get these questions from our patients. Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about teeth whitening.
Why Whiten Your Teeth?
Teeth whitening used to be the domain of movie stars and musicians, but not anymore. Advances in technology have made teeth whitening available to the masses, and for less money than you may expect.
There are many reasons to whiten your teeth. A few might include:
- Wanting a brighter smile: White teeth can make a huge difference in your appearance.
- Eliminating embarrassing spots: Aging teeth can make you self-conscious about your smile.
- Wanting to change your look: Whitening your teeth is much cheaper than other cosmetic procedures.
- Creating a more uniform look: Some people get stains only on the top or bottom of their teeth and want them all to be the same shade.
Is teeth whitening worth it? Reasons for teeth whitening are all tied to vanity, in one way or another, but that does not mean it’s not a worthy procedure. You can feel better about your appearance when you whiten your teeth, which will improve your own self-worth.
Whatever your reason for wanting your teeth whitened, it’s a valid desire. Teeth whitening can be a safe and relatively inexpensive way to improve your outlook on life. Teeth whitening has gotten some bad press because of restrictions, such as not doing it when you are pregnant or nursing. Those are more precautions than actual dangers. When a dentist is asked “is teeth whitening bad?” they will answer it is not. Every dental procedure has side effects, but is teeth whitening bad for your teeth? No.
Why Do Teeth Turn To a Pigmented Yellow?
Your tooth enamel forms when you are a developing foetus. This enamel is what gives your teeth their white colour when you are born, including both your baby and adult teeth. Of course, your teeth aren’t 100 percent white, but they do have a brighter sheen to them when you are young. That is because you have not yet been exposed to all the things that can dull your enamel’s shine.
As you get older, your enamel begins to wear away. This wear reveals the darker tissue that surrounds the nerves and blood vessels in your teeth. There is no way to repair this natural erosion, and so your teeth begin to take on more of a dull grey colour. At the same time, teeth can also stain.
While people often become self-conscious about yellowing teeth, leading them to wonder if teeth whitening is worth it, yellowed teeth usually are not a sign of bad hygiene. Genetics plays into how much your enamel gets worn down, and it’s hardly realistic to expect people to stop consuming hot caffeinated beverages.
Different Ways to Whiten Teeth
It is up to you to figure out if teeth whitening is worth it for you. To assist, here is a rundown on the different types of teeth whitening methods that can be used. Two are overseen by dentists. One can be done without the supervision of a professional, which may be why many people wonder if teeth whitening is safe.
Professionally Supplied Whitening Kits
You can get professionally produced whitening kits that you can administer to yourself. It is a safe method as long as you follow the directions given to the later. The results are excellent.
This can be convenient because you do not have to schedule a time to go to the dentist, but it can also be cumbersome because walking around your house with bleaching trays in your mouth is distracting and uncomfortable.
Whitening at the Dentist’s Office
We can help whiten your teeth in less than an hour in the dental chair. It is chemically activated, so it starts working as soon as it is placed on your teeth. And it doesn’t require a hot, uncomfortable light for efficacy.
It is administered in a safe, dentist-supervised procedure. First, your gums are protected with a rubber dam that is painted on to ensure that teeth whitener does not damage the gum line. Then the dentist applies the gel to the teeth for an hour. One to two shades of bleaching is typical. We recommend this to our patients who want to jump-start their bleaching process.
Pharmacy Teeth Whiteners
By far the cheapest option, these products are sold at drug stores. They usually consist of strips or paint-on applicators. The gel is much less potent than what your dentist would employ.
This is certainly an easy option. However, what you gain at convenience and price, you may lose out on effectiveness. Because you do not have a professional administering the product, you may find inconsistent results.
Benefits and Cons
As with any cosmetic dentistry procedure, there are pros and cons to getting your teeth whitened.
Here are answers to those questions and more, which will help you decide whether this procedure is right for you.
1. Is Teeth Whitening Bad For You?
Benefit: Teeth whitening is not dangerous. Bleaching causes sensitivity because it opens up the internal channels of the tooth. This allows the bleach to penetrate the tooth and whiten.
Con: It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers, which is probably why so many people wonder, if teeth whitening bad. This is more precautionary than anything else.
2. Is Teeth Whitening Covered By Insurance?
Con: A lot of insurance plans don’t cover teeth whitening. It is considered a nonessential cosmetic procedure. That is, insurance companies do not deem it medically necessary because it is not fixing a problem that is detrimental to your health.
3. How Long Does Teeth Whitening Take?
Benefit: You can generally finish a teeth-whitening session in under an hour.
4. Is It Bad for Your Health?
Benefit: We hear patients asking all the time, “is teeth whitening safe.” There is no evidence to suggest it impacts your overall health. The procedure is limited to your mouth, and the chemicals are not harsh enough to cause harm to your body.
5. Is It Permanent?
Con: Many people going in to talk to their dentist wonder, “if teeth whitening is permanent?” No, teeth whitening is not permanent. We cannot put an end to the daily wear-and-tear that breaks down or stains our enamel. You are hardly going to stop drinking coloured beverages or stop ageing. Teeth whitening will have to be repeated in the future for the effects to last.
6. Will it Help Your Confidence?
Benefit: One great and often overlooked benefit to teeth whitening is the boost in confidence you receive when you show off your new smile. Many people with yellowing or greying teeth actually stop smiling because they feel self-conscious. When you have white teeth, you are proud to show them off and are more likely to smile and share your inner shine with others. That can help you in job interviews, in interactions with peers, and simply to feel better about yourself. It should lay to rest the question, “If teeth whitening is bad for you?”
Myths About Teeth Whitening: Is Tooth Whitening Safe?
There are all sorts of misperceptions and misunderstandings about teeth whitening. Here are clarifications about questions we hear frequently.
1. Is Teeth Whitening Dangerous?
No. It is recommended that you get a check-up with your dentist before you use whitening Kits on your own. As long as they are used in the manner they are intended, there is no actual danger to your mouth.
2. Is It Safe For Teeth with Fillings or Bonding?
We hear many people ask, “Is tooth whitening safe for teeth with restorations?” Yes, it is. You will not damage any other restorations you have had done to your mouth. That means existing fillings, bondings, veneers, and crowns will be unharmed by any whitening you have done. However, keep in mind that whitening your teeth may give them a different colour than these other restorations. You cannot whiten a filling or crown or other restoration; that will remain the same colour it was before you whitened.
3. Does it Harm Enamel of Teeth?
No. There has been no evidence that the enamel of the tooth is harmed. It does not make the teeth any softer nor does it change the surface of the tooth.
4. Can’t You Just Use Teeth-Whitening Toothpaste?
Whitening toothpaste does not whiten teeth. It does not contain any ingredients that will actually whiten your teeth. Patients use whitening toothpaste after bleaching in order to best maintain their shade.
Should You Whiten Your Teeth?
Now we have answered all your questions about teeth whitening, you are probably ready to make your decision. First, here’s a quick note about maintaining your whiter, cleaner teeth.
Once you have gotten your teeth whitened, they will not stay that way without serious upkeep. Below are ways to keep your teeth white:
- Use whitening toothpaste.
- Get whitening touch-ups after every 6 months.
- Use straws when drinking dark-coloured beverages to reduce staining.
- Cut out tobacco products to eliminate yellowing.
At Molars Dental Clinic, we have helped many patients whiten their teeth. We can help you on your way to whiter teeth in a few short visits. Contact us to get started with any of our dental experts. Schedule an appointment online or contact us using the information below for more information about our procedures: 0715856900 Nairobi, 0751856900 Mombasa, 0796856900 Lenana. One of our customer care team members will contact you shortly to confirm your appointment, or to work with you on further details.
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