Many people wish their teeth were whiter- and for good reason – white teeth can improve our appearance and confidence. Teeth can be stained by a huge range of factors, and often professional dental whitening is the best solution. However, not everyone is candidate for tooth whitening procedures.
The best candidates for teeth whitening procedures are those whose teeth are healthy and do not have fillings or cavities. If you suffer from any of the issues below you may not be a candidate for tooth whitening, but be certain to speak to your dentist as they can provide a more accurate assessment.
Sensitive teeth and allergies to products
Prior to using over the counter whitening or having a professional bleach those who have sensitive teeth and gums should speak with their dentist. This is because the peroxide can cause further sensitivity and pain in this case.
Cavities or gum disease
Cavities must always be treated prior to whitening. This is for the health of the teeth and your comfort as whitening solutions can penetrate decay and cause sensitivity. If your teeth have no more enamel the whitening will simply not work. Your dentist may suggest crowns or caps if your tooth has worn down to only the root. These solve a number of aesthetic problems.
Fillings and crowns
‘Restored teeth’ or teeth that have been treated with fillings or other restorations such as crowns or veneers do not whiten. That means that whitening can achieve bad cosmetic effects if done in these cases. This is because the natural teeth will whiten whilst the restored parts will not – causing a dappled or patchy effect. The best solution is to whiten prior to having restoration work done. If this is not possible then you should consider bonding or veneers to achieve a whiter tone of teeth. Your dentist will be able to best advise you.
If you are under 16 then tooth bleaching is not medically advised. It can cause irritation of the pulp or sensitivity as the pulp chamber is larger in those under 16.
If you aren’t a viable candidate then your dentist may suggest professional cleaning or veneers. This article aims to provide general guidelines, not specific advice, so you should speak to a professional about your unique situation if you desire whiter teeth.