How will I know if I’m NOT a good teeth whitening candidate?
It is always a good idea to consult a dentist if you have any doubts. Whether you are a good or bad teeth whitening candidate will depend on various factors. Make sure that you are a good candidate first or you may end up with tooth sensitivity or mismatched teeth colors!
Teeth that have changed color due to aging
Whitening treatment becomes increasingly more complicated with age. You lose some of the tooth enamel as you get older. Enamel is the hard outer layer which protects the teeth and is white. As you lose enamel the next layer of the tooth, known as dentin, starts to become visible. Dentin is darker than enamel. As a result teeth start looking darker and yellower over the years.
Whitening treatment won’t help as much if your teeth are yellow as a result of aging or other traumatic sources. It might help a little bit, but if you really want whiter teeth then you must restore the enamel layer which has been lost. This is best achieved via cosmetic dentistry by placing veneers on the front teeth. Talk to your dentist or a prosthodontist to see if this may be a good option for you.
You have teeth sensitivity
Having sensitive teeth makes a bad teeth whitening candidate. You might want to prepare yourself in advance if you have very sensitive teeth:
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste at home for a few weeks before and after treatment. Toothpaste such as sensodyne designed for sensitive teeth are ideal, especially ones which have a high fluoride concentration.
- You may need to receive additional fluoride treatment before or after treatment. Fluoride can be applied in trays directly to your teeth surfaces. Your dentist can make these trays and prescribe you fluoride supplements.
- Move forward slowly if your teeth are very sensitive. If at any point to start to feel any pain or sensitivity stop treatment immediately. If you are extremely sensitive you should see a dentist to have them access you in advance.
You have many dental issues going on
If you have existing fillings and crowns on your front this makes a bad teeth whitening candidate. Dental restorations do not react to whitening gel and their color doesn’t change with bleaching treatment. If you are really planning on whitening your teeth but you have fillings or crowns on your front teeth, talk to your dentist first to see how to correctly approach this problem. You may have to consider replacing some of the existing dental work that will show more in the front region.
- Fillings and crowns on your front teeth could interfere with achieving a uniform teeth whitening.
- You should get your gum disease under control before worrying about having whiter teeth. You could end up experiencing severe tooth sensitivity otherwise. Besides, whiter teeth won’t be very useful if they are not in your mouth at the end of the day!
- If you have severe crowding issues it can be very difficult to whiten teeth evenly. Chances are you will end up with yellow spots in random locations where the gel could not contact the teeth surfaces. Straightening your teeth will make it both easier to white teeth and maintain the results. Plus straight white teeth look much nicer than crooked white ones!
If you need dental work on your front teeth and also want to whiten your teeth, start off with the whitening first. Begin with receiving a nice professional whitening, preferably one with under the supervision of your dentist, to establish a tooth shade that you are satisfied with. Once you’ve accomplished this then begin to fix your fillings and crowns. Since the back teeth don’t show as much you can fix them either before or after the whitening treatment. It doesn’t make much of a difference and won’t impact the results. Your dentist can make the fillings or crowns a bit whiter to match the final outcome in advance and they usually blend in just fine since they are located towards the back of the mouth.
Certain teeth colors can automatically make you a bad teeth whitening candidate
Although rare, we do come across certain teeth colors that don’t whiten too well. Using whitening toothpastes and whitening mouthwashes is generally not a problem but your teeth might not respond well to the more advanced whitening treatments.
- If your teeth are grayish or peril colored, they may not react well to teeth whitening.
- If you have brownish or yellowish stains inside your teeth these will not react well to the whitening treatment. An example of this is tetracycline staining which changes teeth color from the inside.
- If you have chalky white stains on your teeth these also don’t respond well to whitening treatment. This can occur if you have suffered from flourosis which is due to too much fluoride in your diet or eating toothpaste as a child. Bleaching your teeth will only exaggerate the mismatching that already exists.