How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Do you want your teeth as white as possible? A 10 out of 10?
- Do you want whiter teeth quick? Like within a few days?
- Do you have real sensitive teeth?
- Have you NOT had a dental cleaning in over 6 months?
- Do you have fillings or crowns on your front teeth? The ones that require whitening?
- Do you have colored stains or white chalky spots on your teeth?
- Have you used whitening gels or custom trays in the past but were disappointed with the results?
- Are your teeth very crooked?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then it is best to go to a dentist for a whitening. You may not end up getting the results you want if you do it by yourself.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you’re your a good candidate for do it yourself whitening at home. Plan on spending a few hours for several days to get the results you want.
If you really want to get the whitest teeth possible then you should consider seeing your dentist for a professional whitening. With over-the-counter products you may not be able to realize much of a difference and may be left disappointed. So if you are shooting for the stars then consider seeing your dentist for the best results. If you end up not being happy with the results you can always talk to them about other options.
- Consider extending the whitening for a bit longer if you’re not too sensitive already. Another 15 to 20 minutes could give you the results you’ve been looking for.
- See if they have a policy where you can obtain a second whitening procedure a few days later to boost the results if one round doesn’t get the job done
- Ask to see if they can make you take home trays as well so you can keep continuing the treatment on your own time for improved results
There are many items that you should avoid in order to best maintain the results.
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Wines, especially red wine
- Most colas and other sodas
- Food colors
If you want your tooth whitening results to last for a long time you need to avoid these things. So if you are planning on smoking a pack a day or drinking coffee all day long, then maybe you shouldn’t waste your money on an in-office whitening after all.
Helpful tip – Drinking through a straw actually works to help reduce the darkening effect of these food products. You may look a little odd sipping your hot coffee through a straw but this will help minimize tooth exposure to caffeine and helps better maintain your whitening results over time.
NEXT >> Best Teeth Whitening Solution: In-Office Dentist Bleaching
Best Teeth Whitening Solution: Bleaching Trays or Whitening Strips
How to decide if I am a good teeth whitening candidate or not?
To determine if you are a good teeth whitening candidate answer the following questions:
- Do you want Hollywood white teeth?
- Are your teeth very sensitive to hot and especially to cold?
- Do you have fillings or crowns on the front teeth?
- Are your teeth grayish or pearl colored?
- Do you have permanent stains, brown or chalky colored, which are located inside the teeth?
- Do you have plaque and tartar covering your teeth?
- Has it been a long time since you had a dental cleaning?
- Do you have any unfinished cavities or suffer from untreated gum disease?
- Do you have crooked teeth? To the point that it is hard to apply the whitening gel evenly on the teeth surfaces?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions then you have to address some issues before whitening your teeth. You’re not a good teeth whitening candidate until these issues have been addressed. Talk to your dentist to discuss a plan how to approach your whitening correctly. Otherwise you might end up with some unexpected surprises along the way!
If you answered “no” to all of the above questions then you are a good teeth whitening candidate. You can use whitening strips along with whitening mouthwash and toothpaste for best at-home results. Or consider going to a dentist for an in-office whitening treatment or custom bleaching trays.
Final thought on teeth whitening candidate
Make sure you are a good teeth whitening candidate before using the more advanced treatment options. Keep in mind that the initial effects of a good teeth whitening typically last for a few months. If you start to see the effects wearing off you may have to go back for a touch-up treatment. There is no guarantee as to how long the initial whitening results will last. To better maintain the whiter teeth over time try using whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes. If you want even whiter teeth then consider using either custom take-home trays or whitening strips every few months or weeks to better sustain the results. How often one you will require a touch-up ultimately comes down to how white you expect your teeth to remain over time.
NEXT >> Good Teeth Whitening Candidate
Bad Teeth Whitening Candidate
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.
NEXT >> How to decide if I am a good teeth whitening candidate or not?
Good Teeth Whitening Candidate