Many of us wish that our smiles were a little whiter, but is it something that’s worth risking your health for? The good news is that teeth whitening methods have come a long way over the last few decades and are completely safe for most people. However, there are still some important factors to consider as you decide whether to start treatment.

To Whiten or Not to Whiten?

Several factors of our modern lifestyles actively work against our ability to maintain white teeth, including:

·      Drinking coffee, tea, or other dark liquids that can leave stains

·      Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products that contain tar

·      Not brushing your teeth often enough, or not brushing thoroughly enough when you do

·      Tooth trauma or injury

·      Staining can also occur from dental fluorosis, as well as from taking tetracycline antibiotics at a young age.

Regardless of why your teeth are stained, at some point you will likely wonder whether to look into teeth whitening treatment in order to brighten up your smile. Keep in mind, as long as the teeth are free of cavities and your gums are healthy, there is little medical harm in stained teeth.

So, the decision really rests on your personal preference and the how you feel about your smile. We can’t make this decision for you, but we can assure you that professional teeth whitening methods are safe should you choose to do it.

Evaluating Treatment Options

Once you’ve decided to move forward with teeth whitening treatment, the next step is to decide whether to visit the dentist’s office or try an at-home solution. As you might imagine, professionally trained dentists are able to use higher concentrations of peroxide for whitening treatments versus what is available for at-home use. However, with the higher dose comes the expertise of a trained professional so you can rest easy knowing that the treatment is being administered properly.

Other Considerations

While the American Dental Association considers teething whitening safe, it is generally not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Consult your doctor and ask for safe alternatives.

Teeth whiteners, either at home or when professionally applied, can increase the sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This can usually be managed by using toothpaste for sensitive teeth or with over-the-counter pain relievers. If you already have sensitive teeth, ask your dentist about alternative whitening options.

If you are uncertain about whether something in your dental or medical history would be affected by teeth whitening, the best thing to do is ask your dentist. No question is too silly or trivial; any good dentist or hygienist should answer all of your questions thoroughly and professionally.

At Columbia Pike Family Dentistry, we can help you decide whether teeth whitening is right for you, and what approach might work best to get the smile you desire.

Learn more about Zoom! In-office Teeth Whitening

At Columbia Pike Family Dentistry in Arlington VA, we recommend Zoom! in-office tooth whitening. You relax comfortably in the dental chair while a trained technician applies the Zoom! deep-bleaching gel. As you listen to music or watch a movie, a special light, focused directly on your teeth, activates the gel. It penetrates deeply, breaking up even tough stains and discoloration. The hygienist reapplies the gel every 15 minutes for three cycles, so a full treatment takes only about an hour. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer or to schedule a consultation.