Having white teeth can make you feel more attractive and improve your confidence levels. However, certain types of whitening may be better than others, depending on your current medical condition or dental needs. Here are several different types of teeth whitening applications and when they are best used:
Consumer Bleaching Kits
Bleaching kits can often be purchased at local stores. The kits contain a dental bleaching product and a method of applying it to the teeth, such as a brush, tray or strips for product application.
Bleaching kits can effectively whiten the teeth, but they are often best in the following situations:
You don't need rapid whitening.
A kit may require up to a month of daily applications in order to reach the whitest tooth shade. Thus, if you need a faster treatment, another type of whitening, such as professional in-office whitening, should be employed.
You don't have sensitive teeth.
If you already suffer from dental sensitivity, using a teeth-whitening kit could further exacerbate your condition. The dental bleaches help remove discoloration from the pores of the teeth. Some of the product may make contact with sensitive dental nerves, causing further inflammation.
You have permanent staining.
Not all dental discoloration is due to a buildup of pigments from your foods and drinks. Some color changes in the teeth occur due to trauma or a birth defect. These types of discoloration do not respond to dental bleaches.
Veneers are attached to the teeth to conceal imperfections, including dental discoloration. They are often made from porcelain or resin that is matched to the desired shade of whiteness.
Veneers are often best in the following instances:
You suffer from sensitive teeth.
Since no chemical bleaches are used, dental veneers are great alternatives to whiten sensitive teeth. The veneers actually cover the teeth, so they may even lessen sensitivity.
You suffer from permanent discoloration.
If your dental discoloration is permanent, dental veneers can still whiten your teeth. Since the veneers cover the discoloration, the source of the staining is unimportant.
You have additional cosmetic dental concerns.
A dental veneer is able to improve the overall look of a tooth, not just the tooth's color. Thus, veneers may be suitable for people who have cracked, misshapen or slightly misaligned teeth that are also discolored.
To learn more about tooth whitening and which applications may be best for you, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.