Am I a Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is popular all over the world. The reason is, most people experience teeth staining or discoloration over time. If you notice stains on your teeth, you are not alone. But does that alone make you a candidate for whitening services? Factors to consider include age, dental health and mouth sensitivity.

Symptoms of tooth staining

Most tooth stains are obvious, and a simple look in the mirror reveals them. Teeth whitening is so popular because the symptoms impact appearance. Individuals are afraid to smile because their teeth have turned yellowish or brown. It can be so severe that it affects mental health. Some of the symptoms are include dark spots, discoloration and loss of self-esteem.

Causes of tooth staining

Most adults experience discoloration during their lifetime. It does not mean that teeth are decaying or need reconstruction. When staining occurs in younger people, the causes could be more problematic. For instance, children who exercise poor dental habits are likely to experience staining. Most people can avoid early staining by brushing and flossing. Some of the main causes are:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Poor dental habits (brushing, flossing)
  • Smoking
  • Soft drinks (soda, sugar drinks)

Age restrictions for professional teeth whitening

Most dentists will not perform whitening procedures on children under 16 years old. A child’s teeth are not fully developed and discoloration at a young age indicates a more severe issue. Poor dental hygiene could be the culprit or it could be a medical condition. In either case, parents should address the root of the problem rather than treating its symptoms.

Health requirements for whitening treatments

Healthy adults with active gum tissue are the top candidates for professional teeth whitening. Some might question how yellow teeth and healthy gum tissue go together. The truth is, it is possible to have both. Even with proper brushing habits, whiteness can fade. A clean bill of health is always ideal for a dental procedure.

Color treatment with mouth reconstruction

An ideal candidate does not have full mouth reconstruction. Bridges, fillings and implants can get all in the way of teeth whitening. Some dentists can work around a few fillings, but full mouth reconstruction could be too much. Patients with several fillings should consult with a dental professional before proceeding.

Other considerations

Women who are nursing or pregnant should avoid professional teeth whitening. The same is true of people with severe health conditions. Individuals with teeth sensitivity should think long and hard before signing on. The procedure can be painful and exacerbate symptoms. Dentists recommend a consultation before choosing to proceed.

Consult with your dentist

Reviewing your candidacy comes down to age, health and reconstruction. People with discolored teeth but otherwise healthy dental hygiene are the ideal candidates. Fillings or implants can get in the way of treatments. Also, a pregnant woman should not take part. The only way you can know for sure is to contact your local dentist and schedule a consultation.

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