Should I Whiten My Teeth?

by: Sandy Johnson, RDH, BA

When you work in a dental office, you often get asked about teeth whitening. Should I have my teeth professionally whitened? Are there negative side-effects? What about whitening toothpaste? No matter your question, the most important information I can share here is that the answer will vary for each person. Not all smiles are the same.

For some, simply using whitening toothpaste will give them the results they are looking for. For others, whitening toothpastes can cause sensitive teeth with very little benefit. Some people will see a big improvement from bleaching treatment, while others might not see any noticeable improvement. As with any smile related question, the best place to get information that is right for you is from your dentist or oral hygienist.

If you decide to whiten your teeth, be sure to avoid negating your efforts. Avoid things like tobacco, coffee and red wine which can cause staining. Need that caffeine fix in the morning? Try using a straw to reduce the contact with the front of your teeth. Also, keep in mind that staining takes time to set in; brush or rinse immediately after consuming a stain causing food or drink to keep your teeth white.

And remember, good oral hygiene practices are the best way to whiten your smile. White teeth may be attractive, but healthy teeth last. That means daily brushing and flossing, regular dental visits and a healthy diet.

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The material contained on this website is offered as information only and not as professional advice. Users should consult their own dental professionals for such advice.

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