We all want to have a beautiful smile. Our smile is one of the first things people notice about us, especially when we are attending a meeting through videoconferencing. Our smile says a lot about how we care for ourselves. It can set the tone for our interactions with others and how they perceive us.
An important component of a beautiful smile is the color of our teeth. Most people seem to prefer bright, white teeth. Unfortunately, our smile is not always like this.
There are many reasons why teeth become dark and discolored. Things can happen when we are young while the teeth are forming, like infections or the use of various medications. Trauma, like falling and hitting the teeth and certainly decay and fillings will change the shade. As we age, teeth tend to become more yellow.
So, what can be done to correct this? The remedy you chose should be based on the extent of the problem and the amount of change you desire. Keep in mind that none of the available products, whether self-administered or professionally applied, will work on restorations like fillings and crowns.
Whitening toothpastes are the least effective. They may work if only a small change is needed. After this, over-the-counter whitening products are more effective than whitening toothpastes. They are certainly worth a try and may produce the results you are looking for from the comfort of your home.
Beyond these options are professionally applied products. These typically come in two forms: bleaching gel that you use nightly in custom-made, clear trays, and in-office systems that involve a bright light that activates a bleaching gel. These are certainly the most powerful.
Ultimately, the teeth can be “resurfaced” with veneers and crowns. This might be your best option if many teeth are involved, and there are many old fillings or restorations that are discolored and no longer match. As mentioned above, whitening products will not be effective in this case. Note that this is often the most costly remedy.
With regard to any self-applied whitening product and even the professionally applied systems, keep two things in mind: they are OK to use as long as sensitivity in the teeth and gums does not develop, and their effectiveness has a limited lifespan, so you will have to use them repeatedly.