Teeth Whitening - Topic Overview
Talk to your dentist before whitening your teeth. It does not work
for everyone. Using a bleach product for:1
- Yellowish teeth usually works well.
Brownish teeth will work, but not as well as for yellowish
- Grayish-hued teeth may not work well at all.
Bleaching also may not work if you have had bonding or tooth-colored
fillings in your front teeth. The bleach will not affect the color of these
materials, and they will stand out if you whiten the rest of your teeth. Always
talk with your dentist before you use tooth whitening, especially if you have
many fillings, crowns, or very dark stains.
Bleaching your teeth may have side effects. Teeth can become
sensitive when you are using the bleaching solution, but this sensitivity usually goes away
when you finish your treatment. A mouthpiece that does not fit well may hurt
Remember that whitening is not permanent. Your teeth will slowly
become discolored again. Some lifestyle choices, such as drinking coffee or
using tobacco, will speed up how fast your teeth lose their new
Children and teens
Children and teens with discolored teeth may have a negative
self-image that can result in unhealthy behavior. Teeth whitening may help them
with their self-image.
In children and teens, stained or discolored teeth may be the
- An injury or infection.
which is using too much
fluoride. This can change the color of the
- The antibiotic tetracycline. Using this antibiotic can
result in stains on the teeth.
It is important to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist. If
your child still has a mix of
permanent teeth, whitening all teeth may result in
teeth being different shades of white. This is because the thickness of the
tooth enamel is different in these two types of teeth. Colors may also change
when the permanent teeth replace the primary teeth.