Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?

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Not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening; if you grind, if enamel is thin, or if there is recession, it could be problematic. In this video, dental specialist Martha Cortes, DDS, explains factors to consider before teeth whitening.
Good candidates for teeth whitening are individuals with mild to moderate discolored teeth that have had a recent dental exam. While those with tooth colored fillings and crowns can have teeth whitened, the fillings and crowns do not whiten. Fillings and crowns may need to be replaced after whitening to match the other teeth. Any cavities should be fixed before whitening and teeth should be professionally cleaned. Coffee and tea stains do not come off with whitening. See your dentist if you are interested in whitening. 
Stephen Handisides
Health Education
Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. Quick and easy to perform, it can totally transform your smile and make you look years younger. Professional teeth whitening can not only remove the surface stains that make your teeth look yellow, but can penetrate the enamel to bleach deep-set stains that over-the-counter systems can’t touch. A dentist will be able to tailor your treatment to get the result you want, whether you are looking for a subtle or more noticeable outcome. Although there are lots of over-the-counter whitening products, you are best advised to go to a dentist, as anything that is sold on the high street is likely to have active ingredients in such low quantities that it is won’t have a very noticeable effect. There may also be some reasons that you are not suitable for teeth whitening treatment, which only a dentist will be able to ascertain.

Ideal candidates for teeth whitening treatments are those whose teeth have become yellow or discolored due to drinking coffee or red wine, smoking, or just the natural aging process.

Risks and Complications: Most people will experience some sensitivity either during and/or after the initial treatment with laser whitening systems. Some people who have laser whitening experience sharp shooting pains in their teeth for up to 48 hours afterwards. Your dentist may offer you a special gel or mousse to apply to your teeth to help reduce some of the pain and sensitivity. Those who have sensitive teeth are more likely to experience side effects of teeth whitening. To avoid sensitivity, you should avoid very hot or cold foods for 48 hours after treatment, and to maintain the results you should steer clear of cigarettes and teeth-staining food and drinks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.