Should I Whiten My Teeth?


Teeth whitening is not for everyone. Before choosing to whiten your teeth it is important to see your dentist to determine if your teeth are suitable for the treatment. Teeth whitening is not recommended for everyone because of various issues relating to gum and tooth sensitivity, the natural colour of a person’s teeth and presence of fillings, crowns and veneers.

Unlike many untrained operators offering teeth whitening treatments, only dentists can assess a person’s suitability for the treatment. Without a proper assessment it is not possible to rule out any permanent side effects or other risks associated with the process.

If administered by untrained individuals, whitening procedures can cause discoloured teeth, heightened tooth sensitivity and gum problems.

When assessing your teeth for whitening, your dentist will:

  • Ensure your mouth is healthy before whitening commences
  • Look for grey or yellow discolouration and diagnose the cause of any discolouration
  • Discuss with you the best method to whiten your teeth
  • Advise if there are factors which may influence the whitening process (e.g. antibiotic staining)
  • Assess whether your fillings, crowns and veneers need replacement (as these won’t change colour)
  • Identify areas of gum recession
  • Discuss possible tooth sensitivity and how it may be managed.

Teeth whitening should only be carried out on people who have their adult teeth, unless otherwise advised by a dentist.

Before you consider a teeth whitening treatment, review this quick checklist:

  • Have you tried other ways to whiten your teeth without a chemical treatment, like having a professional scale and clean by your dentist and maintaining good oral hygiene habits?
  • Have you consulted your dentist and had your teeth assessed for suitability?
  • Has your dentist, in their professional opinion, recommended the treatment?
  • Are you aware of the side effects associated with tooth whitening?

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