If your teeth are not their whitest, their discoloration may be affecting your overall appearance. People with white, straight teeth are often deemed more attractive. One study used digitally altered photographs to present pictures of the same models having teeth that were a brownish yellow color, a healthy shade of white, and a sparkling white color. The models presented with the discolored teeth were considered less attractive by observers than those whose teeth were a healthy white or sparkling white color.
Still, tooth color is something that can be easily improved. Here are three cosmetic dental applications that can be used to whiten your teeth.
Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening
Whitening kits can be purchased at local stores without a prescription. The kits contain bleaching ingredients to help remove stains from your tooth enamel. These kits do whiten the teeth. However, if your teeth are severely stained, these products may not produce a satisfactory level of whiteness. In addition, over-the-counter kits can cause dental sensitivity if they are used more often than directed.
Your teeth can achieve a higher level of whitening with a professional teeth-whitening application. Professional bleaching is performed at a dental office by a dental professional, so the procedure tends to be safer than self-applied bleaching kits. In addition, professional teeth whitening typically yields better results.
After applying the teeth-whitening gel to your teeth, your dentist may subject your teeth to a special ultraviolet light that enhances the whitening results.
To achieve the highest level of whiteness, it may be necessary for your dentist to conduct several bleaching applications. Thus, you may be scheduled for a few appointments. In addition, to maintain the new color of your teeth, your dentist may prescribe a special toothpaste, gel or mouth rinse for use at home.
If your teeth are prone to sensitivity or have permanent discoloration, veneers may be the best option to brighten your teeth. Veneers are thin, tooth-shaped pieces of porcelain or resin that can be bonded to your teeth to make them look white and straight.
Since veneers cover your teeth, they are appropriate for staining that does not lighten from teeth-whitening solutions. In addition, veneers can be used to correct the look of teeth that are misshapen or too small.
If you would like to lighten the color of your teeth, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist like Larsen-Haslem Dental in your area. He or she can assess your individual needs to find a whitening application that will work for you.