Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening works as long as it’s performed by your dentist. It’s important to remember that the government doesn’t actually regulate OTC teeth whiteners. Most of them are ineffective, especially if you’re using over-the-counter products without ADA seal.

Our teeth will get darker as we grow old. For some people, however, their teeth turn brownish yellow because of smoking and drinking coffee and other colored beverages.

There are two types of tooth discoloration. One is intrinsic, which develops with time. Extrinsic, on the other hand, is the result of deposits on the teeth because of smoking, drinking colored beverages, medicines, and other factors.

Teeth whitening products usually work on the surface or extrinsic stains.

How to prepare for a teeth whitening procedure?

The success of this procedure will depend on your dental problems. If you have cavities, they need to be removed first before you undergo a teeth whitening procedure. The reason for this is that whitening solutions could easily pass through those decayed areas in your teeth, without making your teeth whiter.

Then if you’re experiencing tooth decay or receding gums, teeth whitening can make your pearly whites sensitive.

It’s also important to remember that whitening does not work on porcelain/ceramic crowns or veneers.

When you do use OTC whitening products, the results can only be visible after three months. On the other hand, the products used in your dentist’s office would provide visible results within days to a week. Having your teeth whitened by your dentist would also mean that the result is monitored by your dentist. In this way, gum irritation or teeth sensitivity can be easily avoided.

Is teeth whitening covered by a dental insurance?

Sadly, it’s not. The reason for this is that it’s a cosmetic procedure and most procedures of this type aren’t covered by a dental insurance.

How often should you whiten your teeth?

It depends on the overall health of your teeth. Teeth whitening procedures done in your dentist’s clinic would usually last for years. However, a touch-up is recommended during a professional cleaning procedure, which is done on a six-month basis.

A home bleaching procedure recommended by your dentist can be cheaper. In this procedure, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth. From that impression, a whitening tray is made. You need to fit your teeth on the tray as if you’re wearing a mouth guard. The whitening material is included in the tray and it’s usually in a gel form. You may be required to wear it overnight. However, some patients opt to wear it during the day.

As regards to OTC teeth whitening products, most dentists don’t recommend them as they can be easily overused causing more harm to the overall dental health of the patient.

Does this mean that people should not use OTC teeth whitening products?

Most OTC teeth whitening products are ineffective. But they don’t mean that they’re not safe to use. The bottom line here is that if you need to whiten your teeth, you should consult your dentist first. Don’t just use any teeth whitening products.


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