When you look at pictures of yourself, do you find that you often try to hide your teeth? Instead of giving a big, toothy grin like everyone else in a group shot, are your lips pursed tightly together in the best smile you can muster without showing your yellowed or stained teeth? If so, you may be a candidate for teeth whitening.
Teeth Whitening Can Help With Normal Staining
First, as you consider whether or not you are a good candidate for teeth whitening, remember that some staining and yellowing over time is natural. As we get older, our tooth enamel starts to get thinner, and the yellow dentin inside our teeth starts to show through. At the same time, dark foods and vegetables can stain your teeth, too.
Fortunately, teeth whitening can help with these issues, especially if your teeth are stained from things like drinking coffee, eating dark chocolate, or using tobacco products.
Of course, if you go back to enjoying those dark foods and beverages, and/or using tobacco, your teeth will become stained again. If you quit the tobacco and take some steps to keep your teeth bright and white, though, you can still enjoy your coffee with a bright, white smile.
Who Is Not a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening unfortunately cannot solve all damage to the color of your teeth. If your tooth enamel has gotten thin enough that your dentin is showing through, usually in yellow circles, whitening cannot make a difference. If you have a single tooth that is discolored because of an infection, whitening may not be effective, either.
Fortunately, even if you are not a candidate for teeth whitening, other cosmetic dentistry procedures may help. For example, if your dentin is showing through, you may want to consider porcelain veneers, which will be beautifully white and will not yellow over time.