Teeth-whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment these days, but like any dental treatment, it’s important to know that it’s the right solution before you subject your teeth to it. For many reasons, this isn’t possible if you choose to whiten your smile with an over-the-counter (OTC) product rather than visiting your dentist. Today, we examine a few reasons why, and how we can still brighten your smile even if teeth-whitening isn’t the right solution.

The purpose of cosmetic teeth-whitening

Professional teeth-whitening is best when performed by your dentist, but it’s notably more convenient than any other cosmetic dental treatment. Whitening your teeth involves applying a topical bleaching agent to your teeth to erase the stains on their surfaces and brighten their structures. This makes the treatment highly convenient, but also makes it appropriate only for certain types of teeth stains. Known as extrinsic teeth stains, they develop on the surfaces of your teeth from things like food, beverages, and more. While they’re the most common types of teeth stains, not all stains are extrinsic, so it’s important to ensure that yours are before applying any bleaching agent to your teeth.

What your dentist can tell about your teeth stains

To determine exactly what kinds of stains are marring your teeth, your dentist can perform a thorough examination of your teeth and their appearance. One of the most important things this examination will tell your dentist is whether they’re extrinsic or intrinsic, meaning they’ve developed underneath your semi-translucent tooth enamel. Intrinsic stains are less common, and can sometimes indicate a concern such as tooth decay or internal damage. Or, they may be a cosmetic result of certain other health conditions or consumption of certain medications (such as antibiotics). Once your dentist knows exactly what kind of stains have developed and why, you can be more certain to receive the most appropriate treatment for them.

In case you need more than teeth-whitening

If your exam reveals that teeth-whitening is the best solution for your stains, then your dentist can customize the right treatment option to fit your needs and preferences. That includes in-office or at-home treatment, depending on how fast you prefer your teeth whitened. In cases of teeth stains that don’t respond to teeth-whitening, however, we can custom-design a more effective cosmetic treatment plan, such as the use of porcelain veneers to instantly transform your discolored teeth.

Find out if teeth-whitening is a good idea

Cosmetic teeth-whitening works best for certain types of teeth stains, and the only way to know for sure if it’s the right solution is to visit your dentist. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.