You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression
Ninety-seven days! That’s how long Kathy had gone without a cigarette. As she filled out an online dating profile, she finally felt she could honestly mark that she was a non-smoker. Yet when she went to add a recent photo of herself, she was distressed to see she still looked very much like a smoker with her nicotine-stained teeth. “Before I go looking for Mr. Right,” she thought, “I first need to be looking into getting my teeth whitened!”
Why Teeth Whitening? We Only Get One Chance at a First Impression!
Kathy was right. One of the very first things people notice about you is your smile; it is a significant part of that important first impression. A smile (or lack thereof!) can tell folks if you are generally a happy camper or a grouch. Your teeth can also be an indicator of your personal health and hygiene habits. Kathy knew having stained teeth was saying something about herself she did not want to say. Like it or not, we are very visual in our first impressions of each other.
What Can Cause Teeth to be Stained or Discolored?
As was the case for Kathy, smoking is one reason people can have yellowish stains on their teeth, but it is far from the only cause. Age, food, tea, coffee, sodas, and even certain oral antibiotics can also cause teeth to discolor. Dr. Taylor of Martin Taylor Dentistry says it is very important to see a dentist in order to identify the cause of the discoloration. Along with the more common reasons, tooth discoloring can also be caused by an underlying pathology, such as a dead tooth nerve, which would need to be treated by a special dental procedure, rather than standard teeth-whitening.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work? How Long Does It Take?
Dr. Taylor explains that the first step is a complete dental check up. This is important to determine the source of the discoloration. If Dr. Taylor determines teeth whitening is the best approach, the patient is fitted for trays. These custom fit trays allow the bleaching agent to be held in place against the teeth. After the trays have been made, Dr. Taylor instructs the patient how to put the bleaching agent into the tray and then place them on the teeth. How long the patient should wear the trays each day, and the overall time it takes to achieve the desired whiteness depends upon the source and depth of the staining. But in general the process can take from a week to a few months.
Why Should I Go to a Dentist for Teeth Whitening Rather Than Do It Myself?
Dr. Taylor gives 5 reasons why patients should get their teeth whitening done at a dentist office rather than using one of the cheaper over the counter products.
- The custom fit trays that hold the bleaching agent onto the teeth are much more effective at bleaching all surfaces of each tooth evenly and are generally more comfortable.
- Because the bleaching agent used by dentists is stronger than an over the counter product, the whitening process is faster and more effective.
- Over the counter products have been known to cause damage to the gums which in some cases is permanent.
- Drs. Taylor and Martin can monitor the results making sure the patient is using the trays properly and also that they are achieving the desired whitening effect without any damage to the teeth and gums.
- In many cases over the counter products simply do not work.
Many patients, like Kathy, want to go into a new phase of their life with beautiful white teeth. A sparkling clean smile can make all the difference in one’s appearance and confidence. Remember, you truly only get one chance to make a first impression.