Is Teeth Whitening the Right Solution for You?

Everyone's teeth will become discoloured over time, particularly if they smoke or drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine. Fortunately, there are numerous tooth whitening methods available, both from your dentist and in over-the-counter products to use at home. Is it something you should consider for yourself?

The downside

The first thing you should bear in mind is that any method of teeth whitening is going to cost money — and the better the results, the more it is likely to cost. Whitening strips and toothpastes are relatively inexpensive but will have limited results; having your teeth whitened in the dentist's chair will be longer-lasting and more effective but will leave you more out of pocket. As with most things, you get what you pay for.

You should also bear in mind that the procedure will only work on your natural teeth. If you have a lot of crowns, fillings or veneers, the whitening will not have an effect on them, and they will stand out more among your other teeth.

You will also need healthy teeth and gums to start with. Whitening treatments can lead to temporary gum irritation and tooth sensitivity, and you need to be sure you will not exacerbate an existing problem.

The upside

Nevertheless, there are good reasons to go down the whitening route. An attractive smile will boost your confidence and self-esteem, which will have a knock-on effect in every aspect of your life. You will make a much better impression on people and will leave people happy to have met you. This in turn will give you a more positive attitude to life.

Teeth whitening is also a simple method of becoming more attractive with little effort. Yellow or stained teeth can detract from your overall appearance; whitening them is a long-lasting way of improving how you look and will detract attention from any wrinkles or blemishes into the bargain.

And perhaps most importantly, people who have had their teeth whitened also tend to practise better oral hygiene. When they see the benefits of having an attractive and charming smile, they take more care of it and are therefore less likely to suffer from tooth decay or gum disease.

The boost to your confidence from teeth whitening can be huge. Just talk to your dentist about your options, and you'll be taking the first steps towards a brighter and more attractive smile.