At one time, teeth whitening was seen as a luxury and only something that you may consider as part of a cosmetic makeover. This situation has changed, however, with the understanding that it could be highly beneficial in certain circumstances. If you've been toying with the idea, but are not sure if it's something that could benefit you, what are some of the questions you should be asking?

What Shade of White Will Be Right?

Not everybody is going to be better off with a whiter-than-white set of teeth, as, in truth, it depends on your facial complexion and the shade of white that is found in your eyes. Cosmetologists agree that the shade of white you should be considering should blend in well with these other characteristics.

Is It Always Right for Me?

You should also have a word with your dentist to see exactly how whiter teeth could enhance your smile. Some people have a tendency to show a lot of the gums when they smile, and this can to a certain extent overpower the appearance of the teeth. It may be that you need to have an adjustment made here first.

Your dentist may also be able to have a look at your teeth and discover another underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Some people have a certain amount of discolouration due to decay, allowing the dentin under the surface enamel to be prominent. It may be that you need some veneers as well as a course of whitening.

Will It Hurt?

When people hear that bleach is used to whiten teeth, they automatically think that this is a fairly dangerous solution and it might cause damage. There is no need to be worried about this, however, as when you get the process done correctly under the supervision of a dentist the solution is carefully controlled. If you have particularly sensitive gums, the dentist will take even more precautions to ensure that the solution does not cause irritation.

What Are Your Options?

Two different whitening solutions are used in the industry – carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. The latter is used in professional situations such as your dentist's office, as it needs to be applied in very precise quantities for a certain amount of time. It's stronger and more acidic and produces the result more quickly.

Cleaning First?

To get ready for any course of whitening, it's always a good idea to get your teeth professionally cleaned by a technician and then to wait for a week or so until you go for the whitening. This will allow any sensitivity to clear up after the cleaning.

If you've got any more questions about teeth whitening, don't forget to ask your dental professional for their advice.