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A lot of people are searching for a healthier mouth and cleaner, brighter teeth. With fillings, it may be a challenge. One often asked question is if teeth whitener will work on fillings. This can depend on the filling and the tooth whitener. To better understand how everything works in the dental realm and the best way to make teeth pearly white without fillings, continue reading!

What Are Fillings?

A filling can be made of several different types of materials. The type of filling will solely depend on what the individual and dentist decide what is best. Fillings are a way to restore the tooth back to health. Teeth can develop cavities or decay and a dental professional can remove the decay and then place a filling in the tooth instead.

According to Dr. Linderman, a dentist in Carmel, Indiana, sometimes a root canal will need to be done if the decay has spread down into the root of the tooth. A filling will be placed down in the tooth once all of the decay is removed. It is important to get the decay out before it moves into the jaw, causing a terrible infection.

For more information on cavities, visit KidsHealth.org.

What Kinds of Fillings Are Available?

Each dentist may have a different set of fillings that they use on their patients, so it is important to check with your dental provider before any procedures to ensure that the type of filling you want is available at that particular dental office.

Below are the different types of fillings that can be used once all of the decay is removed from the tooth.

  • Composite Resin: This type of filling is made to mimic the exact color of a tooth. They can be hard to detect in a person’s mouth because they blend in very well. They are intended to give a natural appearance when used. The downside is that they will need to be redone eventually because they do wear down and can chip. This can take about 10 years.
  • Silver Fillings: Silver fillings are one of the most inexpensive fillings that can be found in dentist offices today. However, they are silver and are much more visible than a composite resin. It is not recommended to get silver fillings in the front of the mouth due to their visibility.
  • Porcelain Fillings: This particular type of filling is intended to coat the whole tooth. They can be very pricey, but they are very hard to spot and blend in well or even better than a composite resin.
  • Gold Fillings: Another type of filling one can get is a gold filling. It can be very expensive to have gold used as a filling. These kind of fillings are very noticeable and are often used for cosmetic effect by some individuals.

Can These Fillings Be Whitened?

While silver and gold fillings do not generally whiten, the porcelain and composite resin are the types of fillings that people want to whiten because they are meant to blend in the most. There are some ways to protect fillings from becoming stained and needing to be whitened. They are as follows:

  • Avoid food with heavy food coloring. Some foods like fruit punch and the like can cause tooth fillings to become stained very quickly.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine is one of the first things that show up on teeth and fillings alike. It is very hard to remove nicotine from teeth, and nicotine-stained fillings will have to be replaced.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. It is important to not allow food or beverages to sit on the teeth very long. If possible, only drink water when you cannot brush your teeth for a while. Always brush after eating. This can reduce stains on your teeth and fillings and freshen breath, and is also much healthier for your teeth and gums.
  • Use a whitening toothpaste. This is only realistic if one does not have sensitive teeth. Whitening toothpaste can cause teeth to become sensitive and should not be used all the time. Use it a couple times per week.

For more information on how to keep fillings clean and bright, this YouTube video may be of assistance.

Will Teeth Whitener Work?

While there are many ways to keep fillings bright and clean to prevent them from getting any stains, it is noted that teeth whitener will not work on fillings. The other downside to teeth whitener is that it can cause enamel to become weak with extended use and a need for more fillings can arise. The best option to clean your teeth and brighten them is to visit a dentist. Options can be discussed to replace old and stained fillings with newer, brighter ones.