Most of us want whiter smiles. Maybe you’ve tried over-the-counter whitening kits, but they haven’t worked. Maybe you’ve been using whitening toothpaste to no avail. Whitening is not as simple a process of some people might think. In fact, there are several mistakes you might be making. Here are 7 teeth whitening mistakes that can actually damage your smile.
1. Using cheap whitening kits
When it comes to teeth whitening, you get what you pay for. The cheap kits you find at your local drugstore aren’t likely to give you any noticeable results. Investing in professional teeth whitening treatments with your cosmetic dentist will give you the brighter smile you deserve.
2. Trying to whiten crowns, veneers, or fillings
Teeth whitening products won’t work on restorations, and often the bleaching element can damage them. If you whiten your natural teeth too much, it can result in a stark contrast in your smile between your restorations and your other teeth.
3. Not cleaning before whitening
It sounds obvious, but you need to thoroughly brush and floss before attempting to whiten your teeth. Forgetting to clean your teeth can cause bits of food or bacteria to build up underneath the whitening agent and ruin the process.
4. Using a one-size-fits-all tray
Over-the-counter trays are not actually designed to fit your smile. Because they don’t fit properly, whitening agent can spill out, causing you to swallow it. This can irritate your throat and gums. It’s better to invest in a whitening tray from your dentist, which is custom-made to fit in your mouth.
5. Frequently using whitening toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes can be too abrasive if you use them every day. They can remove surface stains on your teeth, but they can also wear down the enamel, or the outer layer of your tooth. Over time, this can increase tooth sensitivity.
6. Eating soon after whitening
Salivary glands in your mouth produce a natural biofilm barrier that protects your teeth and gums. Whitening temporarily breaks down that barrier. Avoid eating and drinking dark foods and drinks such as coffee, red wine, and berries for at least an hour afterwards while the barrier reforms. This will prevent staining your teeth.
7. Not seeing a dentist before trying to whiten
Don’t start bleaching your teeth until you see a dentist to determine whether it’s safe. They can figure out if whitening is a good choice for you. Additionally, they can perform in-office whitening for much faster results, and prescribe a take-home whitening kit much stronger than anything you could ever find at the store.
Now that you know some of these common whitening pitfalls, be sure to avoid them the next time you think about brightening your smile. Of course, the best thing to do when you’re considering it is to talk to your dentist to determine what the best option is for you.
About the Author
At Dental Charm, Dr. Robert Shick focuses on comprehensive dental care for the whole family. He offers professional in-office teeth whitening treatment to make your smile 8 shades brighter in about an hour. He also has custom-fit whitening trays that you can take home and use in the comfort of your own home. For more information about how you can start safely improving your smile, click here or call (973)-921-9097.