No one can resist a sparkling, white smile, and with so many affordable teeth whitening products on the market nowadays, keeping your smile bright and white has never been easier. Whether you use a whitening toothpaste, teeth whitening strips or a teeth whitening system from your dentist, it is wise to take a few precautions before whitening your teeth so that you get the best possible results.
Teeth whitening is safe if done properly and if the directions for the product are followed exactly. However, teeth whitening can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, so it is best to visit the dentist for a checkup prior to using a teeth whitening product. If you have gum inflammation or gum disease, you should not begin to whiten your teeth before those problems have been addressed by your dentist. Teeth whitening products can also cause pain if you have tooth decay, which is something that your dentist can determine and repair. Any cavities should be filled, and your gum tissue should be in tip-top shape, because teeth whitening products can increase inflammation if it is already present.
Some people who use teeth whitening product find that they experience increased tooth sensitivity during the whitening process. If this happens, stop using the product and see your dentist before you resume whitening. Something as simple as using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth may help the problem, but your dentist is the best one to determine that.
We live in a society where people tend to think that if a little is good, then more must be better. This is not true with most things, teeth whitening included. Follow the package directions for the whitening product to the letter, and do not expect miracles. If the whitening strip that you use is to be left on for 20 minutes, do not leave it on for an hour, thinking that you will get better results. What you may end up getting is sore, inflamed and irritated gum tissue. Also, know that if you have a false tooth or crowns, whitening products will not change their color, or lighten them, so while your real teeth may respond to whitening, any man-made teeth will not. This might result in a smile that shows teeth of various shades, so use caution so as not to overdo it.
Once you have completed a teeth whitening regimen and have achieved good results, keep in mind that it isn’t necessary or healthy to redo the whitening process frequently. Using teeth whitening strips twice a year should be sufficient. In between, use a good whitening toothpaste, and perhaps add a once monthly touch-up product. Teeth whitening can become an obsession, and too much of a good thing may lead to extreme tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation.
Teeth whitening, when done as directed and in moderation, with realistic results in mind, can bring the dazzle back to your smile. Do not forget that good brushing and flossing habits, along with regular visits to your dentist, go a long way in keeping your smile healthy and bright, so do not forgo the dentist in favor of over-the-counter whitening products. A healthy smile goes much deeper than white teeth.
Kathleen Doheny, “Teeth Whitening Safety Tips,” Web MD.