Teeth whitening can be as simple as picking up special toothpaste at the drugstore (right off-the-shelf) or as involved as trays, goo, sticky strips, ultraviolet lights, etc. When people want the whitest, brightest Hollywood smile possible, but don’t want to play with trays, and goos, and lights — or wait exorbitant amounts of time for a barely whitening toothpaste to work — they may look into teeth whitening by a dental professional. To achieve your whitening goals, which method will be best for you? And, can you whiten your teeth too much?
Using At Home Whitening Kits?
Though not rocket science by a long shot, you should still follow the specific directions on any home whitening kit because they are not all the same. If a brand is not recommended by your dentist, or without the ADA seal of approval, you may want to think twice about using it. Some treatments can whiten teeth in as little as two weeks, but every kit is different. Once your teeth reach the shade of white that you’re looking for, it will be up to you to maintain that result.
Teeth Whitening by a Professional
Having your teeth bleached by a dental professional is, for some individuals, preferable to over-the-counter methods. Once a year is the recommended repeat timing for this procedure. Between treatments, it’s not uncommon for people to use touchups at home. Depending on the shade of your tooth enamel and your dental health, you might not have the same whitening schedule as a friend or relative.
Keeping Your Teeth White
Once you go through the trouble of getting your teeth whitened, how can you keep them as white as possible? Here are a few steps that you can take every day to keep your teeth their whitest between professional treatments:
- Use whitening kits at home
- Regular cleanings and exams with your dentist
- Use a whitening toothpaste
- Drink through a straw (this allows staining liquids to bypass your teeth somewhat)
- After eating or drinking, rinse your mouth
- Keep yourself hydrated
Too Much Teeth Whitening?
After a proper dental exam, and when used as directed, it is safe to use low concentrations of peroxide such as those found in most products that whiten teeth. On the other hand, excessive teeth whitening is possible and can bring about some undesirable side effects. These can be as follows:
- Along the edge, teeth appear see-through or blue (most likely, your tooth enamel is thinning and that can end up damaging nerves)
- Gums that bleed or are inflamed (some people have a reaction to the product they’re using)
- Overly sensitive teeth (you may have left the product on your teeth too long)
Should you experience any of the side effects after using over-the-counter teeth whitening methods, do not hesitate to contact your dentist. Until you can actually visit your dentist, stop using the product.
Dr. Alex Rubinov offers teeth whitening treatments, porcelain veneers, dental implants, general dentistry, and much more. If you would like to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact us today. Don’t put off having the bright, vibrant smile you’ve always dreamed of.