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5 Warnings About Do-It-Yourself Teeth Whitening

patients-1Who wouldn’t love a set of whiter teeth? You have to admit that you notice when someone’s smile is gleaming, when their teeth are a few shades brighter than they used to be. And this kind of new look – while it makes the recipient look happier, healthier, and smarter – can have other people so green with envy they’ll turn to over-the-counter options so they can enjoy a quick fix for their teeth. While DIY teeth whitening methods can be effective, they come with caveats that you would be wise to heed.

1. You Might Have Sensitive Gums or Teeth

If this is your first dance with teeth whitening, you may quickly discover that you have incredibly sensitive gums. Or perhaps you’re so enthusiastic about the whitening and notice such a difference right away that you figure you’ll ignore the instructions on the box and do another whitening treatment again – to the detriment and deep pain of your poor gums.

If you already know that you have sensitive teeth, then it’s wise to visit your dentist first to discuss teeth whitening before you go ahead and attempt it yourself. Sensitive teeth could be the sign of other dental problems, like cavities or gum disease. But if you simply are more sensitive to whitening, a professional teeth whitening treatment can include desensitizing treatments to minimize any discomfort in the pursuit of a white smile.

2. Longevity Isn’t Guaranteed

Proven teeth whitening treatments must contain a bleaching agent if you actually want real, long-lasting whitening results. Whitening toothpastes use abrasives that scrape stains from your teeth but the result is not permanent. Whitening treatments that contain hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are what’s needed to make teeth permanently whiter. Professional whitening treatments fit the bill.

Should you choose porcelain veneers over Invisalign? >>

3. Your Teeth Might Not Be Uniformly White

If you’re attempting to whiten teeth that have fillings, veneers, or crowns, your efforts will be futile. Over-the-counter whitening agents will not make a dent in porcelain or composites. If you received a solid set of porcelain veneers, then these should look like they’re not over a day old all the time, but they were – if applied properly – customized to match your existing tooth color. So if you want to get whiter teeth, talk to your dentist about post-cosmetic dentistry whitening. Often patients opt for a smile makeover that includes veneers as well as whitening so that teeth are one color across the board.

It’s also important to realize that there are different types of tooth stains – intrinsic (within the tooth) and extrinsic (on the surface of the tooth). Discoloration that is simply part of your tooth structure and not caused by years of use will not be changed by whitening treatments. Ultimately, if you want a smile that’s a uniform color, prepless veneers can give you the straight, white, natural-looking smile you covet.

What’s the difference between veneers and lumineers? >>

4. Natural Whiteners Can Do More Harm Than Good

If you are wary about any sort of teeth whitening treatment from a box or dentist but still crave a whiter smile, you may be tempted to try more “natural” whitening options. But rubbing your teeth with strawberry pulp is only going to bathe your enamel in acids. Plus, as already mentioned, if the whitening treatment you’re using doesn’t contain a bleaching agent, it won’t work. You might be able to remove plaque accumulation by rubbing your teeth, but this superficial solution is temporary and not particularly effective because it is unable to penetrate your teeth and break up stain molecules.

5. You Can Become Addicted to Teeth Whitening

You’ve seen them – the people who have a bluish tint to their teeth or a smile that looks almost transparent. These are examples of individuals who have devoted far too much time to whitening their teeth, over and over again. And they continue to do so because they obviously saw results and wanted to keep them that way, but the weak bleaching agents in whatever OTC or natural whitener they used didn’t work for very long. So the whitening happens far more often than recommended and the obsession develops until teeth and gums become damaged and painful.

Professional teeth whitening is customized to your mouth, whether you have all of your natural teeth or some cosmetic dentistry treatments. So your teeth whitening will end up even and looking amazing, and you’ll be treated with customized mouth guards and desensitizing gel to ensure that the bleaching agents do not irritate your gums or cause any mouth discomfort. And, of course, professional teeth whitening is fast and incomparable to over-the-counter options.

Talk to Dr. John Moore about reliable, painless, effective professional teeth whitening. You can have the gorgeous smile you want without risking your oral health. Make your appointment for your smile makeover today.

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