What’s the fastest, and least invasive way to cosmetically enhance your smile? Teeth whitening. That’s probably why people from around the world will spend around 7 billion dollars on whitening products this year.
Unfortunately, not all whitening treatments and products are equal. Many just aren’t very effective, and a lot of these treatments and so-called home remedies can be quite harmful to the health of your teeth.
So, with that in mind, If you’re thinking about trying out teeth whitening, or you’re already doing it, please avoid some of these whitening mistakes.
7 Teeth Whitening Mistakes to Avoid!
- Using Whitening Toothpaste Daily – Over the counter whitening toothpastes, including charcoal toothpastes, can help remove some stains from your teeth. Unfortunately, these toothpastes also contain abrasives to help ‘polish off stains’. These abrasives can damage tooth enamel over time, especially if you use them too frequently. A study found that whitening toothpastes could reduce the mineral content of a tooth’s enamel, which caused rougher surfaces on teeth, as well decreased the tooth’s enamel hardness. In fact, some whitening toothpastes with abrasives caused surface roughness and enamel hardness issues in just one week of use. Stain-free teeth look great, but overusing these whitening toothpastes can also cause dental issues like sensitive teeth, thinning tooth enamel, or even gum recession.
- Using One-size-fits-all Whitening Trays – Whitening trays can be a convenient and effective way to brighten your smile, especially when these trays are custom made to your teeth. But one-size-fits-all trays rarely fit well, as they’re not uniquely fitted to the size and shape of the teeth. Because they don’t fit properly, these trays aren’t very comfortable to wear and the whitening gel can leaks out. This reduces the effectiveness (and predictability) of the whitening, and can also lead to dental issues like gum irritation or teeth sensitivity. If you’re taking the time and effort to whiten your teeth, make your whitening treatment as comfortable, safe and effective as possible. Our custom whitening trays are made specifically for your teeth, so they’ll fit flawlessly. You can whiten your teeth to a desired shade, without harming your teeth and gums.
- Overdoing the Whitening Strips – Using whitening strips is another popular option to reduce teeth stains. But these strips, just like whitening toothpaste, can also damage your teeth, especially if you overuse or misuse them – like leaving them on longer than recommended. Tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and tooth enamel erosion are some of the ways these strips can damage your teeth.
- Certain Do-It-Yourself Whitening Treatments – Doing something yourself offers benefits, as well cons. Do-it-yourself teeth whitening methods, and formulas, are popular, and they probably will never die off. People are willing to try just about anything to attain a bright, shiny, stain free smile. Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice are all considered DIY whitening treatments…and they can all bring plenty of dangers to the health of your teeth and gum. These so-called at-home whitening remedies can irritate your gums, erode tooth enamel, cause tooth sensitivity, or inflame your mouth’s soft tissues. If you’re conducting a DIY whitening treatment, please let us know, so that we can help you find an approved ADA whitening option, or recommend one of our professional whitening treatments to safely and effectively meet your whitening goals.
- Not brushing or Flossing Before Whitening – Brushing and flossing before each whitening will help improve the success of your whitening treatment. Plaque build-up and food remnants that are stuck on your teeth will definitely hinder your whitening efforts. Your teeth whitening treatment is now part of your daily oral hygiene, not as a replacement.
- Eating Foods that Stain Your Teeth – Avoid certain foods and beverages after you whiten. This will ensure that your teeth whitening is effective, lasts longer, and that it doesn’t harm the health of your teeth. Beware of foods and beverages that are high in pigmentation (these will stain!) or high in acidity (these can weaken your teeth). Most ADA approved whitening treatments suggest staying away from foods and drinks with a strong pigmentation for a minimum of 24 hours after you whiten, or even longer if possible. Can’t live without your coffee or red wine? Stay on top of your regular 6 month dental cleanings.
- Not Talking to Your Dentist About Whitening – Last but not least. If you’re already whitening your teeth, or you’re getting ready to start, please let your friendly Burien dental team know. We give you a little guidance to prevent any long-term damage to your teeth. Dr. Beffa will also examine your teeth and review your dental history. Certain existing dental issues could determine whether you’re a good candidate for whitening, as well as which treatments will work best for you. Some of these issues could include previous restorative work (crowns, veneers, tooth colored fillings), crooked teeth, receding gums, or sensitive teeth. Based on your whitening goals, we’ll be able to help steer you towards whitening treatments that are safe, effective and comfortable.
Safe, Effective & Comfortable Whitening
Teeth whitening can be an excellent way to cosmetically enhance your smile and your overall appearance. Avoiding these common teeth whitening mistakes will help ensure that you have a successful, and pleasant, whitening treatment.
If you feel like you could benefit from a brighter smile make-over, please call (206) 242-0066 to schedule a whitening consultation, or let us know when you come in for your next visit.