Let’s face it, for many of us, our pearly whites have become more of a faint yellow. Age, our eating and drinking habits, and tobacco usage can lead to tooth discoloration. Even among those who take very special care of their teeth, it’s impossible to keep that white color we all had when we were kids. Many people are therefore interested in whitening their teeth, hoping to revitalize their smile. Teeth whitening, especially when supervised by a dentist, is a safe and effective procedure with very few long-term risks. In most cases, side effects and other issues are caused by improper use of the whitening product or excessive whitening. We take a look at what those effects can be if you over whiten.
What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look, and how you feel about your smile. Most dentists perform tooth whitening. Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color.
What are my whitening options?
Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:
What happens when you over whiten?
When you use teeth whitening products too much, you could be damaging your teeth. Although teeth whitening rarely causes long term damage, temporary sensitivity is not uncommon. If you experience any discomfort following your treatment, your dentist can help you minimize irritation in the future. But even products approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) are hazardous when used excessively, and could lead to the following problems:
Your dentist can recommend techniques to minimize sensitivity for future treatments. Gentle cleansing products and toothpastes can manage and decrease discomfort. Some dentists also offer desensitizing products for whitening patients. If you experience irritation, you should abstain from touch-up treatments until otherwise instructed by your dentist.
What is the safest way to teeth whiten?
Some of the effects of overusing whitening products, such as tooth sensitivity and gum irritation, typically go away when you stop using these products. Tooth enamel loss is a more serious effect, however, making it important to avoid this problem in the first place. Instead of using whitening products on your own at home, consider having teeth whitening done professionally. Your teeth will be much safer in the hands of an experienced professional. Keep in mind that professional whitening services—such as in-office whitening or at-home whitening with customized bleaching trays—are also more effective than over-the-counter whitening products. In many cases, the results also last longer, so you will not need to have whitening treatments done as often.
Do you have any questions about over whitening? Call Westermeier Martin Dental Care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.