3 Tooth Whitening Mistakes To Avoid

Whether you have just had braces removed or preparing for retirement, you might be thinking about whitening your teeth to improve your look before you enter into the next chapter of your life. Unfortunately, even small mistakes could compromise your results and make your smile uncomfortable. Here are three simple tooth whitening mistakes to avoid making, so that you can enjoy a brighter, more beautiful smile.

Mistake: Using DIY Kits

Toothpaste manufacturers make teeth whitening seem simple enough. After using a new toothpaste for a while or applying a special gel, your teeth can look whiter in a few hours — or will they? Although it might seem simple to use DIY whitening kits, many of these products aren’t approved by the ADA, which can leave you with poor results.

Oftentimes, at-home teeth whitening products contain lower concentrations of carbamide peroxide, which can make whitening take much longer. In fact, research has shown that the majority of “starter level” kits contain about 10% carbamide peroxide while dentists have access to concentrations as high as 40%.

Additionally, at-home whitening tools aren’t always easy or convenient to use since they are designed to fit everyone. For instance, bleaching trays may not fit properly, allowing whitening agents to spill onto surrounding gum tissues. The bleaching process can also be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you use whitening pens or messy strips.

On the other hand, in-office teeth whitening allows patients to lie back and relaxed while trained professionals take care of the rest. In addition to talking with you about what shade you would like your teeth to become, dentists will work hard to protect the surrounding gum tissue and dental work to prevent other problems.

Mistake: Whitening Too Frequently

Unfortunately, even prescribed dental whitening trays can cause problems if you use them too frequently. While it might seem tempting to whiten your teeth day and night, leaving those trays on for too long could cause extreme dental sensitivity and even enamel damage, which is why you should always follow your doctor’s orders closely.

When you whiten your teeth, a chemical reaction occurs in the dental enamel that releases microscopic plugs in the dental enamel. While it is true that this reaction allows bleaching agents to whiten underlying dentin, it can also cause pulpitis if the bleach isn’t removed in a timely manner. If you whiten your teeth too often, dental sensitivity can make it hard to eat and drink.

Over whitening your teeth can have other negative consequences, including making the edges of your teeth slightly translucent. Since the inside of your mouth is dark, this translucency can give your smile a bluish-gray look.

To prevent these kinds of negative side effects, only use products recommended by your dentist, and always set a timer when you whiten your teeth. Avoid whitening your teeth at times when you might get distracted, such as when you are tired or involved in other activities.

Mistake: Ignoring Dental Damage Before Whitening

Another big mistake patients make when they are new to teeth whitening is overlooking existing dental damage. Before a dentist whitens your teeth, they will check your smile carefully for damage like missing dental fillings, chipped teeth, or cracks. Since whitening these areas can cause extreme pain, your dentist will talk with you about repairs before tackling cosmetic dental issues.

Before you consider any teeth whitening method, talk with your dentist about whether or not your teeth are healthy enough for bleaching. If you chip a tooth or experience facial trauma, have the issue resolved before using at-home products or prescribed bleaching trays.

If you want a healthy and beautiful smile, book an appointment with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. With a focus on personalized patient care and a commitment to kindness, our entire team can help your family to improve their dental health.

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Long gone are the days when a dull, stained or not-so-bright smile was just something you were stuck with. Teeth whitening is an easy cosmetic fix that can transform your smile and brighten your entire face. Whether you choose an in-office procedure or an at-home whitening system, your dentist can help you to improve the way your teeth look.

While teeth whitening is not medically necessary, it is important when it comes to first impressions. Forty-eight percent of people think that a person’s most memorable feature (for a first meeting) is a smile, according to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Along with making a dazzling first impression in general, why do plenty of dental patients choose to whiten their teeth? Take a look at the most common reasons for picking this procedure. If you’re on the fence and can’t decide whether to whiten or not whiten, learning about these benefits may help you to make a decision.

Eating and Drinking Issues

Foods and beverages with chromogens (strong pigments), tannins (these make it possible for stains to stick) and acids (these erode enamel) can lead to discoloration. If you often eat dark foods, such as blueberries or cranberries, or drink their juices, you may be at risk for stains. The same goes for drinking coffee, tea or red wine.

Even though these and other stain-causing foods and beverages are known destroyers of the bright white smile, you might not want to give them up. That’s completely understandable. Just because your morning coffee or tea is dulling your teeth doesn’t mean you should ditch your favorite drink. Whitening can take those food and beverage stains and make them less noticeable.

However, keep in mind that whiteners won’t always completely remove all stains, and they don’t last forever. But with regular whitening, you can keep your favorite foods and drinks without having to give up your smile.

Self-Confidence Booster

What’s on the inside matters most when it comes to who you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little boost from a cosmetic helper. No one is saying that you should get a major procedure to change your looks. If you’re sensitive about your smile because of stains and discoloration, whitening is a simple way to up your self-esteem.

Knowing that people are looking at you — and not your stained teeth — makes it easier to smile. A bright smile brightens your entire appearance, and not just because your teeth are whiter. The confidence you’ll feel will show on your face too.

Special Events

Aside from food- and drink-related staining and the desire to increase your self-confidence, sometimes teeth whitening can help you out with a less major issue. A wedding, a graduation or even a special date are all reasons why some patients choose to whiten their teeth.

You get your hair done, dress in your best outfit and buy new shoes for your special event. So why stop there? Don’t forget about your teeth too. Think of whitening as fancy dress for your teeth. And it doesn’t hurt that the fabulous effects will stick around for months after the event ends. That means you’ll be ready for your next show-stopping appearance.

Are you looking for a professional-level whitening? Call the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA to learn more about your options. Zoom! Whitening is an in-office procedure that uses an LED light to accelerate the process and give you a brighter smile in less time. If you want an at-home whitener, we’ll create custom-made bleaching trays and provide you with a gel bleach that our dentist prescribes.