Getting beautiful, white teeth is easier than ever these days! From over-the-counter whitening strips to professional treatments like ZOOM! Whitening, there is no reason to put up with stained or darkening teeth.
While most treatments are side-effect free, when these products are abused or not used as directed, there is a possibility of some negative results. Before you get started on a whitening regimen, check out these teeth whitening tips to keep your mouth and gums healthy.
Get a professional cleaning and mouth exam first. Your dentist can find cavities or discover gum problems that should be corrected before beginning a whitening program. Even if you decide to whiten teeth at home using over-the-counter strips or gels ask your dentist for advice about which system to use. You can also find out from your dentist how much lightening you might expect from the various options available. Teeth do darken with age, and the range of color varies from person to person.
At-home teeth whitening products contain peroxides, typically carbamide peroxide, in various concentrations — often 10% to 20% or so. Choose a product with a mid-range bleaching agent — not the lowest concentration and not the highest. Too little and you will be frustrated by the results. Too much and you may experience some of the negative side-effects from the solutions. If you aren’t getting the lightening effect you want and you are not experiencing any difficulties, you can step up to a higher concentration.
This is for you safety and the health of your teeth and gums. More isn’t better and could lead to problems. Leaving the strips or gels on longer than advised can irritate the gums. For instance, many over-the-counter teeth whitening strips suggest using for 30 minutes a day for about two weeks. Using longer can increase the risk of gum inflammation and oral problems later.
Over-the-counter products are typically made for the majority of users and may not be specific to your needs and desires. When using at-home strips remember that programs offered in the dental office provide a much better result that you see much quicker. When you choose to whiten your teeth you will need to weigh your desired outcome with the time and cost of each program.
If you have healthy teeth and gums, sensitivity may not be much of an issue. For people who may have tooth or gum issues, mild and temporary tooth sensitivity can occur with many teeth whitening products. If inflammation or sensitivity occur, discontinue the treatment and speak with your dentist.
There is too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to teeth whitening.
With the affordability and variety of do-it-yourself teeth-whitening products, some people think more is better. After following the directions and getting a good result, a periodic preventive or touch-up session is usually enough. Follow the instructions on at-home treatments and speak with your dentist about treatments done in the dental office.