Finding tips and tricks to help you maintain that perfect white smile can lead to DIY teeth whitening mishaps you will regret instantly. While having white teeth is a great way to help you increase confidence and make you look younger, making the wrong DIY teeth whitening choices can actually damage your teeth.
There are over-the-counter teeth whitening products that work well, but you have to be diligent and apply them carefully to avoid teeth whitening dangers. And don’t get us started on social media tips. Even the “natural” whitening tips can lead to disaster. If you are considering DIY teeth whitening for your smile, consider these very real risks before you proceed.
Misuse Of Over-The-Counter Products
There are many over-the-counter products that can provide quite impressive results. However, if you don’t apply them properly you can damage your teeth, or ruin the appearance of your smile. For example, if you are using strips, or even trays, to apply the bleaching gel, you could apply it unevenly. This can result in uneven stain removal, leaving behind embarrassing stripes. Another issue is if you leave the product on too long. Leaving it on twice as long can make your teeth whiter twice as fast, right? Wrong.
If you leave the product on too long you can damage your tooth enamel. When tooth enamel erodes it allows you to see the layer below called the dentin. The dentin is naturally yellow so the results you see will be yellower teeth. You can also cause extreme tooth sensitivity when you leave the gel on your teeth too long. To avoid these issues, your best bet is to speak to our team first. We will provide advice on the teeth whitening solution best for you so you will see far better results.
Is It Stains Or Discolouration?
If you choose to go it alone, you might be trying to remove stains that are in fact discolouration. There’s a difference. Stains are caused by foods, drinks, and smoking, and can typically be remedied, while discolourations might not be removable. This is because they are caused by things such as medications and aging. You can also see discolouration due to illness or if your tooth is traumatized. Speaking to our team first helps determine if your teeth are stained or discoloured so you don’t waste time and money on products that won’t work. We can also offer alternative solutions to help you have a whiter smile.
Social Media Whitening Myths
If you’re trusting social media to find your DIY teeth whitening solutions, you are risking even more damage to your teeth. Many of these myths claim to be natural whitening solutions, so you might assume they can’t possibly cause harm. However, two of the most popular natural remedies popping up in social media feeds recently include using charcoal and fruit.
First off, charcoal can work because it is abrasive. Unfortunately, it can be too abrasive and remove your enamel. Once you damage your enamel you’re back to the same issue where you can see your yellow dentin layer exposed. For fruit, strawberries and lemons are being hailed as miracle tooth whiteners thanks to their natural acids. However, if you rub your teeth with these fruits, those acids not only remove stains but also enamel. Again it’s all about that yellow dentin… not to mention both remedies increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Whitening Isn’t For Everyone
You might decide to use a DIY teeth whitening method thinking it is safe for everyone. However, you can see far from pleasing results if you aren’t the ideal candidate for whitening treatments. Some common issues include:
- Having Dental Restorations or Cosmetic Treatments: Unfortunately, teeth whitening products are only designed for natural teeth. If you invested in cosmetic treatments like crowns or veneers, the stains on these teeth will remain, while the rest of your teeth will whiten. The end result is a noticeably uneven smile that brings even more attention to the stains on your teeth. In this case, you will have to pay for new veneers or crowns if you want to match your natural teeth.
- Tooth Sensitivity: If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, even if you consider it to be quite mild, the peroxide in DIY teeth whitening kits will make matters worse. In fact, once applied you might find out the hard way the treatment is painful. If you don’t suffer from tooth sensitivity already, you can actually cause it by using DIY teeth whitening kits with peroxide. In-office treatments apply protection to lips and gums to help reduce the effects of tooth sensitivity and discomfort.
- Side Teeth: While your DIY teeth whitening kit is usually focused on your front teeth, you probably won’t even notice your side teeth are still yellow. Unfortunately, when you laugh or smile, other people will.
Other reasons you shouldn’t use DIY teeth whitening include if you have gum disease, tooth decay, receding gums, or you are pregnant or lactating. Once again, it’s always best to speak to our team first. We can assess your teeth and determine what treatment you might need prior to whitening, such as treating gum disease or filling cavities. We can then provide professional whitening procedures to avoid sensitivity.
Why Choose Professional Whitening
As mentioned, consulting with our team first will ensure you are ready to receive whitening treatment. Professional whitening is far more effective and offers the following benefits:
- Pre- and post-treatment preparations: We ensure you experience minimal side effects by first isolating your lips and gums to prevent contact with the whitening gel. We then apply a five-minute fluoride treatment to your teeth once the treatment is finished.
- Effectiveness: We use an extremely high application of hydrogen peroxide to safely whiten your teeth to levels you can’t reach with over-the-counter solutions. Our treatment uses a tooth whitener with 32% hydrogen peroxide in hand with a bleaching light to activate the tooth whitener.
- Right Treatment: We will recommend the whitening procedure best for you, whether it is our in-office treatment or a take-home whitening product. If you choose the in-home treatment, we will show you how to use the product properly to achieve maximum results.