Teeth whitening is one of the easiest, fastest, and most affordable ways to dramatically improve your appearance! There are many options available, ranging from in-office treatments from your cosmetic dentist to whitening toothpastes you can pick up at your local grocery store. However, there are just as many ways to get ineffective results or accidentally hurt your teeth! To get that beautiful, dazzling smile you’ve always wanted, avoid these four common teeth whitening mistakes.
Forgetting to Brush and Floss Beforehand
Your teeth need to be clean before they can get whiter. For the whitening agents to be effective, they need to be able to seep into your enamel. Any lingering food particles, plaque, or bacteria on the surface of your teeth will interfere with this process and keep your teeth from getting brighter. Maximize your enamel’s exposure to the bleaching agents by brushing and flossing your teeth or getting a professional dental cleaning from your dentist beforehand.
Not Checking in with Your Cosmetic Dentist First
With so many whitening products at your fingertips, it may be tempting to dive in and tackle the process on your own. However, you may be in for a painful surprise if you have hidden oral health issues! Teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation if you have thin enamel, cavities, or gum disease. Your dentist can identify and treat these issues before they cause you any discomfort during the whitening process.
Forgoing a Customized Dental Tray
Even though everyone’s mouth is different, most DIY teeth whitening kits use a one size fits all whitening tray. Without a custom fit, it can be easy to accidentally swallow or spill the whitening agent, which will irritate your gums and throat. Using a tray that is customized specifically for you ensures that the bleaching product stays in contact with your teeth to deliver the best results.
Only Using Whitening Toothpastes
Although you may think you’re saving time and money, swapping out your regular toothpaste for a whitening one could do your smile more harm than good. These toothpastes contain highly abrasive compounds like calcium carbonate or zirconium silicate. Continuously exposing your teeth to them will scratch away your enamel, leading to teeth that are sensitive and discolored.
The best way to avoid all these common mistakes is to get your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. With easy and effective professional at-home kits or in-office treatments, your cosmetic dentist can take the guesswork out of getting the smile you’ve always wanted!
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Miller has enjoyed over 20 years of creating thousands of healthy, beautiful smiles. At Valley View Dental in St. Peter, MN, she offers a wide variety of cosmetic dental services, including both in-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments. She would be happy to discuss which option would be right for you and help you every step of the way towards achieving the smile of your dreams. She can be contacted via her website or at (507) 934-3332.