With summer weddings and fall festival photo ops on the horizon, you know you’ll be doing a lot of smiling in the not-so-distant future—but there’s just one problem. You have stains on your teeth. There are plenty of whitening products in stores and online.
The question is, is it bad to whiten your teeth?
The short answer is no, it’s not bad to whiten your teeth. However, if you don’t do it correctly, you may experience a range of undesirable and uncomfortable teeth whitening side effects.
Here are our top teeth whitening errors and side effects—and how to prevent these issues from happening to you.
- Overusing Strips
It generally is not bad to whiten your teeth, but unfortunately, teeth whitening can “go wrong” when people overdo it. For instance, if you decide to wear your whitening strips too often or too long, they may begin to damage the gums and teeth. This can, in turn, increase your chances of developing tooth sensitivity.
To avoid these teeth whitening side effects, you must carefully follow the instructions that the manufacturer of your chosen whitening strips provides. In addition, be sure to speak with your dentist about any pain or discomfort you’re having after using the strips. Whitening strips should never be painful, so stop using them immediately if you experience this.
- Not Using the Correct Whitening Trays
Sadly, the cookie-cutter whitening trays found in stores are notoriously ill-fitting. When you use a standard tray that doesn’t fit well, your whitening gel might leak out of the tray and irritate your gums, causing redness or swelling. To make matters worse, you might not see the results you want because your whitening ingredients aren’t coming into contact with your teeth.
To keep these teeth whitening side effects at bay, consider going to your dentist to get a custom tray that will fit your teeth properly.
- Ignoring Your Health Conditions
It is bad to whiten your teeth if you are currently pregnant. When you are pregnant, your hormones boost the flow of blood to your gums, which makes your gums more susceptible to becoming tender, swelling, and bleeding. Teeth whitening ingredients may only aggravate your already-sensitive gum tissues. Given these teeth whitening side effects, your dentist may recommend postponing your whitening treatment until after you have given birth.
In addition, if you have sensitive teeth, consult your dentist about your teeth whitening options. In-office treatments are generally safe for those with sensitive teeth, but not all store treatments work well for these individuals.
- Using Products Not Designated for Teeth
It sounds silly, but many people try to whiten their teeth with products not made for them. You might be tempted to use household products such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide based on advice you’ve read online, but don’t. This may lead to teeth whitening side effects such as chronic inflammation and tissue necrosis—your gum tissue could die. Using bleach on teeth is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Not Cleaning the Teeth First
Yet another common teeth whitening mistake is not removing tooth decay or debris from your teeth before applying your whitening strips. This debris includes food that has become lodged between the teeth, plaque, and tartar. Failure to clean your teeth first may prevent your whitening ingredients from working in an even manner, leading to a subpar whitening job.
Avoiding this issue—one of the biggest side effects of improperly done teeth whitening—is as easy as visiting your dentist for scaling/cleaning before you commence your whitening procedure. You’ll also need to maintain your oral hygiene via flossing and brushing daily to prevent plaque or tartar from building up over time.
- Eating the Wrong Foods
Finally, if you whiten your teeth at your dentist’s office, avoid the common mistake of eating foods that do not belong to the “white teeth diet” during the 24-hour period following your procedure. Generally, the following drinks and foods, which might cause staining or irritate your sensitive gums, are best to avoid:
- Sugar-containing foods (e.g., pastries, ice cream, cakes)
- Highly pigmented foods (e.g., ketchup, chocolate, beef, bologna, soy sauce)
- Highly pigmented drinks (e.g., tomato juice, red wine, cola, tea, coffee)
- Acidic beverages (e.g., fruit juice, alcohol, soda)
Instead of the above foods and drinks, consider consuming skim milk, cauliflower, egg whites, pasta, white fish, or skinless turkey. You can then resume your normal diet once the 24-hour period has passed.
Avoid Teeth Whitening Side Effects with the Help of Definitive Dental
Teeth whitening can indeed work when done correctly, and to ensure that this happens, it is wise to visit your dentist for treatment. Fortunately, at At Definitive Dental, we have helped numerous patients to avoid teeth whitening side effects by providing high-quality Zoom! whitening. Our whitening treatment can be performed quickly and conveniently to restore the beauty of your smile.
In addition to offering whitening treatments, we offer a range of other cosmetic dentistry solutions, such as gum contouring and porcelain veneers. No matter which treatment option you choose, you can be confident that you will receive grade-A results from dentistry done right.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and schedule your appointment.