January 14, 2020
Who doesn’t want to have a sparkling smile they can be proud of? Teeth whitening can be the perfect way to enhance the appearance of your teeth that have become discolored or stained over the years. However, you need to be careful; if something goes wrong during the process, you could permanently damage your grin. Below are 4 common teeth whitening mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
1. Whitening Without Consulting a Dentist First
You need to have perfectly healthy teeth before beginning the whitening process. If you have a cavity, the ingredients in whitening products could enter the tooth and damage the pulp inside, resulting in a lot of pain. Even if you think your mouth is completely healthy, tooth decay can begin without you even realizing it. It’s best to have your dentist thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of dental issues that you might not be aware of yet; that way the problem can be treated, and whitening can be performed safely afterwards.
2. Using a Do-It-Yourself Kit with Uncustomized Whitening Trays
When researching whitening kits, it’s important to know the difference between a kit provided by a professional and a cheap kit you can by online. The latter will come with one-size trays that you’ll need to manually warm and form to your teeth. Unfortunately, using this type of tray makes the whitening process very sloppy; in some cases, it might even let your saliva remove the active ingredients from your teeth before they can penetrate the enamel. A tray provided by your cosmetic dentist will be customized to fit perfectly in your mouth, making it much more effective. If you want your smile to look its best, it’s well worth it to pay for the highest quality treatment.
3. Not Brushing and Flossing Before Whitening
The last thing you want during the whitening process is for food debris and harmful bacteria to get in the way. Make sure your teeth are completely clean before you use any sort of whitening products. This means brushing and flossing as thoroughly as possible.
4. Eating or Drinking Immediately After Whitening
After using a professional whitening gel, it’s important to give your teeth a break. Normally your teeth and gums are protected by a layer of biofilm, but this barrier is temporarily broken down after whitening. If you eat or drink certain things during this time (particularly coffee, berries, sauces, and other dark-colored foods and beverages), you could end up creating new stains. It’s advisable not to put anything in your mouth for at least one hour once you’re done using your kit.
These are just a few things to keep in mind about the whitening process; your cosmetic dentist can give you additional advice on what to do and what not to do. When done correctly, teeth whitening can make a dramatic difference for your appearance; take the time to avoid any necessary complications so that you can ultimately enjoy your more attractive smile!
About the Author
Dr. Neil W. Vanik has been providing high-quality, individualized dental care to the Annapolis community for over 35 years now. Every year he expands his knowledge and skills through continuing education and advanced training. While the oral health of his patients is always his highest priorities, he also offers teeth whitening and other services that can hide cosmetic imperfections. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (410) 268-5046.
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