There’s no doubt that having a bright smile is a great way to boost confidence. With so many resources available, it’s no wonder that more people are looking for teeth whitening solutions. But not all whitening methods are equally safe and effective.
If you’re hoping to integrate teeth whitening into your routine, we’re here to help you find a method that works for you and doesn’t compromise your dental health. Let’s get started!
Why Do Teeth Become Discolored in the First Place?
Discoloration in teeth can be boiled down to two categories: extrinsic discoloration and intrinsic discoloration.
This type of discoloration comes from within the tooth itself. Intrinsic discoloration is caused by factors such as illness, previous trauma to the tooth, or aging. This type of discoloration is best treated by seeking professional whitening solutions from your dentist.
Extrinsic discoloration is what most people are trying to eliminate when they seek out whitening products. This surface-level discoloration is the result of dental stains caused by smoking, coffee, red wine and other substances.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe? Dentist Administered Whitening Solutions
If you choose to have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist, you’ll likely experience faster results than with over-the-counter methods. Typically, dentists use carbamide peroxide to bleach your teeth, which is a more powerful compound than what you’ll be able to purchase at your local pharmacy.
Visiting a dentist is a great option if you have any other dental complications or gum sensitivity, since they will be able to work with you to administer appropriate treatment. Sometimes, your dentist will prescribe a stronger whitening product for you to use at home.
Over The Counter Whitening Solutions
Most people opt for an over-the-counter product to whiten teeth. These products typically include:
- Toothpaste – According to Healthline, most whitening toothpastes “target the surface of your teeth with a variety of substances, including abrasives and the chemical blue covarine.” Whitening toothpastes may take longer to remove surface stains than other methods that contain carbamide peroxide.
- Whitening Strips – Like professional whitening methods, strips use carbamide peroxide but at a much lower dose. Whitening strips are folded around teeth and need to remain in place for a certain period of time in order to remove stains.
How Do I Know if Teeth Whitening is Safe?
There has been some debate about the safety and side effects of various teeth whitening treatments. Side effects include:
- Increased tooth sensitivity.
- Gum irritation.
- Increased softness or roughness in the tooth’s surface.
However, many whitening methods are perfectly safe and can be used by most patients seeking a whiter smile.
- Look for products that have the ADA seal of approval. This means that products have been verified as safe by the American Dental Association.
- Make sure you follow the directions on the packaging. For example, if a product says to only apply once a day, you might experience discomfort or sensitivity if you ignore the directions and apply twice a day.
- Before you implement any major changes to your dental health routine, seek advice from your dentist. Your dentist will be able to advise you about the best whitening method for your teeth, and can steer you away from products that yield poor results.
Start With Preventative Care
While teeth whitening products are effective and leave you with a brighter smile, one of the best ways to keep your teeth looking pearly white is through preventative care. It’s recommended to brush your teeth twice a day to remove any superficial stains or discoloration from food and drink.
Lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking coffee, and drinking red wine may also result in stains over time. Try to reduce or eliminate these factors from your routine to prevent stains from forming.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Last but not least, it’s important to pay regular visits to your dentist for routine cleaning. Professional cleanings remove built-up plaque and surface stains, resulting in a brighter smile.
At Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry, we pride ourselves on our dedication to patient care. We want your trip to the dentist to be comfortable, hassle-free, and informative. We specialize in procedures ranging from routine cleanings to cosmetic dentistry and beyond. Schedule your first appointment today, and experience the Treasured Smiles difference.