These days, there are so many different whitening products available in the drugstore that a beaming smile seems to be a possibility for everyone, but before you begin your quest for the perfect pearly whites, there are some potential problems you should be aware of.
Because many whitening products use peroxide-based bleaching agents, tooth bleaching can make teeth sensitive, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. Another problem with over-the-counter bleaching trays (the ones that go in your mouth like a mouthguard) is that they’re not custom-fitted to your mouth. The gel inside the trays comes in contact with your gums, which can lead to burned gums.
Whitening toothpaste removes outer stains, like the ones caused by tea, coffee, smoking, etc. Basically, they work to remove the outer stains on your teeth by using abrasive agents that “scratch” the stains off. By scratching away the stained layer of the tooth, the unstained layer below is exposed, making the tooth look whiter. With overuse, the abrasives wear down the enamel of your teeth, which not only dulls the look of your teeth, but can also lead to tooth decay.
See Your Dentist First
Before beginning your quest for the brightest smile possible, talk to your dentist. Get a professional cleaning and mouth exam; you might only need a thorough cleaning to restore your smile’s sparkle. During the checkup, your dentist will also look for cavities and examine your gums to make sure that it’s a good time to start a whitening regimen and can advise you on the best route. To be on the safe side, pregnant women or nursing mothers should postpone teeth whitening.
Tooth-whitening works best for people with yellow teeth and is less effective for people with brown teeth. Teeth naturally darken with age, and the amount of color change varies from person to person.