Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 15-03-2021
Teeth whitening in Milton is one of the easiest and most affordable cosmetic dental treatments available. However, not all teeth whitening treatments are alike.
There are many excellent over-the-counter products available today, so knowing which product is right for you and ensuring you use them properly is very important to see the results you desire. If you are interested in teeth whitening, you should always speak to your dentist first. They can share information to help you make the right choice. Here are 7 things you didn’t know about teeth whitening.
1. DIY whitening has its challenges
Although you can find an entire section of DIY whitening products at your local drug store, they don’t always provide impressive results. It’s all about how you apply them, as well as the current state of your dental health. There are many things that can go wrong with DIY whitening, including uneven application that can ruin your smile. However, if you don’t follow the instructions, you can also damage your teeth.
For example, leaving the product on for too long in the hopes of speeding up the process can lead to sensitivity or even erosion. As well, if you have dental issues such as gum disease, or you have restorations that are visible such as crowns or veneers, you can also run into issues. It’s always best to discuss the teeth whitening services with our office before you proceed so you don’t end up with DIY whitener’s remorse!
2. Knowing if it’s a stain or discolouration
When you decide to go the DIY route, you might be disappointed in the results. While stains can be removed with whitening products, discolouration cannot. Stains are caused by exposure to things like tea, coffee, and smoking, while discolouration is caused by other issues such as past tooth trauma, medications, or a natural result of aging. By speaking to our team first, we can determine what is taking away from your white smile, so we can recommend the right treatment.
3. There are many social media teeth whitening myths
You can get caught in the latest celebrity beauty crazes and end up spending tons of money on products and “tricks” that don’t really work. This applies to the many teeth whitening myths circulating on social media. Although some are true, the myth lies in claims that the tricks are harmless.
For example, charcoal for whitening works because it is abrasive and can help remove surface stains. Unfortunately, the abrasion is so effective that it removes the protective enamel of your teeth that keeps your teeth white. The dentin below is yellow. The more you erode the enamel, the yellower your teeth appear, and the less you can do about getting rid of it.
4. Not everyone can use whitening treatments
Going directly for DIY whitening treatments is never a good idea because these products are not right for everyone. Those who should avoid whitening treatments include:
People with noticeable dental work: If you have noticeable dental work such as crowns, veneers, or bonding, then whitening products will not work to remove stains. These products are designed specifically for natural teeth. If you use them, you will find your teeth whiten and your dental work remains yellow.
People with tooth sensitivity: The peroxide in DIY tooth whitening kits can be extremely painful if you already have sensitive teeth. Even if you don’t have sensitive teeth, the treatment can cause sensitivity. When you receive professional teeth whitening services, however, your gums and lips are protected to avoid or reduce possible discomfort and tooth sensitivity.
People requiring dental work: If you suffer from tooth decay, gum disease, or receding gums, then these issues must be treated before you proceed with teeth whitening. That’s why we recommend a consultation before this procedure, so we can determine what is required before you begin.
Pregnancy or lactating moms: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then you should avoid whitening products.
5. Controlled concentrations of bleaching agents
The main difference between DIY and professional whitening treatments is the amount of bleaching agents found in the treatment gel. Whitening products contain different levels of peroxide that act as effective stain removers. However, dentists have prescription-strength formulas that help you achieve the best possible results.
Professional treatments are also applied using customized trays that fit your teeth perfectly for even distribution of the gel. You can choose between an in-office professional treatment, or have the trays made to use at home. In-office treatments get the best results, followed by at-home treatments with customized trays, and then DIY over-the-counter kits last.
6. Beware of “natural” teeth whitening tips
As with many social media crazes, natural whitening tips can prove to be just as risky. Some natural whitening tips to avoid include:
Strawberries: Strawberries can help whiten teeth, as they contain malic acid, an ingredient used in toothpaste to help increase saliva production. Unfortunately, the natural bleaching properties in strawberries that can help whiten teeth also erode enamel, much like charcoal products. Therefore, while eating strawberries is perfectly healthy, scrubbing your teeth with them will cause more harm than good.
Lemons: Lemons are highly acidic, so they can help to remove stains on teeth. However, the acid is so strong that it too can do more harm than you think, including very effectively removing your much needed tooth enamel.
Coconut oil: This is another myth. Rinsing with coconut oil is rumored to “pull” stains from teeth, but this is just not true.
7. Professional at-home vs. over-the-counter whitening
As mentioned in point #5, professional at-home teeth whitening kits are far more effective than over-the-counter kits. It starts with the increased amount of hydrogen peroxide and is enhanced by the custom-fitted dental trays used to apply the whitening solution.
This combination ensures whiter results and an even application that is impossible to achieve with over-the-counter products. The trays are also designed to reduce risk for sensitivity by keeping the gel away from your gum line. You can see results in as little as two weeks with your professional at-home treatment.
If you would like more information about teeth whitening, set up a consultation with our team at Milltown Dental today.